Friday, September 12, 2008

Men's Player Previews: #12 Matt Thurber

Vitals:

Position: Forward
Year in School: Freshman
Shoots Right
Height: 5-9
Weight: 190
Hometown: Beaver Dam, WI
Previous Team: Omaha Lancers (USHL)

NHL Considerations: 30 teams made the mistake of not picking Matt in the later rounds.

07/08 Stats: 58 games, 14-41-55, +23, 71 PIM
06/07 Stats: 58 games, 11-32-43, +16, 55 PIM

08/09 Role: 1st or 2nd EV line, definately PK, should see some PP time too

07/08 Recap: What a year in the USHL for Matt. His team won both the Anderson Cup (best regular season record) and Clark Cup (Playoff Champs), and he was a huge part of both of those successes. As I stated in my freshman class preview, it was a real breakout year for Matt, and he was near of the top of the USHL in several different categories. He was tied for 14th in scoring, 4th in assists, 5th in +/-, and 1st in short handed goals league wide. Looks like the Badgers have playmaker and top PK guy to add to the mix. I went up to Green Bay specifically to see Matt play against the Gamblers, but unfortunately he had the flu that night. Guess I'll have to be patient a few more weeks.

08/09 Thoughts: Of all the freshman coming in, I think Matt's three seasons in the USHL have him ready to jump right in and make a contribution from the first drop of the puck in Boston. He is the player I'm most looking forward to seeing play, and I think along w/ freshman teammates Derek Stepan and Jordy Murray is going to have a big impact on the team this season. The Badgers really lack playmaking on the team, and that is one of Matt's specialties along w/ top notch defense. I expect Matt to instantly become a fan favorite (growing up 40 minutes from Madison always adds to the cheers), and I think Badger fans will be very happy #12 is in the lineup.

Prediction: 32 games, 4-14-18