In honor of a new AHL affiliation, the Weekly One Timer introduces you to one member of the Chicago Wolves organization with five facts about and five quotes from that person.
This week’s edition focuses on forward Paul Thompson (no relation to head coach Rocky Thompson).
1. Paul Thompson played four years of college hockey at the University of New Hampshire (2007-11). In his final season, he was not only the Hockey East Scoring Champion, but also a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. SOURCE: https://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=12080
2. The forward went undrafted but was signed to a two-year contract by the Pittsburgh Penguins organization at the conclusion of his collegiate career.
3. Thompson has played 24 career NHL games (3A) and 390 career AHL games (106G, 102A).
4. He split play last season between the Florida Panthers and the Springfield Thunderbirds (21 and 51 games, respectively). With Springfield, the winger was almost a point-per-game player, with 19 goals and 23 assists (42 points).
5. Signing with the Vegas Golden Knights in the offseason marked the fifth organization Thompson has been part of. Before joining Vegas, he was (in chronological order) a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers organizations.
6. He wore an “A” last season with the Springfield Thunderbirds, and the forward has the letter on his chest again this year. When asked whether he always looks to be a leader, Thompson said,
“I think so. It’s a role that I was kind of put into last year, asked to be a leader on a younger team last year, so it’s something that I kind of expect from myself. I take pride in [it], [I] just try to set an example with the way you play and practice. Just help some younger guys and set an example.”
7. What made him want to join the Vegas Golden Knights, and thus the Chicago Wolves, was:
“Just a new opportunity, new team, new chance. I’ve always heard good things about Chicago, and the team they have here and how they treat guys. So that played into it too.”
8. Thompson is on pace for an astounding 289 shots on goal this season. To put this into perspective, the AHL shots leader last season registered 232 SOURCE: https://www.theahl.com/stats/player-stats/all-teams/54?playertype=skater&position=skaters&rookie=no&sort=shots&statstype=standard&page=1&league=4 His philosophy when he has the puck?
“Right now, I haven’t really been getting puck luck or pucks going in. It’s just one of those stretches where you have to take the chances and have confidence in yourself and keep working in practice and know that if you keep putting pucks to the net, getting my body to the net, that eventually it’s going to turn around there and kind of get out of the little rut that I’m personally in scoring-wise.”
9. Rocky Thompson has often named Paul Thompson as difference-maker numerous times so far this season, and as a guy he can depend on in crucial situations. This is something the forward is very happy about.
“It’s good. It’s kind of what I wanted. I want to be able to play in tight games down the stretch. Be a guy that he can look to lean on. Killing 6-on-5 or a late penalty kill, that’s something I’ve wanted to put in my game, he’s given me a chance to do that, so I appreciate that and hopefully keep running with that.”
10. Speaking of sharing a last name with the coach, and whether it’s ever confusing –
“Yeah, it is. But we don’t ever call him ‘Coach Thompson’, I think it’s more just ‘Rocky’, so it’s not really brought up so it doesn’t even – every once in awhile it’s kind of odd.”