Saturday, September 12, 2009

09/10 Men's Previews: #12 Matt Thurber


Vitals:

Position: Forward
Year in School: Sophomore
Shoots Right
Height: 5-9
Weight: 190
Hometown: Beaver Dam, WI
Major: Business
Previous Team: Omaha (USHL) in 07/08

NHL Considerations: He is just starting his hockey career.

08/09 Stats: 33 games, 2-6-8, -3, 24 PIM
07/08 Stats: 58 games, 14-41-55 +23, 71 PIM

09/10 Role: 4th line and PK (as a fan hoping for more)

08/09 Recap: After a high scoring season in the USHL, I had big hopes for Matt last season, and really he didn’t disappoint me. He was boxed into a 4th line grinder role (due to depth), while not a weakness, I think misses his game’s strength. He has some bright flashes between Thanksgiving and Christmas, especially the night against Michigan State where his line w/ Ben Grotting and John Mitchell accounted for all the offense. While his faceoff % needs to improve, Matt did something no one else was close to doing, which was almost scoring directly from the faceoff circle on a few occasions. Not a bad freshman season overall.

Biggest Strength: Playmaking, we haven’t seen a lot of it yet, but I’ve seen flashes. Hopefully as a sophomore Matt puts it together and shows off his skills. Strong on the PK as well.

Biggest Weakness: Nothing glaring sticks out at me, it appeared he adjusted slowly to the WCHA like most frosh. I won’t pass judgment until I see more of him this season.

09/10 Thoughts: W/ the immense depth at forward this season, Matt is going to have to fight for PT. As the season gets close to starting, I’m eager to hear who’s improved over the summer, who hasn’t and how that translates into an opening night lineup based on a few weeks of practice in October. I again have high hopes for Matt and would like to see him regularly in the lineup, and when he is in there Eaves using some of his playmaking ability instead of miring him as a PK/grinder/checking line role. Not that there is anything wrong w/ the PK, I tip my hat to those who perform that thankless job. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, Matt works hard through this season, he’ll be a big part of the 10/11 team’s offense.

Prediction: 30 games, 6-15-21*
*All predictions for regular season only

Photo from uwbadgers.com