Top 25 Under 25, #12: Thomas Chabot
This is Thomas Chabot's first appearance in the Top 25 Under 25.
Drafted 18th overall by the Senators in June, Thomas Chabot played two years with the Saint John Sea Dogs in the QMJHL before his dreams of being selected by an NHL team were fulfilled.
Chabot is a smooth skating, offensive defenseman who possesses the ability to move the puck with ease whether it's making a perfect pass or taking the puck end to end. As it usually comes with defensemen who enjoy to jump up in the play, the 18-year-old has had the defensive part of his game widely criticized, even by his own organization.
But he's heard the criticism, and he's learned from it.
"The first two games of the (2014-15) season he wasn't paying much detail to the defensive side of it and was too preoccupied to putting up points. So we sat him out and said 'y'know what, last year has past. Last year there was no accountability because we had no one else to play. Now we've got eight defensemen that we can play.' And ever since that game, he's gone uphill. His game has improved steadily, he's more aware defensively. You can see him hit somebody and give them an extra shot. He's playing tougher in our own end." - Darrell Young. Saint John Sea Dogs General Manager. Nov. 12, 2014. John Moore.
Chabot went from being a minus-29 his first season in the QMJHL to finishing with a plus-6 rating last season and an impressive 41 points in 66 games. His game has come a long way in only a year, and he's moulding into a more solid two-way defenseman.
Less than a month ago, Chabot was added to Canada's national junior team development camp roster. And though he isn't a favourite to make the team come December, it's a huge plus that his talent is being recognized, especially at the top level in junior hockey.
Chabot may be a lot of risk/reward, but the Senators seem to have done particularly well with defensemen who have an eye for offense.
Patrick Wiercioch, Cody Ceci, Chris Wideman.
I feel like I'm missing someone.