What the experts say about the Predators’ 2nd pick, Thomas Novak

Nashville, TN, United States / The Game Nashville
What the experts say about the Predators' 2nd pick, Thomas Novak

Thomas Novak
C
6’0″
181 lbs.
River Falls, Wisconsin
Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
Nashville’s 2nd pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, 3rd round, #85 overall

EXPERT RANKINGS
HockeyProspect.com – 58
The Hockey News – 35
Future Considerations – 37
NHL Central Scouting – 28 (among North American skaters)
ISS Hockey – 44
McKeen’s Hockey – 43
Bob McKenzie (TSN) – 57

 

EXPERT TAKES
“Quick and dynamic offensive player who plays the game at an unrelenting tempo in the offensive zone. He is a cerebral player, slick and evasive on the puck. Not a very physical player but utilizes his speed and high pace to make this a nonfactor. Good skater with good speed and explosive quickness. Has great offensive hockey sense and excellent play making ability. Can also score although prefers to distribute.” – ISS

“Possesses a heightened sense of awareness and offensive anticipation, with high end puck skills. Extremely dangerous when entering the wing coming into the zone, can pick a part a defence with his timely passing and acute vision. More of a play maker than a finisher – owns a good wrist shot that he needs to get off faster and could make plays quicker on the power play managing his time and space better. A flashy player with good inside/out moves and can handle the puck at full speed, easily side-stepping defenders who play the puck. Slushy upright skater with ok, but not great speed, first few strides need refinement.” – McKeen’s

“When it comes to skill, the Minnesota commit is hard to bear, with one scout ranking him only behind Kyle Connor in terms of puckhandling gifts among USHLers. ‘He’ll carry the puck and create – more of a set up guy,’ said another scout. ‘On the power play, there aren’t many better playmaking centers.’ The challenges for Novak are size and skating. He’s not the strongest player out there so he can get knocked off his feet in tight quarters, which may explain why he doesn’t drive to the net as much as scouts would like.” – The Hockey News

“Hard driving winger creates chances every shift. Smart and skilled with the ability to both create and finish plays. Has a natural sniper’s touch around net. Goes to dirty areas to retrieve loose pucks and wins battles in the corners against bigger men through sheer determination. Great vision and imagination with the puck. Superb anticipation and the puck just seems to follow him around the rink. Wants the puck on his stick in crunch time and is a fierce competitor.” – Redline Report

“A highly skilled playmaking center with first-rate “hockey sense” and puckhandling ability. Creates energy through being an offensively dominant presence. Plays an up-tempo game that can catch a lot of defencemen off guard; excellent skater. Will need to gain size and strength; otherwise, with his skillset, there is nothing barring him from becoming a prolific scorer at the next level. – Elite Prospects

“A dominant offensive player, Novak has elite hockey sense and vision that allows him to make incredibly skilled passes. His dynamic skating ability allows him to play a fast-paced, high-energy game and always be a step ahead of the opponents’ defense. His puckhandling is also an area of expertise in his game, and he can be considered lethal in the offensive zone – he is always aware of where his teammates are on the ice and he’s capable of making quick, accurate passes.” – Today’s Slapshot


PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Fuqua

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