Kenan Keaton Thompson, D, 6'0", 187lbs, Devils Lake, N.D. (3rd RD/87th overall)
Junior Team: USNTDP Juniors (USHL), U.S. National U18 Team (USDP) and has committed to the University of North Dakota. If he decides not to go to college, his rights are owned by Ryan Getzlaf's former team the Calgary Hitmen (side note: FAVORITE mascot ever.)
Predraft Rankings: Of North American skaters, he's No. 53.
2012-2013 Stats: 26 GP, 3-5=8, 18 PIMs, minus-2 (USHL) & 67 GP, 4-18=22, 40 PIMs, even.
International Play: Most recently he was a part of the silver medal winning USA team in the U18 WJC. In 7 GP, he was 0-1=1, 2 PIMs and minus-2.
Corey Pronman at Hockey Prospectus: "Thompson is not a highly skilled player, nor a flashy one, but he plays an advanced and mature game for his age. He was up-and-down this season, tailing off toward the end ... He shows a good panic threshold with the puck, and he tends to make good decisions. He knows how to position his body and his stick in such a way to make him an effective defender despite his slightly undersized frame. He is a quality puck mover who makes good outlets, and he can be decent on the power play. Thompson is an above-average skater with good footwork, top speed, and closing ability."
Ben Kerr at Last Word On Sports: "Thompson is one of the best technical skaters in this draft. His stride and technique are like a video of textbook quality perfections ... He also has excellent balance and is difficult to knock off the puck when it is on his stick ... Thompson's defensive game has all the tools. He uses his strong skating to maintain good gap control ... He positions himself very well, and has good hockey sense to read and anticipate the play, and so cuts down passing lanes and shooting lanes. However the criticism here is a lack of physicality and intensity. Thompson just does not hit the way one would hope and doesn't clear the front of the net or win board battles as he should given his size and the fact he is mainly playing junior aged players right now."
Keaton from a few years back when he was on the Fargo Force
Mr. Thompson after the USA's win over Sweden in the U18 WJC
Initial Reaction: I'm still giggling to myself about the Kenan Thompson joke. If he's as good of a skater as the scouts are saying, this guy is a project for Scott Niedermayer during Conditioning and Training Camp (if he gets an invite) for years to come.