The pick is in, and the Tampa Bay Lightning has selected defenseman Ben Thomas with the 119th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
There is absolutely no denying that Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman has made a very distinctive point with his selections in this year’s draft.
He has made it a point to get quality defensemen that will aid the Lightning in filling some of the holes that the Lightning has suffered through in the past few seasons.
This is where players like Ben Thomas come in.
Last season with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League, Thomas played in a total of 72 games. In this amount of time, he was able to secure 7 goals and 24 assists for a total of 31 points to accompany his plus-11 rating.
In the post season, Thomas played an additional 6 games with the Hitmen where he was able to net another goal and 5 assists for 6 points to accompany his plus-5 rating.
He was first place among Hitmen defensemen during the post season, which made him fifth overall.
At 6 foot 1 inches tall and 192 pounds; he is just about where we need a hard hitting defenseman to be. As he matures and begins to train at a more professional level, I have no doubt that he can pack on a few additional pounds and turn into a pretty solid brick wall.
At 18 years old, it may be a season or two before we see him take the ice at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Lightning blue; I honestly think that he may be one of the most underrated players that the Lightning acquired in this draft.
What are your thoughts on the newest addition to the Bolts Nation? What does a defenseman like Thomas bring to the table for an organization like the Tampa Bay Lightning? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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