Welcome to the second day of our Top 25 Under 25 countdown here at The Cannon! Thanks to the more than 120 of you who participated in our reader poll. Throughout the month of August, we’ll reveal a new player each weekday based on your ranking.
#24 Calvin Thurkauf
24th out of 55 eligible players (310 points)
Highest placement: #3 (1 ballot)
Most common placement: #20 and #22 (5 each)
Birthdate: June 27, 1997
Birthplace: Zug, Switzerland
Weight: 204 lbs
Acquired: Drafted by Columbus in Round 7 of the 2016 draft (#185 overall)
Playing in all but one game during the 2017-18 season, Calvin Thurkauf became a staple on the ice for the Cleveland Monsters.
He started the season off with a bang However, sometime around the end of December things seemed to go awry. Due to the deep pool of centers at the time, Thurkauf was moved from center to wing. His minutes were slashed and as a result his confidence took a minor hit. Despite all of this, Thurkauf still remained positive and worked his butt off to get back into the top six.
He began to shine again towards the middle of March. Partially because Coach John Madden put Thurkauf back in the role of center. I’m unsure of all the reasons why his spark was reignited. Whatever it was, I hope it stays lit because the love he has for the game is infectious.
With four games left in the season, I asked Thurkauf what his goals were for those final games. Simply put, he said, “Help the team win all the games.” Despite winning only one of the last four games of the season, the Monsters looked impeccable and most of the guys played good hockey. Thurkauf was one of the most impactful players on the team during the final stretch. He was there every step of the way keeping the team in the game by setting up plays, scoring four points, and getting inside of “tough guys” heads.
In 75 games, Thurkauf tallied 11 goals and 13 assists.
This summer has been a whirlwind of Swiss National Camps, workouts, and travel for Thurkauf. It’s clear he is taking the summer to get physically and mentally fit for the impending season. He’s begun to understand the necessity to follow up hard work with blocks of relaxation.
I firmly believe, if Thurkauf keeps on this path, he will be a fixture in the top six in Cleveland for the entirety of the season.
Due to an abundance of forwards at the NHL level, moving up to Columbus will be dependent on injuries and being able to surpass guys like Zac Dalpe and Nathan Gerbe.
Thurkauf will likely be at Columbus Blue Jackets training camp this fall. As well as, playing in the Traverse City Prospects Tournament September 7-11.