LOS ANGELES----Christian Thomas, the Oshawa Generals wing who was the Rangers’ second-round selection at 40, scored 41 goals last season.

 

                     The only first-rounders to score more were Tyler Seguin and Jeff Skinner, his father, former Islander Steve, reminded reporters a few minutes ago. “Puts him in pretty good company.”

                                     

                    “He’s got good speed, better hands than I ever had,” said the proud dad, who played 20 years in the NHL, four with the Islanders starting in 1991-92 and then three with Devils starting in 1995-96. “He sees the game better than I ever did, he can shoot the puck better than I could, that’s why he’s a second rounder and I wasn’t drafted. I think he’s a pretty mature kid, but he needs a couple years to become the player we all think he can be.”

 

                    Asked if his son would have any problems in a big market like New York, Thomas said: “Right now the goal is to get there, you can’t look too far ahead….He’s got a lot of work to do and all kinds of time to do it.”  

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                   Said Christian, listed at 5-8 1/2, 162 "I'll do whatever it takes...go to the net, go into the corners...I learned from my dad"..

                     With 66 points in 64 games, it was a breakout season for the younger Thomas, said Steve. “He got a great opportunity from his coach; he was used in all situations, power play, penalty killing, shootouts,” and his confidence level rose.  

 

                    “When you’re struggling, you go nine or ten games without scoring a goal you’re on suicide watch,” laughed Thomas, who scored 421 in the NHL.

 

                      It was the second consecutive season that the Rangers took a son of an NHL veteran. Last year’s third-round pick was Ryan Bourque, son of former Bruin Ray Bourque.