Thimo Nickl, Drummondville Voltigeurs, RHD (104 Overall)
Brad Senecal: A
Once the draft gets to these later rounds, the grade comes down to the player in the round rather than rating the player itself. For me, it was hard not to be impressed with Bob Murray selecting him in the 4th round based on his skill sets.
Another large body defensemen (6’2”) who can carry the puck and create plays (39 points in 58 games in the QMJHL), Murray has definitely taken notice of how the game has changed. Nickl may be a depth defender down the road, but depending on how his game translates to the pros, there could be an opportunity he shows himself as a steal
Garrett Brown: C-
Hey, what do you know? A tall, right-handed defenseman. It’s almost like the ducks had a type. For the sake of this profile, I will focus on the discernible differences between Moore and Nickl. Both players seem to have better-than-average IQ (Moore’s projects higher at this point), which leads to scoring chances for their teams. Moore plays in a lesser league though; advantage Nickl.
Nickl appears to have more control over his lanky body, whereas Moore seems a little inept at times. He uses his size advantage more effectively by closing off zone entries with ease. Nickl’s offensive upside may be lacking in comparison to others, but they can’t all be Drysdale. Overall, I think the Ducks could’ve gone with two out of the three RHDs and been fine.
Ben Thomasian: C
Another nice skater to fit with the Anaheim Ducks stable of nice skaters. He improved throughout the last season, in particular, began to use his reach a lot more to break up plays. I simply don’t know enough about him to decide whether he’s a dime a dozen player or could be something more, though the profiles I’ve read don’t really see him playing a big part in the Ducks future.
Ciara Durant: B-
The Anaheim Ducks score another RHD midway through the draft. Again, not a name that came up on my radar, but thank goodness for the internet. Touted as another two-way defenseman, Nickl is an intriguing pick to me. Not many players from Austria are selected in the NHL draft, and this will be the first in Anaheim Ducks history.
He has adapted well to North American hockey. Nickl seems incredibly driven and passionate about making it into the NHL. He’s one of those players who could add some depth to the Ducks’ blueline in the future. Some of his strengths include his powerful shot, smooth skating, and special teams. He’s pretty good at reading plays too.
However, there is still work to be done. He needs to be a little more confident in himself. He tends to be a pass-first player, as a two-way player, he was extremely assist heavy last season. While that isn’t a bad thing, he needs to get more confident at shooting because he has a pretty good shot. He also needs to work on his decision making. He tends to over complicate things sometimes which can lead to turnovers.
Again, like Moore, he is a project. But there are a lot of things I like about his game. His flaws are things that can easily be fixed over the next few seasons of development.