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Canadiens 2015 Draft Targets: Thomas Chabot

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Thomas Chabot is one of the most interesting defenders available for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft

Recently, NHL teams have transitioned towards properly evaluating the benefit of carrying many puck-moving defencemen on their roster.

The Habs, for example, presently ice a lineup that's littered with mobile blue liners, and even though they don't necessarily utilize this rather large benefit to their advantage when it comes to exiting the defensive zone, it's clear that Marc Bergevin understands the role that speed and skating plays when it comes to launching the offense.

Place of Birth: Ste-Marie-de-Beauce, Québec

Shoots: Left

Position: Defence

Heigth: 6’2"   Weight: 179 lbs

The Saint John Sea Dogs defender has established himself as a first-round target thanks to his high hockey IQ, his mobility, and his ability to play a well-rounded two-way game. He's especially comfortable when it comes to supporting the offense, and even though he doesn't possess a heavy shot, he does know how to get it on net.

Chabot won a bronze medal with Team Canada at the Under-18 Championship, as well as owning the second-longest scoring streak by a defenceman in Sea Dogs history (1 goal and 9 assists.)

He answered many questions this season, by playing a responsible game in his own end, again thanks to his mobility. Finishing 5th in team scoring this season with 41 points, Chabot was far and away Saint John's best defenceman.

Scouting

Elite Prospects

A quick-thinking two-way defenseman that is able to make fast decisions and help his team whenever he is on the ice. Possesses excellent mobility and has good individual puck skills; can catch the opposition off guard with his speed. All-in-all, a player who strives to be better with every shift, staying a student of the game. Has the potential to flourish into a very reliable all-around defenseman that can eat up minutes.

Future Considerations

A strong passer who delivers pucks with good timing and accuracy…has the ability to read the play and pick-and-choose his spots…has a powerful stride that generates power but could improve the overall quickness in his feet…willing to join the offensive attack…handles the puck well…not a big point shot but gets it on net consistently…reads the play well in his own zone and defensively he has the size and reach to close off lanes…good transition defender that moves the puck up ice.
"Chabot’s game is very similar to that of St. Louis Blue defender Alex Pietrangelo when he was in the OHL. Chabot should be among the first wave of defensemen taken in the draft as he has a high upside and will only need time to finish developing his overall game."

McKeen's

A versatile defender who can play big minutes in all situations , powered by long springy strides – skating mechanics provide a solid base - needs to work on adding strength and quickness to his stride .. pivots and turns are smooth and composed providing steady shielding. Exceptional footwork, elegant and effortless transition from back to forwards. An intelligent puck carrier with really fluid crossover steps - maintaining a soft control on the puck at all times. Wants to be a difference-maker and will use his ability to carry it into the offensive zone. High hockey IQ, anticipating the play well, jumping up aggressively as an attacker. Keeps his head up when walking the blueline and gets his shots through as a result.
Rankings

Future Considerations: 21st

Hockey Prospect: 12th

Central Scouting Service, North American Skaters: 16th

International Scouting Service: 16h

McKeens: 21st

Thoughts

All things considered, Chabot is the type of prospect that scouts should drool over. The main concern is whether or not he'll still be available once the Canadiens finally make it to the podium. Interestingly, Bob McKenzie has Chabot sitting as the 25th overall pick on his draft consensus ranking, which means there's a possibility that the Habs could get their hands on this talented player.

If he does happen to be on the board once the 26th overall pick comes around, there's no doubt in my mind that Trevor Timmins and company should jump at the chance at adding such a talented player to the prospect pool.