This summer Christian Thomas joined Steve Stamkos, Jeff Skinner and James Neal and others to train with Gary Roberts in Toronto for his high intensity workout camp.
Dan Rosen, at NHL.com, went to the camp and report on the program that Roberts has these players on.
The initial phase stresses general strengthening and corrective exercises designed to fix nagging injuries or imbalances that might have developed during an 82-game NHL season. The second phase is focused on strength and power, and the third phase is structured to provide the speed and endurance necessary to be prepared for training camp.
Roberts said that he works with each player individually to help them get better, “So, I treat everybody differently that way. These guys get specific training for their own weaknesses and that’s what the summer should be about. The winter becomes a general program, but the summer should be more specific to the players’ needs.”
Thomas’ father Steve was teammates with Roberts in Toronto.
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Two seasons ago Christian Thomas lit up the scoreboard in the OHL with 54 goals and 45 assists and last season he was expected to compete for the OHL scoring title.
Instead, Thomas finished the season with 34 goals and 33 assists. Thomas didn’t make Team Canada for the World Juniors either.
At OHL Prospects, Brock writes “Obviously, he’s incredibly talented, but something was lacking this year. His shot and ability to get himself open are pro ready. He’s a tremendous goal scorer, which everyone knows. I think the biggest difference in his game this year was the lack of aggression. While Christian’s never been an overtly physical player, he has previously been a very tenacious and hungry player without the puck. That part of his game was lacking a bit this year, as he seemed to coast at times.”
He adds, “Moving on to Connecticut of the AHL this year, Thomas is going to need to re-discover that passion and step up his play away from the puck. He’s got plenty of natural offensive gifts, and he should be fine in the long run. He’s plenty strong enough for a smaller guy, so I don’t see him having too much difficulty transitioning as a goal scorer. “
It had been suggested that Thomas was hurt by the Traverse City Tournament.
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Update: 11:44AM: Bob McKenzie tweets that Thomas has a shot at the 13th forward spot.
Update: 9:21AM: James Duthie tweets that Thomas was not one of the seven players cut from camp this morning. Team Canada still has seven more forwards to cut
Original Post:In the National Post, via Buzzing the Net, George Johnson writes about Christian Thomas and what it is like for him to be the son of former NHLer Steve Thomas.
Johnson spoke with Hockey Canada’s Kevin Pendergast who said this about Thomas
“He’s got a little mean streak in him like his dad and he shoots the puck like his dad. Not quite as big as his dad, but it doesn’t hinder his play. He’s got the big ticker.
Christian says that his father gives him tips and advice all the time.
It has been said before that Thomas plays just like his father.
Steve Thomas scored over 400 goals and added over 500 assists in his 1,200 game career.
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It never hurts to have bloodlines, especially those that resemble the same kind of player that you are. Thomas has a direct line to someone when he has questions about playing the game the right way at his size and how to get better.
At Hockey’s Future, Leslie Treff lists the Rangers top 20 prospects.
She has Chris Kreider first, Christian Thomas second and Tim Erixon third.
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On Christian Thomas, Treff says “Thomas will need to get much stronger to play in the NHL. If he accomplishes this without compromising his speed, Thomas has the potential to be a first line player.”
The fan rankings that I compiled a few weeks back had Chris Kreider, Tim Erixon and Christian Thomas at the top three. I look at Treff’s top three and see someone who is extremely high on Christian Thomas. I also look at Ryan McDonagh, who isn’t a prospect anymore, being ranked behind Tim Erixon as a showing of the player that Erixon can be. I also love that Jesper Fasth took such a big leap up in the rankings.
Part of me sees JT Miller taking over the number two spot in the spring edition….
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Brock at OHL Prospects picks Christian Thomas to lead the OHL is goals this season.
Thomas finished second in goal scored last season behind Tyler Toffoli. He picks Thomas because of the talent surrounding him in Oshawa and because “he’s such a consistent workhorse. “
He also picks Thomas to be the first line RW on his all-star team.
Thomas has been talked about as an OHL scoring leader before.
Oshawa looks to have a pretty solid team coming into this season and that should help Thomas rack up some points and maybe eclipse the 100 point mark after he came so close last season. We will get our first real look at Thomas starting this weekend at Traverse City and then he gets the chance to make an impression at training camp. I still think that he will return to Oshawa, but we will see.
“I used to say that when Brendan Shanahan would do his one-timer, he had about a 14-inch backswing. I used to call it the ‘wow’ shot, because when it comes off the stick, you just have to say wow,” says Graves. “Christian’s shot is more of a drag-snapper, but it’s still one of those ‘wow’ shots, where the puck just rockets off his stick. I couldn’t advise him on shooting any better than he already shoots.”
Adam Graves on Thomas
Prospect Scott Stajcer says that Thomas’ shot is “tremendous,” accurate and that “he can really rip the puck.”
Thomas scored 54 goals for Oshawa last season. He scored 41 the season before. He had nine goals in ten playoff games last season.
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Thomas will play for the Rangers at the Traverse City tournament.
I can’t wait to see Thomas at Traverse City. You can teach a player a lot of things, but you can’t teach goal scoring. That is what makes Thomas so exciting.
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