Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2019 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here.
With a number of stars up front and one of the best goalie prospects in several years, the US NTDP was a powerhouse this year. However, given all that star power the defence corps were often overlooked. While not flashy, there were a number of solid prospects on that blue line. One of those prospects is Henry Thrun. Thrun put up eight goals and 29 assists for 37 points in 64 games this year. He added one assist in seven games at the IIHF Under-18 World Championship, helping the US squad bring home a bronze medal. Thrun also played for Team Leopold at last fall’s All-American Top Prospects Game.
Last season, Thrun put up two assists in five games at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. He helped the United States squad to a gold medal. Overall he scored seven goals and 32 assists for 39 points in 58 games with the U17 squad. He also got in two games with the U18 team. Thrun is committed to playing hockey for Harvard next year. Should he change his mind and opt to go to the CHL, his rights are owned by the Drummondville Voltigeurs. They drafted him 14th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft.
Henry Thrun Scouting Report
Defence — shoots Left
Born March 12th, 2001 — Southborough, Massachusetts
Height 6’2″ — Weight 190 lbs [188 cm / 86 kg]
Thrun is a solid skater. He has good speed in both directions and reaches that speed quickly with very good acceleration. He also has excellent agility and edgework. His strong lateral movement is very useful in both ends of the ice. Thrun also has crisp pivots which allow him to switch from offence to defence quickly and vice-versa. His balance is decent and he is strong on his skates but could be even stronger. He succeeds against fellow teens but will need to get stronger before going to the NCAA.
Thrun combines his skating ability with good puck handling skills. He can skate past forecheckers and get the puck out of dangerous spots in his own end. He also has the ability to lead the rush through the neutral zone. Thrun generates clean zone entries and can get the team set up on the power play. He is also an effective passer, making a good first pass out of the zone as well as being able to set up scoring chances from the blue line. His poise with the puck is combined with his lateral agility in order to allow Thrun to open up passing and shooting lanes.
Thrun can score from the blue line with a good slap shot and one-timer. He also has a good wrist shot with a quick release. Thrun sneaks down from the blue line and lets that shot off at the top of the faceoff circles. He is also willing to join the rush as a trailer and can use that wrist shot in this situation. While he isn’t the type to make really flashy offensive plays, Thrun has skill and gets the job done in the offensive end of the ice.
Thrun has good size at six-foot-two. He is strong on the boards and in battling in front of the net. Added upper-body strength will be needed as he moves to the next level but he has done well against his age group. Thrun also uses his body to block shots and his long stock to cut down passing lanes. He could use some work on his positioning though, as he doesn’t always keep himself on the right side of his man without the puck. In one-on-one situations, Thrun uses his agility to keep himself in front of attackers and keep good gap control. He forces his man to the outside and into bad shooting positions.
Projection and Comparison
Thrun could become an effective puck-moving defenceman with the ability to play top-four minutes if he develops properly. He will need to continue to work on his defensive game, with his play away from the puck needing some work as well as continue to add muscle to his frame. With his plan to attend Harvard, Thrun will get the opportunity to hit the weight room and improve in that area. His game is reminiscent of Jeff Petry, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Henry Thrun that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect in our NHL Draft series.
Embed from Getty Images