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Thomas Gets More Praise

Even though his season is over, Christian Thomas has been praised once more, this time by Hockey’s Future. In their regular column called ‘on the rush’ HF look at some of the ‘most notable performances’ of the season in the pros, college, juniors and Europe and discuss at some length, the season of Christian Thomas.

To recap; Thomas exploded this season to finish the year with 54 goals and 99 points and did it all in just 66 regular season games. Indeed, Thomas’ numbers allowed him to finish second in the OHL in goals and 6th overall in points; a truly impressive season. HF had a few things to say about Thomas and while some Rangers fans may be concerned about his apparent lack of size (5’9, 170 lbs) they do note that he has a sturdy frame that helps him outwork opponents, aiding his goal scoring ability. Adding fuel to the thought that Thomas may be a Rangers’ dark horse come training camp was this comment;

His offensive game is already fairly polished, and he kills penalties, so the forward doesn’t have much left to do as far as diversifying his game at the OHL level. He could stand to add a little weight to his 5’9 170 pound frame though.

As many believed, it seems those who watch Thomas regularly also don’t think he has anything left to achieve in the OHL and offensively speaking he may already be able to handle himself at higher levels. A lot of work in the gym over the off season, getting his body ready for the pros would give a better chance at an immediate opportunity to stick at the next level. Whether the development of players such as Thomas had a part to play in the trade of Ethan Werek, well you never know, but Thomas seems to be on the fast track to success.

The Rangers could sorely do with an additional goal scorer and in a perfect world one that doesn’t cost assets or big dollars to acquire; hence Thomas may have a legitimate chance in September. His chances may depend on whether a guy like Chris Kreider decides to turn pro or not but one thing is for sure, training camp will once again be full of competition – only a good thing.

11 Responses to “Thomas Gets More Praise”

  1. Brian SCS says:

    This kid is very intriguing, but it seems difficult for me to picture this kid to jump right from the OHL to the Rangers at his size. He’ll still be only 19 in two weeks so the AHL is out, which really would be the ideal place for him next year. I still prefer the patient approach and would rather see him light up the OHL for one more season and then bring him to camp with a shot at the big club the year after.

    Besides, the Rangers will already have Zuccarello next year who appears that if he has a good camp he will earn one of the RW slots behind Gaborik, Callahan and Prust.

    • Dave says:

      He’s going to get a very long look at camp. I’ve been saying for a while that I think he makes the team out of camp.

      Remember, Jeff Skinner isn’t that much bigger than him.

      • Brian SCS says:

        Dave, if you are right about Drury retiring then I will agree and say he makes the team. But where does he fit?

        • Dave says:

          Where does Thomas fit? Preferably on the top line, assuming either he or Gaborik can play LW.

  2. Mark says:

    I actually just had a few questions… i was wondering what everyone thought about the possibility of having a 4th line to add more scoring rather then the normal checking unit. We already have a 2nd and 3rd line that is defensively responsible, i think it would be an interesting concept to have our 4th line as a offensively line only when we need scoring… COnsidering we probably arent getting rid of Wolski and EC is so cheap the 4th line could be… Wolski EC and Zucc… not only would that also win us some shootouts (more points) but those guys could play power play minutes and help out…

    Cally AA Dubi
    Prust Boyle Avery (Feds) are already defesnive minded lines… why do we need another one…

    Also just a thought… I think the trade of werek for the defensive minded face off Lindberg, was more as a precaution if they Brian Boyle prices himself off the Blue shirts…

    Just wanted to see what other fans thought about that…

    Thanks a lot

    • Dave says:

      When this team is ready to compete for a Cup, Feds(Hagelin)-Boyle-Prust is the 4th line.

    • Brian SCS says:

      Having a 4th line that can score is never a bad idea, and yes the “Shootout line” if you will of WW, EC and MZA isn’t terrible because they won’t get much 5on5 ice time to hurt the team defensively. The rangers could get away with it because the traditional checking line of feds-boyle-prust gets significant minutes in torts lineup.

      A lot will depend on whether the Rangers land a top line center and what happens with Drury. Personally, I’d like to see a line of Hagelin/Grachev-AA-MZA.

      • Hoggo says:

        I think the Rangers will see that line in 2 years

        Kreider- Stepan- Gaborik
        Hagelin- AA- MZA
        Dubinsky- Boyle- Callahan
        Grachev- X- Thomas

  3. The Suit says:

    I can’t make a prediction of whether or not this kid will make the team since I haven’t seen him play…I do think people need to temper their expectations (for now).

    Bryan Cameron (whose slightly bigger than Thomas)led the league in OHL scoring last year and struggled in the AHL. Hutchings, another “smaller” player put up 40+ in the OHL in 09-10, but put up 15 in the ECHL this season.

    While Thomas comes from great blood lines and should make it to The Show one day, we still need to show him A LOT of patience.

    Disagree on having a 4th scoring line. Fourth line is out there so the other guys can get some rest. Can’t have players that aren’t great defensively. No use for EC, Wolski, or any other supposed “skill player” who can’t forecheck or play D.

  4. Mikeyyyy says:

    Have to use the 4th line. When an if torts decides to roll lines and not ride his workhorses.

    From videos of Thomas he looks like a little cannonball. You don’t have to be big to play in the NHL. You need to play big.

    • scrangerfan says:

      You are absolutely correct Mickeyyyy, Marten St Louis of Tampa is a perfect role model for smaller player. I would trade for him in a NY.minute inspite of his age.