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12-21-2011, 12:28 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Originally Posted by
More than the injuries, I think the amount of added pressure that Thomas put on himself because he was taken so high, is probably the biggest factor in why he hasn't seen time in the NHL yet.
For instance, take a look at his first performance in the WJC, as a 18 year old on the 2nd pairing with Luke Schenn, he was extremely solid. His skating was fluid. His first pass was very accurate and his defense was stout. Contrast that with his second performance in the WJC, as a 19 year old wearing the Captain's "C". He was tentative, made poor defensive reads and universally panned by most fans. You can't tell me that he forgot how to play hockey over the course of a year. He was older, bigger, stronger and smarter, but his performance was subpar.
The kid is his own worst enemy. When he is relaxed and on his game, he's dynamite. Good skater, great passer, very accurate shot and a natural leader. I still think he can top out as a quality 2nd pairing d-man at the NHL level.
I do as well. I think some of the let down in numbers early this season is a combination of being down due to seeing Voynov make the team over him as an injury recall, and the fact Manchester's offense is worse than ours (by virtue of who is left to play there, not by actual numbers). Hard to generate much offensive numbers when your teams top goalscorer is Marc-Andre Cliche.
I'm not saying he'll be a big time point guy, but I see a #4 d-man who can chip in 25-30 points a season and log 20 minutes. He won't ever live up to the 4th overall pick, but he will be an NHLer IMO.
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