Kris Thomas plans on making a living as an engineer down the road, but for now he’s focused on seeing what he can do on the ice.
Thomas, an 18-year-old native of L’Anse au Clair, served as the captain of the Western Kings in the provincial major midget hockey league last season in his final year of eligibility.
He is now a rookie forward with the Miramichi Timberwolves of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League and will make his debut on Sunday when his new team hosts the Edmundston Blizzard.
Thomas pulled up stakes in L’Anse au Clair three years ago to join the Kings with the hopes of playing the game at a higher level and finding out if there were future opportunities in the game.
He has played a couple of exhibition games with his new club and feels he’s been holding his own getting used to the quicker pace and bigger bodies that come with Junior A hockey in the Maritimes.
Thomas is joining a team that had a big turnover in the roster with guys graduating from the ranks so he hopes he can earn his way into a regular role with the team.
He knows it will be a challenge with the first two forward lines boasting returning players with experience on their side, but he’s never been one to shy away from a challenge.
“Trying to crack that is going to be difficult, but if I work hard and show the coach what I can do, I think I can be a second-or-third line forward,” Thomas said.
His three seasons with the Kings gave him a chance to learn how to be independent. It also gave him a chance to find out what it means to be part of a team and certainly gave him a good indicator of how competitive hockey can be for those who have a thirst for playing at the highest level.
He believes he brings a strong work ethic to the table and takes pride in being known for being a two-way player who always puts the team before any personal goals or achievements.
“I’m good defensively, blocking a lot of shots and I can score when I get a chance so, really, I play both ends of the rink,” he said.