Ben Thomson
Image: NHL

Ben Thomson

Hometown:

Orangeville Ontario

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1993-01-16

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2012

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2012

Height:

6-4

Acquired:

4th round (96th overall), 2012

Weight:

212 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2009-10: Drafted by the Kitchener Rangers in the 8th round (143rd overall) in the 2009 OHL Priority Draft, Ben Thomson skated in 46 games for Kitchener in his first season and represented Ontario in the 2010 U17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored 6 goals with 6 assists and was plus-2 with 30 penalty minutes. Kitchener finished second in the Midwest Division and reached the playoff semifinals. Thomson skated in 11 of 20 playoff games and was an even plus/minus with 1 assist and 6 penalty minutes. In six games for silver medal-winning Canada Ontario at the U17 WHC he scored 1 goal with 1 assist and had 2 penalty minutes.

2010-11: Thomson provided a physical presence to a Kitchener lineup with several high profile offensive prospects in his second season with the Rangers. One of three players to play in all 68 games, he had the third-most penalty minutes (107) for Kitchener and finished minus-7; scoring 6 goals with 13 assists.  Kitchener again finished second in the Midwest Division and fell to Plymouth in a first round playoff series. Thomson skated in all seven games and had 1 assist with 6 penalty minutes. He was ranked 146th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2011 NHL Draft but was not selected in his first year of eligibility.

2011-12:  Thomson displayed some play-making ability to go along with his physical presence and had the Rangers’ third-best plus/minus (plus-21)  in his third OHL season with Kitchener. In 67 games he scored 11 goals with 30 assists and was second on the team with 137 penalty minutes. Kitchener reached the playoff semifinals after finishing second to OHL champion London in the Midwest Division. In 16 playoff games Thomson scored 5 goals with 5 assists and was minus-5 with 36 penalty minutes. Not among the 210 North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings, Thomson was selected by New Jersey in the fourth round (96th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.

2012-13: Thomson was an assistant captain for Kitchener in his fourth OHL season. He scored a career-high 15 goals and again led the Rangers with 119 penalty minutes; finishing minus-3 with 17 assists in 67 games. Kitchener finished third in the Midwest Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. Thomson scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was minus-1 with 18 penalty minutes in 10 playoff games.

2013-14: Thomson attended training camp with New Jersey before being returned to Kitchener for an overage season in the OHL. Acquired by North Bay in a November trade, he was named an alternate captain and had a big role in the Battalion’s run to the OHL Finals. After scoring 3 goals with 3 assists in 12 games with the Rangers he scored 24 goals with 15 assists and was plus-20 with 56 penalty minutes in 43 regular season games for North Bay. North Bay finished first in the Central Division — sweeping Oshawa in the Western Conference finals before falling to Guelph in the OHL finals. Thomson scored 5 goals with 9 assists and was plus-5 with 64 penalty minutes in 22 playoff games. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with New Jersey in May 2014. 

Talent Analysis

Thomson's bread and butter is his size and physicality. That makes him very effective along the boards and in the corners as he is nearly impossible to knock off the puck when he is in on the cycle. He will never be confused as a player with a lot of natural puck skills and creativity, but his presence down-low allows him to fight for garbage goals. He does skate well for his size, is responsible defensively and will not hesitate to drop the gloves when the time calls for it.

Future

Thomson attended training camp with the Devils before being assigned to AHL affiliate Albany to start the 2014-15 season. Coming off a strong finish to his junior career, he has shown a limited offensive game in his first pro season but has provided a hardness element to the Albany lineup. It will be tough for him to crack the lineup in New Jersey given the huge depth of forwards competing for the same spots, but he might have an edge if he continues to use his size effectively in the offensive zone.

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