Hometown: North Vancouver, BC
Birthdate: December 20th, 1993
The Saskatoon Blades were going to need to see big growth from some of their younger players as they entered the 2011-2012 season and that's exactly what they got from defenceman Dalton Thrower. Thrower went from playing 2nd or even 3rd pairing minutes in 2010-2011 to playing on the top defensive pairing with Duncan Siemens this past year. He was one of the league's top breakout defenders, but it's not like he was rolling right off the bat.
Thrower's confidence and success on the ice grew as the season went along. Through October, he had registered 8 points on the year. That number was matched in November, but December is when people really started to take notice of his growth as a player.
He scored 3 goals and posted 10 points in the Christmas break-shortened month, good enough to be named the Blades player of the month. He was also named the WHL player of the week at the end of December because of a 2 goal, 6 point performance on December 30th against the Raiders.
Dalton's offensive production continued to grow down the stretch, just like his on-ice duties. Injuries to some of the teams top defenceman, including Captain Duncan Siemens, meant that Thrower would be thrust into the spotlight even further as the team battled to make the playoffs. On several occasions, Thrower was on the ice for 35 minutes a night, matched up against the league's top opponents on a game to game basis. But, he met the challenges head on and excelled in both the offensive and defensive zone.
When the season finally wrapped up, Thrower had scored 18 goals. That number was three times more than the 6 he had scored in the previous year. Those 18 goals were also the 4th most among WHL defenceman. His 54 points were also good enough to be ranked tied for 8th among defensive scorers in the WHL. He also brought an edge to the table, registering 103 penalty minutes. That tally was the highest of any of the top 14 defensive scorers in the WHL.
The big year for Thrower was good enough to have him named as the Saskatoon Blades defenceman of the year.
Thrower ended the season being ranked 26th among North American skaters in Central Scouting's rankings and he also took part in the 2012 NHL Draft Combine in Toronto at the start of June where he interviewed with 19 teams.
The Scouting Report:
Dalton Thrower brings a very unique combination of skill and physicality to the table. He's a great skater, enjoys rushing the puck and makes a strong outlet pass. Offensively, Thrower's best asset is his slapshot, which regularly beat goaltenders this past season. Thrower also saw growth defensively this past season and is also known as one of the better open ice hitters in the WHL. Thrower also isn't afraid to drop the gloves as he posted 9 fights this year, up from the 7 he took part in two years ago. Many NHL teams will be looking to add his mix of skill and grit at the NHL draft as Thrower has proven that he can play offensively, defensively and be a key piece on a team's penalty kill and powerplay unit.
Goals: 18 (6th on Blades)
Assists: 36 (T-4th on Blades)
Points: 54 (6th on Blades)
+/-: -4 (T-17th on Blades)
PIM: 103 (4th on Blades)
PPG: 9 (T-2nd on Blades)
SHG: 1 (T-3rd on Blades)
Find out if and where Dalton Thrower gets picked in the upcoming 2012 NHL Entry Draft, which kicks off this Friday night from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The draft continues with rounds 2 through 7 on Saturday.