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Road to the NHL Draft / Thomas Chabot

Position: Defenseman.

Junior team: Saint John (QMJHL).

Born: Ste. Marie-de-Beauce, Quebec.

Measurables: 6-foot-2, 180 pounds.

2014-15 stats: 66 games, 12 goals, 29 assists, 41 points.

Central Scouting rank: No. 16 (North America).

Lowdown: Chabot’s coach figured an early dose of humiliation was the best way to teach his offensive-minded defenseman to take care of his own end. Knowing Chabot’s entire family was scheduled to travel to Saint John for the home opener, coach Ross Yates told Chabot he would be scratched for the game. The defender, who was on the ice for four of seven goals against through the opening two road games, sheepishly called home and told everyone not to come.

When they eventually did, they saw a more responsible player. Chabot nearly doubled his point total this season while raising his plus/minus rating from minus-29 to plus-6. It’s the 18-year-old’s offensive skills that draw interest, though. An impressive skater, he’s able to break out of his own zone, beat defenders to the other end and set up scoring plays.

Chabot’s decision-making needs work. With offense still dominating his thoughts, he often makes bad pinches and gives up odd-man rushes. He needs to get bigger.

They said it: “He’s got great skill. He’s really good at handling the puck and getting it out of our own end. Like most 17-year-old players, especially defensemen, he’s got to work on his play away from the puck.” – Greg Leland, Saint John assistant coach, to HockeysFuture.com.

– John Vogl

The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL Draft, which will be held June 26-27.

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