New York Rangers News

Thomas named CHL Player of Week

Rangers prospect was the very best in major-junior hockey last week

Wednesday, 11.24.2010 / 11:10 AM / News
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Rangers prospect Christian Thomas should be no stranger to the concept of big scoring outbursts in the Ontario Hockey League. After all, it's in his genes.

Thomas' father, former NHL star Steve Thomas, once scored 10 points for the old Toronto Marlboros in a 1984 game against Kingston. That performance is tied for the second-best ever by an OHL player. Steve Thomas went on to score 421 NHL goals and 933 NHL points in the course of a 20-season pro career

Christian Thomas was drafted by the Rangers 40th overall in 2010 and has raised his stock even higher since being a top prospect at the NHL Entry Draft.
Last weekend, Christian took a page from his father's major-junior scoring book, erupting for a career-high six points in a 10-3 win over Erie on Friday night and following it up with four more points in the Oshawa Generals' 7-4 victory over Barrie on Sunday afternoon.

Against the Otters, Thomas scored a hat trick and three assists. Two of his goals were on the power play, and the other was scored shorthanded. Against the Colts, he had two more goals at even-strength, bringing his season total to 17 goals in 20 games.

When the stunning weekend was over, Thomas had a total of five goals and five assists in two games -- making him an easy choice for the weekly OHL Player of the Week award.

What was obvious as of Sunday afternoon became official on Monday, as Thomas was named the OHL Player of the Week. In gaining this recognition, Thomas became the first Oshawa player to achieve that honor this season.

On Wednesday, Thomas followed up the OHL honor by being named the Canadian Hockey League Player of the Week. He was recognized as the top player in all of major-junior hockey for the week ending Nov. 21. Thomas is the fourth OHL player to win the CHL honor this season. A total of nine weekly honors have been awarded so far.

Thomas now stands 12th overall in the OHL scoring race with 33 points and is tied for fifth in goals.

A second-round Rangers pick last June, Thomas, who was chosen 40th overall, has done nothing but add to his NHL credentials since the draft. At the Traverse City Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich., he was one of the Rangers' most effective players, scoring the kinds of goals that lift people out of their seats and seeing a lot of ice time on the team's top line with current Rangers rookie Derek Stepan and Hartford's Evgeny Grachev, who has also been in the NHL this season during a call-up earlier this month.

Last season, Thomas scored 41 goals for the Generals, and he is on pace to easily surpass that mark this season. Earlier this month, he scored a goal for Team OHL in a 4-0 victory over Team Russia in the annual Subway Superseries.