The Canadian Press

Fantasy Summary

Highly skilled and very fast center despite a lower than average size. Great puck control abilities. Much better and stronger forechecker than his size would suggest.


Observations

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May 2022 – In just his second professional season in the AHL, Thomas was plagued with the infamous sophomore slump. He saw a decline from his rookie season point total of 26 points in 40 games played cut in half to 13 points in 40 games played. What Thomas lost in offensive production, he gained by refining his 200-foot game and on the penalty kill for most of the season. Despite the woes offensively, Thomas has tallied three goals in just two playoff games for the Reign thus far in the postseason. This could be a strong indicator that his complete game is beginning to translate into some offence, which only bodes well for his prospects of making the Kings out of training camp next fall. What Thomas has lacked this year when he has the puck, he makes up for his tremendous play on the forecheck and finding a way to win puck battles. This could indicate a moderate offensive boost to start next year if he can find a way to translate those possessions into scoring opportunities, while a jump in offensive deployment could help his case. It feels like Akil Thomas has been around forever, but as a two-way centre at only 22-years-old, we can still expect an all-around improvement on his game, and he could even compete for a bottom-six role with the Kings if he can crack the big club’s roster in the fall. Sean Crocker

January 2020 – Thomas has waived his no-trade clause to solidify a move to the Peterborough Petes. This trade takes place a few days after Thomas had returned from scoring his gold medal game-winner at the World Junior Championship. The former Niagara captain will find himself on a much more talented and competitive club, as Peterborough currently sits in third in the OHL Eastern Conference Standings. This move should only bolster Thomas’ offensive production before he inevitably makes the jump to pro hockey next season. Julian Mongillo

 

January 2020 – Thomas rewarded his country for selecting him for this years World Junior Championships by scoring the game-winning goal for Team Canada in the gold medal game. Having served as the teams’ fourth-line center for most of the tournament; including only playing about four minutes before potting his first and only goal of the tournament off of a resilient effort to poke the puck into space before corralling it and finishing backhand over the Russian goaltender. The Niagara Ice Dogs captain displayed his determination and willingness to battle and was a key contributor to Canada’s penalty kill. He will return to his usual top-line role with the Ice Dogs and look to continue to prove his doubters wrong. Julian Mongillo

 

October 2019 – Thomas had a good showing during training camp but was ultimately returned back to the Niagara Ice Dogs of the OHL. It will be his fourth year serving as a member of the Ice Dogs and was named captain of the team for this season. With the Kings organization’s surplus at the center position and the ability for Thomas’ entry-level contract to slide, his next opportunity to begin his pro career will come next season. To no surprise Thomas has started the OHL season off with ten points through his first six games played with Niagara. Julian Mongillo

 

March 2019 – Thomas is following up his second OHL season with the Niagara Ice Dogs with an even better year in the 2018-19 season. The 19-year-old right-handed center has already surpassed his previous point-production from last year by 16 points with eight games still remaining on the season. Although the Ice Dogs who currently sit second in the Eastern Conference and fourth overall in OHL standings are a team with many weapons, Akil is a major contributor to the teams’ success thus far as he currently sits ninth in OHL scoring amassing 97 points in 60 games this season. It is evident that Thomas certainly has raw talent and skill and his ability to play both the center and wing positions, including playing on the point in power play situations, and still maintaining his defensive responsibilities largely increases his capability to blossom into a full-time NHL player. He will continue to play an essential role for the Ice Dogs for the rest of the season and into the playoffs, and his continual progression in offensive production over his last three seasons displays tremendous signs of growth and development. He has the potential to push for a roster spot at the Kings training camp next season, and be a steal for the Kings who picked him 51st overall back in 2018. Julian Mongillo

 

July 2018 – Thomas was drafted 51st overall in the 2018 NHL draft while different prospects rankings listed him between the 17 and 32 ranks weeks prior to the event. Thomas’ selection could be seen as a steal in years to come, but size will become more of an issue while he progresses towards his pro career. With 129 points in as many OHL games in his first two seasons, the speedy center did not waste time showing his great offensive skills and leadership, wearing the “A” at only 17 years old with the Niagara Ice Dogs. The American/Canadian citizen is a tireless worker who shows much more than speed, using every square foot on the ice to his advantage with a high quality puck control and ticket-selling creativity. A career in the NHL might not be guaranteed, but having him on a minor league roster in deeper fantasy leagues could bring high rewards in the future. Carl Sinclair

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 7.5
NHL Certainty 8.0
Country CAN
Position C
Roster Type System
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth January 2, 2000
Height 5‘11”
Weight 177 lbs
Drafted 2018 Round 2; Overall: 51

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2013-2014 Toronto Marlboros U14 AAAGTHL U14- - -- -|        
 2014-2015 Toronto Marlboros U15 AAAGTHL U15- - -- -|        
 2015-2016 Toronto Marlboros U16 AAAGTHL U1656 33 3972 12|        
  St. Michael's College SchoolCISAA2 0 22 0|        
  St. Michael's College SchoolMPHL0 0 00 0|Playoffs2 0 11
  Toronto Marlboros U16 AAAToronto Titans U167 6 612 0|        
  St. Michael's BuzzersOJHL3 0 0