Henry Thrun | A case a bit less explosive than Cutter Gauthier

Cutter Gauthier is not the only NCAA player to have used his negotiating power to gain some control over his NHL destination.


Thursday evening, at the Bell Centre, we will see Henry Thrun, a Sharks defenseman who also preferred to look elsewhere, in action. Except that the story did not have the same impact, on the one hand because he did it in a more conventional way, on the other hand because he did not leave school with the status of a 5e choice in total, with all respect.

“Once I realized there were better places for me, the right thing to do was let the Ducks know and not leave them in the dark. I had a lot of respect for the people there,” Thrun told The PressThursday morning, at Sharks training.

Thrun was a 4 picke tower, 101e in total, in 2019. As it turns out, he was drafted by the Ducks, the team that finds itself today with Gauthier.

Once drafted, Thrun played for Harvard University. The problem is that during this time, Anaheim has cleaned up, notably dismissing general manager Bob Murray.

The other problem: the Ducks started stacking defensemen in the draft. In the next three auctions, they claimed seven in the first three rounds, including two in the top 10 : Jamie Drysdale (we told you, everything is in everything) and Pavel Mintyukov. Last season, the defensemen of the year in the three Canadian junior circuits also belonged to Anaheim: Mintyukov in Ontario, Olen Zellweger in the West and Tristan Luneau in the QMJHL.

Thrun refuses to attribute his decision solely to the Ducks’ rich succession on defense. “I remain confident in my abilities. But the GM and the staff who drafted me were no longer there, so my status became more fluid,” he recalled.

At the same time, the Sharks began a rebuilding process, led by two guys from the Boston area, where he comes from: general manager Mike Grier and head coach David Quinn. “I had a certain level of comfort with them,” he explains.

Links with Montreal

It was on February 15 that sister Lisa Dillman revealed that Thrun did not intend to reach an agreement with the Ducks at the end of his university season. The team then had the option of trading him before losing their rights to the player.

On social networks, fans began to make connections with Montreal, in particular because he had just spent his university internship with Sean Farrell, a CH hopeful.

“I know Sean, but also Jordan (Harris), Jayden (Struble) and Cole (Caufield). I’m familiar with a lot of people, and so is Kent Hughes, I used to run into him a lot in the arenas in Massachusetts because I’m almost the same age as one of his sons. So I have a lot of links with Montreal! But I’m happy in San José. »

As a left-handed defenseman, Thrun could also have seen some congestion in the Montreal organizational chart, with Harris and Struble, as well as Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj and Lane Hutson among the youngsters.

On February 28, the Ducks finally traded Thrun to the Sharks for a No. 3 picke tour in 2024, and the young man was able to begin his career in the NHL last spring, after the elimination of Harvard in the NCAA.

“I only really thought about my future in the second half of the season,” assures Thrun. Once I realized that one way or the other I had to make a decision, I did my homework. My advisors also reminded me that I had to make up my mind, in order to inform the Ducks if I preferred to go elsewhere. I think I gave them enough time to react and I had enough time to think about it. »

If his goal was to quickly reach the NHL, he was right. Thursday evening, he will play his 25e game in the NHL. His statistics are very modest, nothing surprising knowing that he plays within a team in the process of establishing modern records of mediocrity. In 16 games, Thrun has three points and a differential of -9, with a usage time of 18 minutes per game.

Along with William Eklund, however, he is one of the rare members of the current edition of the Sharks to be part of the team’s longer-term plans.

PHOTO JEFF CHIU, ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVES

David Quinn, Sharks head coach

David Quinn, for his part, says he is very happy to count on one more hope. “It’s hard to develop in the NHL,” recalled the Sharks head coach Thursday morning. Not every player can handle that, but he can. He is easy to lead and doesn’t let his problems get in the way of his development. »

Quinn benefits from the leverage of college players for the second time in his NHL career. When he managed the Rangers, he welcomed Adam Fox, another Harvard defenseman, who first refused to join the Flames, then the Hurricanes.

Previously, Quinn also experienced the other side of this reality as head coach at Boston University.

“I always believed that a young man should remain loyal to the organization that drafted him,” said Quinn. But the influence of advisors (Editor’s note: term used to talk about agents in the NCAA) is one thing, and organizations sometimes undergo their own changes. Each case is different, you don’t have just one model. There are a few exceptions here and there, but 95% of players end up with the organization that drafted them. »

Thrun and Farrell, best friends

PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Sean Farrell

Several Sharks players took advantage of their Wednesday evening in Montreal to have dinner together, but Thrun had a meal with his good friend Sean Farrell. Normally, Farrell would have played with the Rocket, but the team just announced that he will miss six to eight weeks. “We are very good friends. We grew up five minutes from each other. We played minor hockey together, in high school and junior. Until this season, we had spent all but one of our seasons on the same team. » Thrun is obviously biased, but he sees in his good friend a future winger on the top two lines in Montreal. “He is an elite playmaker and has developed his shot in recent years. It can carry the game by itself, and if you use it with good players it will be dangerous. » Farrell had 17 points in 24 games with the Rocket at the time of his injury.


reference: www.lapresse.ca

Leave a Comment