Keaton Thompson – The Next Ones: NHL 2013 Draft Prospect Profile

Keaton Thompson THW Close-Up:

Date of birth: 9/14/1995

Place of birth: Devils Lake, North Dakota

Ht: 6’1″     Wt: 187 lbs

Shoots: Left

Position: Defense

NHL Draft Eligibility: 2013

Twitter@KThomps48

THW The Next Ones Rankings (January 2013): 70

Dwight King and Nick Leddy

Keaton Thompson has described himself as playing like Nick Leddy. (Robin Alam/Icon SMI)

Other Rankings:

THW War Room Rankings (April): 47

ISS (May): Not ranked

Future Considerations: Not ranked

Craig Button: 45

Consensus aggregate of several services (NHL Numbers): 36

CS Final Rankings for North American skaters: 53

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[NHL 2013 Draft Guide - The Next Ones Draft Headquarters: Your quintessential draft resource]

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North Dakota has a lot to look forward to on the backend next season.  They will be with the services of hometown kid and USNTDP defenseman, Keaton Thompson, who is looked to as a steady two-way defenseman with excellent skating and hockey sense.

Thompson knows where to be at all times in all three zones and doesn’t seem to get caught out of position.  His quickness and agility help him get back into the play and close down gaps in the defensive zone.  He’s a prolific skater and willingly takes the puck up the ice if he does not see any passes available.  Thompson demonstrates confidence when the puck is on his stick, but also doesn’t force too many things and plays a simple game on the blueline.

He needs to build up some muscle and use his body more effectively to knock players off the puck, so stepping in to a program like North Dakota should bode well for his game.  The USNTDP seems to be doing a very good job developing defenseman.  After Steve Santini, Thompson is likely the next best defenseman the team has produced this past season and will continue to grow his game with the Fighting Sioux.

Where Will He End Up In June:

Keaton has a strong chance at getting drafted in the mid-to-late 2nd round.  I don’t think he will fall past the 3rd round, assuming he even makes it that far.

Scout’s Honor:

“Thompson is a smooth, two-way defenseman who plays a virtually mistake-free game. He’s a graceful, fluid skater who isn’t shy to jump in the rush. Seeing the ice well, he makes a good first pass and makes smart, composed play to relieve pressure.”

Aaron Vickers – Future Considerations

“Thompson has tools as he skates well and has shown a willingness to be physical. He also has some solid offensive upside, but he didn’t have ample opportunity to display it at the World Under-18s. Prone to some poor decision making with the puck, Thompson seemed to lack confidence while carrying it. At times he was overmatched against top lines defensively as well. The fact is, Thompson still has a lot of upside. The tools are there to be a very gifted defenseman, but he’s somewhat in a holding pattern. Earlier in the year he was beginning to project as a potential first-rounder and was one of my favorites early on. The tools are all still there. It’s just a matter of putting them all together with some improved decisions and confidence. He has the ability, but it could take a little time for it all to materialize.”

Chris Peters – United States of Hockey

“Joined Fargo as a 15 year old. Excellent all-around reliable defenseman with size, skill and some snarl. Shows the makings of good all-around defenseman, due to his natural poise and balance. Excellent competitor who can handle all situations. The team that drafts him knows from the get-go that his understanding and poise and abilities, with no long-term development to fix areas of concern.”

Bill Placzek – DraftSite.com

Statistics:

Bio/Interview(s)/Links:

Inteview with Neate Sager of Buzzing the Net

Profile on Last Word On Sports

A Tradition of Excellence North Dakota Recruit Profile

International Tournaments:

With the USNTDP, Thompson has played in the U17 WHC and the U18 WJC.  In 12 games for Team USA he has four assists.

ETA:

3-4 years

Risk/Reward Analysis:

Risk: 1/5  Reward: 4/5

NHL Potential:

2nd pairing defenseman that can play on the PP and PK

Strengths:

Skating

Acceleration

Agility

Gap control

Vision

First pass

Defensive awareness

Poise

Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:

Building muscle

Playing a more physical game

Not getting bounced around in front of the net

Fantasy Hockey Potential:

Offensive: 4/10  Defensive: 6/10

NHL Player Comparison:

– Thompson has described himself to play a similar style to Nick Leddy.  Like Leddy, he’s very composed with the puck on his stick, can lead a rush, but also is defensively responsible.

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THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph

Follow Shawn Reznik on Twitter: @ShawnTHW

Shawn Reznik

Shawn Reznik

Shawn started at The Hockey Writers in 2011 covering junior hockey/NCAA/European leagues for the site. In 2013, he became the Lead Writer for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Shawn Reznik
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One Comment

  1. Il follow the draft with great interest.Montreal Canadiens need to get more grit, skaters with carecter.and a will to do what ever it takes to win.

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