Ben Thomson
Image: NHL

Ben Thomson


Orangeville Ontario

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









4th round (96th overall), 2012


212 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C


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.


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.

Sea Dogs’ Chabot looks to move beyond being a one-dimensional player

by Chris Roberts

Thomas Chabot - Team Orr - 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Photo: Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman and 2015 prospect Thomas Chabot was chosen to play for Team Orr at the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game where he logged a +3 rating in his team’s 6-0 win (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)


There’s a renewed energy at Harbour Station this season, the home rink for the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs.

Celebrating its 10th season in the league, the proud franchise has returned to respectability after a down season last year. The team sits second in the Maritimes Division, behind the Moncton Wildcats, and they have enough depth to make a strong playoff push. General Manager Darrell Young, who was hired in March of last year, revamped the team in the off-season, plucking several free agents from Ontario and the United States, but a lot of this season’s success can be attributed to the development of the team’s drafted players. Read more»

Off The Radar: Jevpalovs finds a home, but quartet still trying to attract NHL attention

by David Hahn

Nikita Jevpalovs - Blainville-Boisbriand Armada

Photo: Blainville-Boisbriand Armada forward Nikita Jevpalovs had been passed over three times in the NHL Draft but was just signed to a contract by the San Jose Sharks (courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)


The NHL Draft often signals the beginning of a future professional career for many young hopefuls. For those not drafted, it can become a motivator to improve and put in the work necessary in order to be noticed. The Off the Radar article is a monthly feature that spotlights prospects that have been overlooked in previous drafts who could be worthy of another chance. Read more»

Many young players seeing ice time for rebuilding Buffalo Sabres team

by Jason Chen

Nikita Zadorov - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Defenseman Nikita Zadorov is one of several young players to suit up for the Buffalo Sabres this season. Zadorov is a first round pick from the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)


The Buffalo Sabres have not won a game in the 2015 calendar year, but all eyes are on the future, as the rebuild continues. A string of injuries and poor performances by the Sabres’ veterans opened up opportunities for some of the organization’s top AHL players to showcase their skill in the big leagues, and although the results have been mixed, generally speaking the franchise is in good shape for the future.

Read more»

2015 WJC Review: Finland turns in disappointing follow-up to last year’s gold

by Tony Piscotta

Mikko Rantanen - Team Finland - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship

Photo: Team Finland forward and 2015 prospect Mikko Rantanen is ranked second among European skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings for the 2015 NHL Draft (courtesy of Claus Andersen/Getty Images)


In retrospect, the expectations that Finland might be able to match its gold medal-winning performance from the 2014 World Junior Championship were probably overly optimistic. Struggling to score goals through the entire 2015 edition of this tournament, the defending champions finished seventh after falling to rival Sweden, 6-3, in the quarterfinal round. Read more»

2015 WJC Review: Russia relies on team approach to earn silver medal

by Alessandro Seren Rosso

Vladislav Gavrikov - Team Russia - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship

Photo: Team Russia defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov was named the Best Defenseman of the 2015 World Junior Championship by the IIHF Directorate (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)


After a hard-fought round robin at the 2015 World Junior Championship, with a loss against Czech Republic and a shootout needed to defeat Denmark, Team Russia had a strong showing during the playoff round. They defeated the USA and Sweden to move on to the gold medal game, only to drop a one-goal game to Canada en route to a silver medal. Valeri Bragin did a great job of motivating the team, even during the championship game when Canada was leading by three goals. Read more»

Related Articles