2012 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #26: Dalton Thrower
Team: Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
Date of Birth: December 20, 1993
Place of Birth: North Vancouver, BC
Ht: 6'0" Wt: 195
2011-2012 Regular Season Stats:
| 66 || 18 || 36 || 54 || -4 || 103 |
2011-2012 WHL Playoffs Stats:
| 4 || 0 || 1 || 1 || -4 || 4 |
A rising star for the Blades this season, Dalton Thrower was off the radar for most NHL scouts, but his near point a game pace opened a lot of eyes. After posting just six goals and fourteen assists in his previous season, he was a major producer on the Blades' power play this year, but also contributed on the penalty kill and key defensive zone starts. Late in the season, with the Saskatoon blue line decimated by injuries (sound familiar?) he found himself playing over 30 minutes a game through the end of the regular season and the playoffs. Physical and willing to block shots, it's strangely appropriate that the first links I found for him all went to Hockeyfights. I suppose it really is all in a name...
Thrower has done a nice job of adding an offensive dimension to his game this season by showing improved ability at both ends of the ice. His bread and butter, however, continues to be his gritty style of play and willingness to use his body on the ice. He has a huge impact on the game with his physicality and is never afraid to mix it up with opponents. Thrower needs to continue to show that he can make quick decisions and show improved decision making.
Thrower is a solid all around defenceman who does it all for the Blades. He is used in all situations, with tough matchups at even-strength, top power play unit time, and penalty killing work. Thrower took this responsibility and really excelled this season. In fact it seemed like the more minutes he was given, the better he played. Thrower is a hard-nosed physical player, who enjoys playing a style of "old-time" hockey.
Thrower's biggest improvement this season has come in the offensive end of the ice. He tripled his goal total over last season, and nearly tripled his point output. Thrower has an absolute cannon of a slap shot, and is excellent at firing a one timer on net. He understands how to keep his slapper low and accurate which leads to tip ins and rebounds for his Saskatoon Teammates. Thrower is also shown good passing ability and is very poised with the puck on his stick. He has good hockey sense and vision and often makes the smart pass in the offensive zone. We have seen Thrower skate with the puck and lead the rush on occasion, but he much prefers to use his passing skills to start the Blades transition game, he makes a good first pass out of the zone.
Why He'd Be A Good Fit In Columbus:
Another potential late round / early second round selection, Thrower brings the type of skills, work ethic, and defensive play that put me in mind of a Dennis Seidenberg type player. The idea of adding someone to Columbus' strong defensive prospect pool with the ability to take on any challenge is attractive, especially if he can transition both his scoring and defensive games to the next level.
A player who can change the game with a big goal, a big hit, or a big fight is a rare commodity, and Thrower could become a major impact player for the team who drafts him in a few years.
Thrower In Action: