Montreal Canadiens Update: Christian Thomas “Has a massive heart”
Christian Thomas – Getty Images
By James Stephan (@J_Habs)
While he is short, he has a massive heart – Brian Huddle
Before Danny Kristo had a chance to taste the sweet jubilation of a Canadiens home game, the young forward was dealt for diminutive forward Christian Thomas.
While Canadiens fans are very familiar with the type of player Danny Kristo is, many taken aback in their when they saw the one for one swap of prospects last night, and many sat in their chairs absolutely perplexed wondering who in the world is this Thomas fellow.
Christian Thomas is no ordinary player; sitting down with former OHL scout Brian Huddle, he couldn’t say enough about the Toronto native.
I think Thomas has long term upside as a scoring winger, obviously. While he is short, he has a massive heart, and I swear I’m not trying to turn him into a romantic prospect. He works his butt off each shift and is relentless on the puck. Like his dad, he has a chip on his shoulder and has some mean in his game, but more or less is going to base his game around his speed down the wing and his hard shot, which finds net quite a bit. If he can continue to add those three skills into a consistent package, he should be lighting lamps in the NHL for a couple years.
Needless to say Brian was a big Christian Thomas admirer in his days as an Oshawa General, and when asked what career projection could we see with Thomas, as he’s been refered to as a high-end skill player, Brian said:
Is the skill there? Yes. But obviously he has things to overcome, and a lot of things need to go right. In a perfect world he could be a career 30 goal scorer, but with his height-challenged body, and need to round out his game, I see a guy whose numbers will likely fluctuate year to year and settle him in on a secondary scoring line, akin to what Danny Briere was in his early Philly days.
Rick Springhetti, a scout for McKeens Magazine also gave his input on Twitter regarding the trade –
@Rick1042: Regarding Thomas-Kristo trade:You prefer a prospect who is quick but small that can play on the 3rd line or one who scores? I prefer Thomas – Rick Springhetti
The Hockey Guys draft team member Brendan Ross also gave his two cents on Thomas-
@RossyYoungblood: @J_Habs pure sniper. I like this trade for the Habs – Brendan Ross
When asked what upside Thomas has, Brendan was quick to answer
@RossyYoungblood: @J_Habs definitely top 6 –Brendan Ross
Following three dominant seasons with the Oshawa Generals, Thomas took on the challenge of his first taste at the pro level, and while he may not have been a point per game like most were hoping, he proved that he could handle the tough gritty level that the AHL has to offer. Tallying 19 goals in 73 games for a rookie, isn’t too shabby at all; his unique mix of high-end skill, speed, tenacity and character make the reasons very clear why Marc Bergevin felt the need to pursue this player.
Danny Kristo may not have seen an NHL debut with le bleu, blanc et rouge but the Canadiens clearly felt they had seen enough to make the exchange, receiving the younger, tenacious, highly skilled forward who is overflowing with character according to Marc Bergevin.
As the smoke clears, and the fear of having yet another forward under six feet subsides, it is clear that Montreal received a very good prospect with a bright future; a prospect that overflows with the character that the new Canadiens regime holds in such high regard, and if Calder Cup finalist Brendan Gallagher has showed anything, it’s not how big you are, but rather how big your heart is.