Thimo Nickl – 2020 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

The Hockey Writers 2020 NHL Entry Draft Guide

Thimo Nickl

2019-20 Team: Drummondville Voltigeurs (#78)
Date of Birth: Dec. 4, 2001
Place of Birth: Klagenfurt, Austria
Ht: 6-foot-2 Wt: 176 pounds
Shoots: Right
Position: D
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible

Rankings

After spending the 2018-19 season in Austria with Klagenfurter AC, Thimo Nickl made the trek over to North America after being drafted 51st overall by the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs in the 2019 CHL Import Draft. It turned out to be a great decision by both parties as he put together an impressive season where he posted 10 goals and 39 points in 58 games. That ranked him third overall amongst rookie defenceman just behind Isaac Belliveau and teammate Jacob Dion.

Related: Our Free NHL Draft Guide

Nickl’s biggest asset is his passing as he’s got great strength and accuracy on every type of pass imaginable. His skating and two-way game are also very impressive and he’s got a powerful point shot that generates rebounds more often than not. He played in all situations for head coach Steve Hartley and was one of the top producers on the power play amongst QMJHL defencemen with 19 assists. He was only behind two players in Belliveau and Darien Kielb who had 20 and 23 helpers respectively.

Thimo Nickl Drummondville Voltigeurs
Thimo Nickl of the Drummondville Voltigeurs (Drummondville Voltigeurs)

Nickl could become one of those low-maintenance defencemen who can play on both special teams, produce some offence and provide a complete game from the blueline. He’s also one of the rare right-hand shot defencemen outside of the first round. All in all, he will be a solid pick for the team that grabs him in the third or fourth round.

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Quotables

In terms of his playing style, Nickl is a strong passer. His cross-ice, stretch, and bounces passes always seem to be accurate. His shot selection is quite sound and often times will generate quality rebounds on the power play. In the defensive zone, Nickl can be physical at times and will look to make smart backchecks along the half wall.

Josh Tessler – Dobber Prospects

Tall with room for growth, he has good feet, showing mobility and agility. His shot continues to get better and on the defensive side he uses his reach, stick and feet to thwart opposing attackers. Not flashy just effective in his outlets and overall demeanor. Plenty of room the fill out his physique with muscle. Mobile and poised when he has the puck, there is long term upside displayed through his play.

Bill Placzek – The Draft Site

Nickl’s ability to read the play and his gap control are simply outstanding. He was a key difference maker on the Voltigeurs blue line, logging significant minutes in every situation for Steve Hartley’s crew.

Craig Eagles – theQMJHL.ca

Thimo Nickl – NHL Draft Projection

Nickl’s overall skill set and impressive debut in North America should get him drafted somewhere in the third and fourth rounds. The consensus has him projected to go in the 87-109 range, but it all depends on who is drafted beforehand. Regardless of where he ultimately gets selected, he could become a steal if his potential is realized.

Strengths

  • Passing
  • Two-way game
  • Point shot
  • Skating

Under Construction – Improvements to Make

  • Decision-making
  • Needs to fill into his frame

NHL Potential

Nickl’s ceiling is a top-four defenceman who can play in all situations and be a threat from the point on the power play. Once he fills into his frame and improves his decision-making, he will be an invaluable member of a team’s blueline. Overall, his complete game and impressive passing skills should make whoever selects him very happy to add him to their pipeline.

Risk/Reward Analysis 

Risk – 3/5, Reward – 4/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential 

Offense – 7/10, Defense – 7/10

Awards/Achievements

Nickl played for Team Austria in the 2020 U20 World Junior Championship in Division 1A and won a gold medal.

Interview/Profile Links

Videos


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