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NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Thomas Chabot

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May 13, 2015

 

Get to Know Thomas Chabot

Date of Birth: 1/30/97
Place of Birth: Sainte-Marie, QC, CAN
Ht: 6’ 2” Wt: 180 lbs
Shoots: Left
Position: Defenseman
Team: Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

Thomas Chabot established himself as an offensive defenseman early in his young career. In 2013, the Sea Dogs drafted him in the second round of the QMJHL Entry Draft. That first season saw a one-dimensional player who could put up points but struggled significantly in his own end. At the end of the season, his coaches sat down with him to discuss the ways in which they wanted to see his game grow and the type of development they wanted to see over the summer.

Chabot came back for his second sesaon with Saint John a different player. He became more responsible in his own end and, as a result, saw more ice time. It didn’t take long for scouts to take notice, and his stock rose quickly over the course of the season, one that saw an impressive 41 points (12g, 29a) in 66 games. He also played on Team Canada’s U18 team in the World Junior Championships, netting 1 goal and 5 assists in 7 games.

Statistics

What Scouts See

Elite Prospects, Joe Curtis:

A quick-thinking two-way defenseman that is able to make fast decisions and help his team whenever he is on the ice. Possesses excellent mobility and has good individual puck skills; can catch the opposition off guard with his speed. All-in-all, a player who strives to be better with every shift, staying a student of the game. Has the potential to flourish into a very reliable all-around defenseman that can eat up minutes.

Dobber Sports Network, Brendan Ross:

An elite skater, one of the draft’s best, Thomas Chabot uses his best skill set to drive the puck up ice and to escape pressure defensively. He’s shown to be a willing combatant in loose-puck battles but can be overmatched at times, which shouldn’t be an issue long-term as his strength improves. Poised and confident in possession, Chabot uses his natural anticipation skills and abilities to read the play to react one or two steps ahead of his peers. He’s somewhat raw in his development and because he has so many attractive pro skills, he has options as to whether he wants to develop into a pure offensive puck-rushing defenseman or a more modest two-way cerebral blue liner. Chabot is a high-upside defenseman who’s just starting to scratch the surface and a potential riser on the blueline.

What BSN Avalanche Sees
Talk about a dynamic player. Even better, Chabot knows his skills well, and he uses his strengths to drive possession and create plays. He has amazing skating ability: fluid, explosive, creative. He’s mesmerizing to watch. His puckhandling is also impressive, which makes him a dangerous player for the opposition, especially on the power play. Chabot has great vision and is able to make decisions and transitions quickly. He also has a wicked wrist shot that has a way of weaving through traffic to find the back of the net or a teammate’s stick on the tip-in. He’s an exciting player to watch.

Unfortunately, Chabot suffers from the same kinds of problems that many offensive-defenseman have. While tall, he lacks the strength and weight to consistently win battles along the boards. While he’s more than willing to take the hit to make a play, he struggles with maintaining puck control in those moments. When he’s having an off night, he can lose positioning, and if he feels pressured, Chabot can rush the play and make poor passes. Physical and mental growth will go a long way in improving these aspects of his game, however.

Highlights

NHL Potential

If he continues to grow in size and patience, Chabot will establish himself in an NHL lineup with time on the power play. On a team that’s weak on the blueline, he very well could see top-pairing minutes, but he’s most likely to project out to a second-pairing defenseman unless he can improve his game within his own zone.

Expected Draft Position

Chabot has been creating a lot of buzz as draft analysis has heated up the last few months. Most agencies rank him as a mid-first round selection, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him go higher than that. It’s doubtful that he’ll drop further than 20th, however. He’s just too exciting of a player.

How Thomas Chabot Fits in Avalanche Organization

Chabot is another talented defenseman who could fit well within the Avalanche organization. Much like Tyson Barrie, Chabot has strong offensive skills that drive possession. His ability to hit the breakout pass or carry the puck out of the zone is something the Avs desperately need. However, the Avs already have a player like that in the system, one who has been dominating the AHL and is a seasoned professional: Stefan Elliott. Chabot, while a tempting talent, would be redundant.

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