With the 20th Pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, the St. Louis Blues Have Selected Robert Thomas From the London Knights in the OHL.
About Robert Thomas
Rob Thomas is a leader on the London Knights and a mainstay on the team’s top line. Comparable to Bo Horvat of the Vancouver Canucks, Thomas is a very skilled player who can play a strong two-way came and knows how to create space for both himself and his teammates. While he was originally ranked to potentially be drafted somewhere in the second or third round, his impressive 2016-17 season with the Knights drew the attention of scouts and the St. Louis Blues ultimately saw him as a fit for the team they’re building.
— NHL (@NHL) June 24, 2017
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt:
London Knights’ forward Robert Thomas was a mainstay on the top line for his OHL club this season. A number of times over the year, he’s been compared to former Knight and current Vancouver Canuck Bo Horvat with his 200-foot game being a major asset to his on-ice play.
He’s a leader on and off the ice and while his defensive play was important for the Knights this season, he showcased his offensive prowess as well for the club. He averaged a point per game with London this season, scoring 16 goals and 66 points in 66 regular season games. He also added 12 points in 14 playoff games as the defending Memorial Cup champs were ousted in the second round of the OHL playoffs.
He had a slower start to his OHL career, but averages 0.76 points per game in 106 regular season games for the Knights over two seasons.
His ability to play that 200-foot game, though, will solidify his spot on an NHL roster at some point in the coming years as he seems to model his game after some of the best two-way players in the game today.
How This Affects the St. Louis Blues’ Plans
The St. Louis Blues are drafting Thomas to be their top-six center of the future. The team has found some good players in draft in recent years, including Robby Fabbri and Colton Parayko, and the hope is that Thomas can continue to develop as he has been as a strong playmaking center who can create space for the star players already on the Blues like Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz. There are still some very good prospects developing in St. Louis who may be ahead of Thomas on the depth chart, but Thomas has the potential to quickly rise if he can continue to improve in his age 18 season.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for seven years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.