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Prospect Update: Henry Thrun
By Thomas Harrington
A fourth round pick from 2019, defenseman Henry Thrun was supposed to play at Harvard University this past season. However, because of the pandemic, the Ivy League did not play any games last season. Hoping to get playing time, Thrun returned to the USHL, where he played the year before he was drafted. He also suited up for Team USA at the World Junior Tournament. Unfortunately, because he played in a league below the level he was expected to be in, Thrun may end up being one of the players most impacted by the pandemic.
Thrun ended up playing in 24 games for the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL and recorded eight goals and 22 points. He ended up playing in fewer than half of the team’s games, but still finished second among defensemen in scoring, and the player above him had only two more points and played in 51 games. Thrun never went more than three games without a point and had a five-game point streak where he recorded 10 points in late March. He was named the USHL Defenseman of the Week twice and he was named to the USHL Third All-Star Team.
Thrun helped Team USA win gold at the World Juniors. He played in all seven games and recorded one assist. Thrun wasn’t there to put up points, he was there to stop the opposition from scoring, and he did an excellent job of that. This was my first time watching Thrun play, and he impressed me with his positioning and skating. He’s never going to be a star, but he’s a solid defender in his own end and showed that at this tournament.
I had two expectations for Thrun going into this season. First, assuming he was in the USHL, to put up better numbers than he did in that league in the 2018-2019 season. He played in four fewer games, scored four more goals, and recorded one fewer point. So he somewhat met that expectation.
I was hoping for him to put up significantly more points in the USHL, but given the volatile nature of last season, I’m happy with that level of production. Second, I wanted him to not only make Team USA’s roster, I wanted him to be one of the team’s top four defensemen. He was third or fourth in ice-time among defensemen most games, and led the defense in ice-time against Austria, so I’d say he hit that mark.
This coming season, Thrun will hopefully be returning to Harvard for his second season in the NCAA. After a year off from college competition, my expectations for Thrun will be lower than they normally would have been. I’ll be satisfied if he can match what he did as a freshman, where he scored three goals and 21 points in 31 games and was one of the team’s more reliable defensemen.
There’s a chance that if not for the pandemic, Thrun would be turning pro this summer. If he’d come in and had a great sophomore season, I could see the Ducks signing him to a pro deal. However, that didn’t happen, so he remains unsigned. If he can have a great year this season, he might sign his pro deal next summer and join the Gulls for the 2022-2023 season. However, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Ducks want him to spend the next two years in the NCAA and really make sure that he’s ready for San Diego before they sign him to his entry-level contract.
The next prospect update will be on Brayden Tracey.
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September 24th, 2021