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View Poll Results: Are Thomas and Castleman the real deal?
Yes they are both that good - we drafted well. 15 57.69%
Thomas is the real deal Castleman is a fluke. 4 15.38%
Circumstances make them look better than they are. 5 19.23%
Good question it is impossible to tell (or who cares). 2 7.69%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 02-07-2017, 09:30 AM
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Default Are they that good?

Niagara has two players in the top 10 rookies this year Akil Thomas (#2 with 33 points) and Oliver Castleman (#7 with 29 points). My question is are they both really all that good or is it the fact they are on a losing team (like Guelph's Ryan Merkley #1 with 36 points) and they are allowed to play more than the standard newbie including top line or second line time.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:50 AM
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Apples to apples, Castleman is 17 and Thomas is 16. Yes, they're both rookies, but this is is Castleman's NHL draft year. I'm not sure he'll get drafted. I wouldn't call Castleman a "fluke" nor "that good". If he was a real 16 year old rookie, it would be a different story.

Thomas is the real deal.
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by fishfan51 View Post
Apples to apples, Castleman is 17 and Thomas is 16. Yes, they're both rookies, but this is is Castleman's NHL draft year. I'm not sure he'll get drafted. I wouldn't call Castleman a "fluke" nor "that good". If he was a real 16 year old rookie, it would be a different story.

Thomas is the real deal.
You may also want to note one other difference - Thomas is -19 (worst on the team) and Castleman is -4. Thomas is not the quickest to get back and cover his own end - but is very good in the offensive zone. Kid is a finisher for sure.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by fishfan51 View Post
Apples to apples, Castleman is 17 and Thomas is 16. Yes, they're both rookies, but this is is Castleman's NHL draft year. I'm not sure he'll get drafted. I wouldn't call Castleman a "fluke" nor "that good". If he was a real 16 year old rookie, it would be a different story. Thomas is the real deal.
When you look at their birthdates, Castleman is a late '99 (September 15) and Thomas is a very early '00 (January 2) so age isn't really the determining factor. Thomas has had the advantage of top line players and power play time, whereas Castleman has had a mix of second and third line mates. I wouldn't call him a fluke either, he is usually in the right place and doing the right thing. He may get drafted late round this year but it will be an outside chance. Both players play well but Niagara being in full rebuild has helped each of them significantly.
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Old 02-07-2017, 12:12 PM
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When you look at their birthdates, Castleman is a late '99 (September 15) and Thomas is a very early '00 (January 2) so age isn't really the determining factor. Thomas has had the advantage of top line players and power play time, whereas Castleman has had a mix of second and third line mates. I wouldn't call him a fluke either, he is usually in the right place and doing the right thing. He may get drafted late round this year but it will be an outside chance. Both players play well but Niagara being in full rebuild has helped each of them significantly.
They might be close in actual birth dates but when it comes to minor/junior hockey. It's a big factor that one is a 99 and one is 00, it means Castleman has played an extra year of hockey and in turn has one year less of eligibility.

I'd bet Castleman doesn't get drafted, but next year Thomas goes in the first two rounds of the NHL draft.

Thomas should score 30 goals next year if he continues on the path he's on now. If we compare next years Thomas' stats to this years Castlemans, it's a clearer picture of where they are at the same point in their career.

In no way am I trying to take anything away from Castleman, he's been a nice surprise. I just think that Thomas is already the better player and has another year to go.
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Old 02-07-2017, 12:39 PM
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Defensively, Thomas has a long to go in developing his game. The pro's look at players who play a 200 foot game, but, some teams like to gamble.
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Old 02-07-2017, 12:50 PM
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Defensively, Thomas has a long to go in developing his game. The pro's look at players who play a 200 foot game, but, some teams like to gamble.
You can teach defence, you can't teach goal scoring.
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Old 02-07-2017, 12:52 PM
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You can teach defence, you can't teach goal scoring.
You are 100% correct on the above, as long as the player is willing.
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Old 02-07-2017, 03:50 PM
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You are 100% correct on the above, as long as the player is willing.
Great point! My feelings are that both Merkley (-22) and Thomas (-19) are not being held to that standard.
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Old 02-07-2017, 04:47 PM
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Great point! My feelings are that both Merkley (-22) and Thomas (-19) are not being held to that standard.
Looking at the top 25 rookie scoring leaders throughout the OHL.

There are only 9 true 16 year old rookies (2000 born) in the top 25 of rookie scoring. (the rest are 1999's)

Out of those nine, there is only one player that has a positive +/- rating. Allan McShane who was on the first place Erie Otters that traded him to the first place Oshawa Generals. Stands to reason that playing on contenders is going to help with the plus/minus.

Every other 16 year old (2000 born) in the top 25 in rookie scoring has a minus +/- rating.

I'll take Thomas and his hopefully 25 goals and work on his defence.

Last edited by fishfan51; 02-07-2017 at 04:55 PM.
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