Thomas Novak
Image: USA Hockey

Thomas Novak

Hometown:

River Falls Wisconsin

Currently Playing In:

NCAA

Birthday:

1997-04-28

Position:

C

Eligible for draft:

2015

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2015

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

3rd Round (85th Overall), 2015

Weight:

179 lbs.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream
History

2011-12: Thomas Novak skated for the varsity team at Minnesota small school state champion St. Thomas Academy as a ninth-grader. He scored 18 goals with 25 assists and 2 penalty minutes in 31 games. St. Thomas defeated Totino-Grace, 2-1, to capture the Section 4A title and topped Hermantown in the state championship game for the second straight year, winning 5-1. 

2012-13: Novak led St. Thomas Academy in scoring as the Cadets won their third straight  Division A state championship. He scored 28 goals with 29 assists and had 6 penalty minutes in 31 games. The Cadets faced Hermantown in the state championship game for the third straight season, winning 5-4. Novak attended USA Hockey’s Select 16 Player Development camp in July, scoring 4 goals with 7 assists for Team Kelly in pool play. Novak was selected by Des Moines in the first round (third overall) in the 2013 USHL Futures Draft. 

2013-14: Novak represented the USA for the first time, skating for the Select U17 team in the Five Nations Tournament in Slovakia in August, and played for Team Southeast in the Upper Midwest Elite High School League in the fall before returning to St. Thomas Academy for his junior year. He scored 3 goals with 3 assists in four games at the Five Nations Tournament. Novak scored 11 goals with 22 assists and 8 penalty minutes in 19 games for Team Southeast. He scored 26 goals with 44 assists in 25 games for St. Thomas Academy. Moving from the A to the AA level, the Cadets defeated Hastings and Eastview before falling to Eagan, 4-2, in the Section 3AA tournament. Novak scored a goal with an assist in the game against Eagan. He appeared in two games with the USA National Team Development Program’s U17 team, with no points nor penalties. Novak was selected by Kitchener in the 13th round (242nd overall) in the 2014 OHL Priority Draft. 

2014-15: Novak skated for the USA U18 team at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament before joining the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks; foregoing his senior season of high school hockey. Obtained by the Black Hawks from Des Moines in a summer trade,  he was the second-leading scorer for Waterloo behind another former Minnesota high school player, Brock Boeser. Novak scored 14 goals with 34 assists in 46 games and was +14 with 12 penalty minutes. Waterloo finished fifth in the Western Conference, missing the playoffs. Novak, like Boeser, represented the USA in the 2014 World Junior A Challenge, scoring 3 goals with 4 assists in four games. He scored 5 goals with 6 assists and was +2 with 6 penalty minutes in five games for the USA at the Ivan Hlinka tournament.  Novak committed to playing college hockey at the University of Minnesota in 2015-16 in December 2014. He played for Team Olczyk in the 2014 USA All-American Top Prospects Game and was ranked 28th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings prior to the 2015 NHL Draft.

Talent Analysis

Novak is a highly-skilled forward with a strong understanding of the game and outstanding shooting/passing and stick handling skills. He is still developing physically and will need more strength to compete at the higher levels of hockey. His willingness to compete in tight spaces and determination in tough spots will determine just how successful he can be at the collegiate and eventually pro level.

Future

Novak missed most of the Predators development camp after heading to the University of Minnesota to begin his studies. He is expected to challenge for a significant role with the Golden Gophers as a freshman. Still a long-term project in terms of developing physically and adding the consistency to compete at the NHL level on a nightly basis, Novak's offensive skills and hockey intelligence suggest he can one day be a two-way center with some scoring ability. Going the NCAA route should afford him the time to reach that potential.

Nashville Predators hold on hope for prospects in European pros and college

by Tony Piscotta
on
Joonas Lyytinen - Nashville Predators

Photo: The Nashville Predators have invested a lot of assets in European players like prospect Joonas Lyytinen over the years, but the returns have been somewhat sluggish (courtesy of Atte Rissanen/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)

 

 

The Nashville Predators have one of their top prospects playing in the NCAA ranks — though Jimmy Vesey’s ultimate destination has been a source of much conjecture. The other five prospects playing college hockey are less established at this point.

Read more»

Professional outlook still strong for Top 20 Nashville Predators prospects

by Tony Piscotta
on
Kevin Fiala - Nashville Predators

Photo: 2014 1st-round pick Kevin Fiala remains the Nashville Predators’ top prospect but carrying the worst plus-minus for the Milwaukee Admirals suggests he has work to do before becoming a trustworthy NHL player (courtesy of Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

 

The 2015-16 season has been an eventful one for the prospects in the Nashville Predators system. The top of the list remains largely intact but several players have either had breakout seasons or no longer seem to fit in the organization’s plans. Read more»

Nashville Predators prospects hope to help a contender in 2015-16

by Tony Piscotta
on
Yakov Trenin - Nashville Predators

Photo: Gatineau’s Yakov Trenin, the Predators’ first pick of the 2015 Draft, got a late start on the QMJHL season due to training camp but can provide steady offense for his club (courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)

 

 

The Nashville Predators organization has undergone quite a transformation in the nearly 17 months since Peter Laviolette took over as the second coach in franchise history. That transformation figures to continue as some of the veterans brought in to revive the franchise eventually retire or are moved to make room for the young prospects coming up through the system.

Read more»

European talents dominate Top 20 Nashville Predators prospects

by Tony Piscotta
on
Kevin Fiala - Nashville Predators

Photo: Kevin Fiala remains Nashville’s best prospect but might need an exceptional AHL start to propel him into the NHL (courtesy of Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

 

 

With the exception of goaltender Magnus Hellberg being traded to the New York Rangers — and some uncertainty about the progress of top defense prospect Jack Dougherty — little has changed in the top half of the Predators Fall Top 20 from the previous list last spring.

Read more»

2015 NHL Draft: Nashville Predators draft review

by Tony Piscotta
on
Yakov Trenin - Nashville Predators

Photo: For the second year in a row, the Nashville Predators took a Russian-born prospect with their second-round pick: Gatineau’s Yakov Trenin brings skill and some needed size to the system. (courtesy of Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

 

 

Coming off a season in which the Nashville Predators exceeded expectations — challenging for the top spot in the Central Division for much of the season and then giving eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago all it could handle in the first round — Nashville entered the 2015 NHL Draft looking to add depth to its core group. Read more»

Related Articles