Team social media coordinator caught up with former Merritt Centennials player Mike Hamilton in a “Where Are They Now” interview:
|You ended your BCHL career with the Centennials back in the 2002/03 season, played two seasons with the team before making the jump to University what was the biggest difference between the BCHL and Uni?: First and foremost, I enjoyed playing in Merritt as much as any other place I played. Al was a great coach and helped shape me to become the player I did. I had so many great teammates and friends that I still remain in contact with.
The biggest change from junior to college is by far the level of talent, all the players on a college team are coming in as standout junior players. It’s very competitive as a freshman just to get in the lineup at times. Beyond that the schedule allows for a lot of practice, so systems and video teach you a lot about the details of the game.
What’s your favourite memory from playing with the Cents?: Too many to remember just one, but I loved all the bus trips and playing in arena in Merritt. It has so much character!
You were drafted into the NHL, what was that like? And playing in the AHL as well? : Being drafted was a huge honor. I credit a lot of that to my parents, Al and my teammates. Practices, workouts and time with the fellas helped me have some success. I obviously had dreams and goals to try to play in the NHL, playing part of a couple seasons in the AHL was great. I played with and against so many talented players that are now standouts in the NHL.
Thing you miss the most about Merritt or the organization? : I miss all the good people in the town of Merritt. My billets the Riley’s were so awesome.
What are you doing now? : Right now I am working in the financial industry in Charleston, SC.
What advice would you give junior hockey players that want to move up with either College hockey or even the NHL?: My advice would be to keep working and control the things you can control. There is a lot of outside noise, keep positive, be a good teammate and consistency and the hard work will pay off.