Aldergrove's Shea Theodore’s talent gets notice
Aldergrove AA product 10th in WHL defenceman scoring, seen as high NHL draft pick
Seattle Thunderbirds defenceman Shea Theodore is the latest example that you don’t have to play for a ballyhooed minor hockey program to be noticed.
Theodore, who will lead the Thunderbirds against the Vancouver Giants Sunday at the Pacific Coliseum (2 p.m., Team 1410), is projected to be a higher-end selection in this year’s NHL entry draft.
Central Scouting, for one, pegged him as the No. 17 North American skater available in their midterm rankings.
Theodore, 17, played the majority of his minor hockey for his hometown Aldergrove association, a smaller Double A organization.
“If you’re a good player, you’re a good player,” said Seattle coach Steve Konowalchuk. “You see it all the time in all sports. You see the good players find their way.
“The important thing, when you’re a younger guy, is to find the ice time. You’re getting the ice time and you’re having fun, you’re going to improve.”
Theodore’s calling card is his skating and puck moving, and he says he was pushed to join the rush in Aldergrove because “we didn’t always have a lot of offensive guys … my job was to get up there and help score some goals.”
Tyler Boldt, the WHL’s manager of player development and recruitment, has compared Theodore to Washington Capitals’ blueline stalwart Mike Green.
Prior to action across the WHL Saturday, Theodore was 10th in scoring among defenceman in the league, with 42 points — including 15 goals — in 59 games.
He had 35 points, featuring four goals, in 69 games as a Seattle rookie last season.
“He has that one-on-one ability that’s pretty rare,” Konowalchuk said. “He can make something out of nothing. With the puck, he can change the tempo of the game.”
Theodore, who’s also honed his talents at the Yale Secondary hockey academy, added simply: “I like playing a fast-paced game.”
Critics of the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Theodore will point to his defensive game, specifically his minus-23 rating as of Saturday morning, along the minus-36 he totalled last season.
He doesn’t rank as high on some other draft lists as Central. Craig Button, at tsn.ca, has him No. 75 overall for his February list, for instance.
Theodore says he’s talked to “nine or 10 teams.”
He admits that some of his Seattle teammates, “give it to me a bit here and there,” about the draft, but know it’s all in fun.
He says he’s trying to focus on team goals. Specifically, the fact that Seattle hasn’t made the playoffs three years running.
Going into their Saturday game with the Everett Silvertips, Seattle (21-32-6-1) was two points up on Everett (21-35-1-4) for seventh spot in the Western Conference, and the Prince George Cougars (18-35-2-5) were five points back of Seattle. The Thunderbirds have a game in hand. The top eight make the playoffs.
The Giants (15-45-2-0), who were idle Saturday and coming off a lacklustre 6-0 loss to the Kamloops Blazers on Friday, were 15 points in back of Everett Saturday morning, with 10 contests remaining.
“We have to play our own game and try not to worry about what other teams are doing,” said Theodore.
Konowalchuk added: “I know it’s a cliché, but teams want to see when the game is on the line, who gets it done, who has the character. There’s a lot at stake for a lot of individuals. We have guys looking to get drafted, guys looking to get tryouts.”
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