Tommy Cross
Image: NHL

Tommy Cross

Hometown:

Simsbury Connecticut

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1989-09-12

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2007

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2007

Height:

6-3

Acquired:

2nd round (35th overall), 2007

Weight:

210 lbs.

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History

2006-07: Though Tommy Cross was invited to join the USNTDP (he did join the team in March of 2007 for two games),  he opted to play out the season at Westminster High, where he totaled 20 points and 20 penalty minutes in 25 games. He was also part of Team USA in the 2007 WJC U-18, playing a total 7 games during which he registered an assist and 4 penalty minutes.

2007-08: Recovered from his knee injury and back on the ice for his senior year at Westminster High, Tommy Cross served as one of his team’s captains before moving on to the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets (USHL) at the close of the season

2008-09: This was Cross’s rookie season with BC, a 24 game campaign that resulted in eight assists.

2009-10: In 38 games for Boston College, Cross scored 5 goals and added 5 assists for 10 points.

2010-11: Cross was slowed a bit at the beginning of the season due to a right knee injury (he had previously had problems with the other knee) but rebounded to have an outstanding season as an assistant captain for the Boston College Eagles. In 28 games, he scored 7 goals (3 on the power play) with 11 assists and was +13 with 45 PMs. Cross, a junior, was named to Hockey East’s All-Tournament team, finishing with 1 goal and 4 assists in four tournament contests, and was +3 in the Eagle’s 5-3 win over Merrimack in the championship game.

2011-12: Cross signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Bruins in April 2012 and made his pro debut with AHL Providence after concluding his college career. Cross had no points and was plus-one with 2 penalty minutes in two AHL games. He was the second-leading scorer amongst defensemen for Boston College as a senior as the Eagles dominated college hockey en route to their second NCAA championship in three years. He scored 5 goals with 19 assists and was plus-15; sharing the team lead in penalty minutes (66) with Rangers’ prospect Chris Kreider. Boston College captured the Hockey East regular season and playoff titles and out-scored their four opponents in the NCAA tournament by a combined margin of 16-2; winning 19 straight games to finish the year.

2012-13: Cross began his first pro season in the ECHL with South Carolina due to a surplus of defensemen with the Bruins’ AHL affiliate in Providence before being promoted in November. He steadily worked his way into ice time, appearing in 42 AHL games and finishing +15 with 1 goal, 10 assists and 23 penalty minutes. Providence finished first in the Atlantic Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. Cross played all 12 playoff games and was +3 with 3 assists and 8 penalty minutes. In 24 ECHL games with South Carolina he scored 6 goals with 13 assists and was -1 with 19 penalty minutes.

2013-14: Cross skated in 55 games for Bruins AHL affiliate Providence in a lower pairing role in his second pro season. He scored 3 goals with 4 assists and was -9 with 54 penalty minutes. Providence finished third in the Atlantic Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. Cross played in all 12 playoff games and was +2 with 3 assists and 8 penalty minutes. He was tendered a qualifying offer by Boston and re-signed as a restricted free agent to a one-year contract in July 2014. 

Talent Analysis

Cross is a big defenseman who is not only strong on his skates but can turn on the jets when necessary. Overall he sees the ice well and has considerable hockey sense. He uses his size and strength, along with good stickhandling ability to effectively shut down opponents around his net and along the boards. Cross will play physical game with an emphasis on his defensive play but does have a strong shot and some limited offensive capabilities.

Future

Cross attended training camp with the Bruins before being assigned to AHL affiliate Providence at the start of the 2014-15 season. Now in his third pro season, Cross saw more ice time than expected early in the year due to injuries to defensemen throughout the Bruins' organization and has taken advantage of the increased role. He has displayed some of the offensive attributes of his Boston College days while at the same time playing a strong two-way game. Long-term he could project as high as a Dennis Seidenberg-type, if he can continue to refine his outlet game and continues integrating himself into the play in all three zones. Injuries have slowed his progress and there is a lot of depth in the Boston organization. He may have to head elsewhere to get his NHL opportunity.

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2007 prospects: Q&A with Tom Cross

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Tommy Cross, a defenseman at Westminster High School in Simsbury, Connecticut, tested early in the morning of the second day of the NHL Combine’s fitness challenges. With good balance, agility, and vertical results, Cross excelled at the extremely difficult windgate bike test.

The 6’3, 195 lbs blueliner was ranked 12th among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting’s final ratings, and had been invited to join the United States NTDP, but decided to return home to Connecticut for high school. This past season, he played 25 games with Westminster, recorded 20 points, with 20 PIM.  He also participated in the U18 WJCs this past April, and registered one assist in seven games at the tournament (4 PIM, +2).

Cross’ demeanor and test results at the Combine did nothing to hurt the possibility that he will be a first-round selection later this month. In total, Cross had 28 interviews scheduled over the 48-hour period during which he was in attendance at the Toronto Combine.

HF spoke to Cross immediately after he completed the fitness portion of the event. 

HF: How do you feel after this workout?

TC: I feel great, in fact, this is fun. You can’t beat it, being around all the guys, and having people watching. I’ve watched the NFL Combine on TV before, so it’s really cool to actually be at a Combine.  The testing is tough but it’s all part of the business.
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