Robert Thomas

Aaron Vickers

Thomas is a smart two-way, instinctive center. He is a solid skater and bursts from a standing position, possessing the leg strength to accelerate quickly and good lateral quickness. He’s a solid puck handler, who can pull off a deke to create an offensive chance. He is usually safe with the puck, however, reverting to a dump-and-chase strategy as the game situation changes. For a smaller player, he’s very aggressive in the corners, chasing down opponents on the forecheck, and he isn’t afraid to initiate physical contact against bigger players. He works hard along the boards, working the cycle well and doing a good job of controlling the puck under pressure. His passes are accurate and strong, allowing his teammates more time to make plays or get shots off. His confidence is also showing in his decision-making ability with the puck. He has great hand-eye coordination for corralling bouncing passes or tipping pucks. His shot isn’t overly dangerous, but it is hard, and he shoots smartly reading the goalie. He sees the ice well as he finds his open man and then skates hard for the open ice knowing he will get the puck back for a good scoring chance. In his defensive zone he plays a smart game, and utilizes some solid poke checking to break up plays. Despite being a solid defensive performer and offensive contributor, his best asset is his prowess on faceoffs where he utilizes a strong stick and quick reflexes to out muscle his opponents. He’s a tenacious and talented player, but his lack of physical strength is likely to hold him out of the first round of the draft.