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Christian Thomas in NHL Next Year?

March 14, 2011, by

Friday night, New York Rangers prospect Christian Thomas broke the 50 goal mark and the excitement began to build amongst Rangers fans.  I warned everyone not to get overly excited about what he could do at the NHL level with those numbers, and I meant that, but today I want to look at whether or not he could be in the NHL as soon as next season.  Jess Rubenstein of The Prospect Park, the preeminent source for all things Rangers prospect related, suggested Saturday that he should at least get the chance to do so and I cannot disagree.

Gordie Clark has preached that a prospect needs to dominate at the level he is at before advancement. That being said then the argument can be made that Christian Thomas has earned at the very least a long look at making the Rangers next season.

52 goals in 62 games this season which puts him tied not only for the goal scoring lead in the OHL but in the entire CHL. 18-14-32 not in the early season but when his team is making a push for playoff seeding also offers evidence that says Thomas merits the same consideration that Chris Kreider does.

The Rangers want to make a case for Chris Kreider but allow us to make one for Christian Thomas. The Staal Standard measures how your play directly impacts how you team does.

Since Jess wrote that Christian went out and scored two more goals on Saturday night to give him 54, and he also had the shootout winner in the game.  I would argue that Thomas has done more to earn consideration for a spot next year than Kreider has this season in terms of both dominating at his current level and meeting what Jess refers to as the Staal Standard.

For those unaware, the Staal standard came out of how Marc Staal excelled during the playoffs in helping to carry Sudbury a few seasons ago and now Jess measures the impact, not just points, but when points are scored in the most important time of the season.  Obviously the playoffs have not come yet, but if Thomas plays in the playoffs how he has in the last two months with 18 goals 14 assists in the last 17 games then he will be on his way to racking up the same kind of acclaim.

Before anyone suggests it, the AHL is not an option for Thomas next season because of his age and the fact he was in the CHL at the time of him being drafted.  I don’t know that Thomas is ready to be an NHL player just yet, but with the lack of scoring ability on this team and the fact he has little left to prove in the OHL he certainly has earned the right to give it a shot.

Categories : Prospects


  1. Dave says:

    I think the MDZ situation has made them rethink rushing prospects. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him get his eight games in the NHL next year, and then be sent back to the CHL.

    • dbmaven says:

      Well said Dave.

      I wonder if they had it to do over again if they’d leave MDZ in the OHL for that year…..

  2. The Suit says:

    What’s working against Thomas is his size. He’s 5’8 160, which is really small for someone who scores a lot in the crease. Kid is def going to have to bulk up. Not to say he doesn’t have a chance, he does, but there’s only a handful of peeps that play at that size.

    • Fotiu is God says:

      Yo, Suit: What about our rather picayune Zuke, or Hall of Famer to be Martin St. Louis?

      Heck, if the schedules lined up–and Stumpy’s kid was eligible–I’d say give him a shot with the parent club come April. Can I get an amen?

      Had the Canes not thrown super-rook/OHLer Skinner into their mix they’d be mulling Lottery picks.

  3. Jess says:


    If they learned from their errors then Chris Kreider is not on their wish list for next season.
    Kreider is an excellent talent but IMO he did not (using the Gordie Clark measuring stick) dominate as other than 1 week against Northeastern and the bronze medal game did Kreider show his talent.

    The other measuring stick I used was how Kreider played against the top ranked teams and 1 point in 7 gaves is unacceptable.

    My call for Thomas is more to give him the look they think Kreider deserves. I believe Thomas is better than Zuccarello so his height issue is not that big.

    Thomas has dominated 41 goals last season and 54 so far this season. How he does in the playoffs to me will be the final test for me.

    • Dave says:

      I hear you. I don’t think Kreider is ready either. But I think between MDZ and Grachev, who were both rushed, they are going to be a little more cautious with Thomas.

      Of course, if he up and pulls a Jeff Skinner and forces his way on to the roster, I’m all for it.

      I agree with you, dominate a level, dominate in the playoffs, then be brought up to the next level.

  4. J says:

    We really need to wait and see how Skinner fares next year

  5. J says:

    Sorry about that…hit the wrong key. MDZ had a great rookie season…same as Skinner is today. I’d prefer the Rangers let them develop more, look at Sauer now…great example of waiting for the game to come to the player….the Rangers have such a great pool of talent down in Conn. I think we can afford to give them that opportunity. Training camp will be very exciting to watch next year for sure…and who knows what will shake out

  6. J. Scott says:

    I think Hagelin stands above Thomas and Kreider (at present) in the prospect pecking order and is the more likely to be on the roster next season.

  7. rob sahm says:

    give sather some credit even though its pretty hard for all us fans to do so. we are stacked for years to come mcllarth kreider christian thomas ryan borque stepan this year greachev so much young talent we could be like the pens a few years back in 2 years if they all pan out if thomas can play at a high level and make the team next year that would be a plus. just think if cherepanov did not suddenly die we would have another nice weapon .