For those looking forward to the draft, this post will continue to look at the possible draft selection for the New Jersey Devils in the 2013 draft that is taking place in Newark. While most Devils fans are hoping the Devils draft a top forward to help fill a diminished forward prospects pool, this post looks at a defenseman who has a bit of a scoring touch. That defenseman is Shea Theodore.
Who is Shea Theodore?
Shea Theodore is a 17 year old defenseman from Aldergrove, Canada. This 17 year old is 6' 2" and weighs only 155 lbs. For a six foot two defenseman, he is a bit on the lighter side, but he has time to grow into his height. That being said, Theodore is not even an adult yet, at 17 years old he still needs some time in the juniors before he is ready for the big time.
During the 2010 WHL draft, Theodore was taken in the third round, #64 overall by the Seattle Thunderbirds. Theodore is currently playing for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL. The 2012-13 season was his first full season with the Thuderbirds. Before playing in the WHL he played on the Thunderbird's BCMML affiliate, the Fraser Valley Bruins. Theodore has also suited up for the Canada U18 team in the JWC and WJC. Theodore's time with the Canadian U-18 team hasn't been anything that makes him stand out from other top defensive prospects.
Theodore's 2011-12 stats are very good for a 16 year old defenseman in the WHL. Theodore managed to put up almost a point per game during his 39 game tenure in Seattle. However, he also took quite a few penalties, taking 30 penalty minutes in 39 games played. His 2012-13 campaign was stellar. Through 71 games, Theodore put up the same number of assists while also scoring19 goals for the Thunderbirds. However, these stats don't show the whole picture. Theodore had a plus-minus statistic of -36 in 2011-12 and a -24 in 2012-13. For a promising defenseman who likes to score, this could mean one of two things. Theodore either gets burned quite often when he attempts to make a scoring play or he plays with some pretty terrible teammates. A quick look at the Seattle Thunderbirds roster shows that it isn't only Theodore racking up the minuses. So it's most likely that Theodore just plays for a sub-par team. In his WHL career, Theodore played 114 games and scored at a 0.75 point per game pace. Pretty good for a defenseman if you ask me.
Theodore's play has managed to get him ranked as the fourth best North American defenseman in this year's NHL draft. He is also ranked 11th overall for all North American skaters.
What Experts Have Said About Theodore
"[Theodore] has elite on-ice vision; ability to see passing and shooting lines immediately and exploit them with pinpoint accuracy. However, he will need to add a lot more muscle his lanky frame in order to become consistently effective in the defensive zone and to round off his game." -Daniel Chan, Future Considerations
"[Theodore] is just so agile, he can really really skate and beat people with the puck one-on-one. His vision is very good, his skills are good. He's adjusting, he plays defense but he's not strong yet. The knock is the physical element, the upside is that I think he's going to be a real good offensive defenseman." -Russ Farwell, Seattle Thunderbirds, GM
"For starters, he logs a ton of minutes and it seems that he never takes a break. More importantly, you will notice how fluid of a skater he is as he darts up the ice, around defenders and finds an open teammate that nobody else in the building saw open." - Andrew Eide, The Hockey Writers
"Theodore's skating is at an elite level and defines his game. He has excellent speed and acceleration, and this allows him to lead the rush, or to join as a trailer and then get back to the defensive responsibilities in his own end." - Ben Kerr - Last Word on Sports
ISS Top 30 Countdown#29 Shea Theodore @theodoreeTrustworthy. Reads play well on both sides of puck. Does D job & can surprise offensively.— ISS Hockey (@ISShockey) December 20, 2012
An Opinion of Sorts
Since I haven't seen any video of Theodore, my opinion is based solely off the research I did to write this article. Theodore seems like a great pick up for a team that is looking for a defenseman to supplement their offense. If he is anything like Mike Green, it will be a great pick up for any team in the NHL. However, I would prefer the Devils do not pick up Shea. The main reasoning is that the Devils powerplay uses Kovalchuk to quarterback the powerplay, so one of Theodore's biggest strength isn't needed by the Devils. This makes Theodore a bad choice for the Devils in the first or second round, which is likely where Theodore will be chosen.
I'd like to know your take on Shea Theodore as a prospect given all that you read. Perhaps you know more. Did you see him play? Do you know more about what his strengths and weaknesses may be? If so, please feel free to share it with the rest of us so we all can learn more. Otherwise, please leave your thoughts about Theodore as a prospect and the possibility of the Devils of picking him in the comments. Thank you for reading.