Player Profile: Robert Thomas

Robert Thomas with the Stanley Cup
Creator: Patrick Smith Credit: Getty Images

St. Louis Blues center Robert Thomas is one of the team’s top four players for the captaincy.

Robert was born on July 2, 1999, in Aurora, Ontario, Canada. His father, Scott, is a chef, but he trained him for the first five years of his hockey career. His grandfather, Bruce Waetcher, also played a role in his early career as he built a backyard hockey rink out of plywood for him to train.

Waechter told, “I used to go down with my pickup truck and pick up the lumber [for the rink] in the spring and take it to my brother’s farm and store it there… I’d take it back in the fall, and then we put up the rink with his dad… Even though Robert is in St. Louis now, his dad still puts the rink back up for the neighborhood kids and for Robert’s younger brother.”

Thomas played Bantam and AAA ice hockey with the Eastern AAA Minor Midget Hockey League’s York Simcoe Express. He attended St. Andrew’s College (SAC), where he played for the Saints’ under-16 team for two years. His younger brother also attended and graduated from SAC. He was drafted 26th overall in the second round by the London Knights in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection. He played three seasons with the London Knights from 2015-18 and one season with the Hamilton Bulldogs from 2017-18.

Thomas got his big break when the St. Louis Blues selected him with the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft. 2017 saw quite a few stars, such as Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar, Dallas Stars right winger Jason Robertson, Vancouver Canucks forward and alternate captain Elias Petterson, Montreal Canadiens center and captain Nick Suzuki, and more. He was certainly in good company.

Thomas faced some adversity in his early NHL career. He had an impressive training camp and preseason for the Blues and signed a three-year entry-level contract worth $3.625 million on September 28, 2017. But an ankle injury during the Hamilton Bulldogs’ OHL Playoffs series against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds prevented him from attending the Blues’ development camp. However, he was medically cleared to play in the team’s rookie camp. He then made his NHL debut on October 4, 2018, when the Blues hosted the Winnipeg Jets in a season opener. The Blues lost 5-1 as the Jets’ sealed the deal with a four-goal third period.

Thomas became a 2019 Stanley Cup champion in an astonishing 2018-19 NHL season as the Blues went from last to first place and won their first Stanley Cup in their 52-year history. He made the most out of his entry-level contract before signing a two-year, $5.6 million contract extension on September 21, 2021, and an eight-year, $65 million contract extension on July 13, 2022.

Injuries aside, Thomas is a young rising star in St. Louis whose low-key success drove the Blues to new heights. He contributes offensively, thanks to his superb puck skills and vision.

As a Canadian, Thomas won two gold medals for his native Canada. He collected one point (one assist) in six games for Canadian White in the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. He scored six points (one goal and five assists) in seven games in the 2018 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.

Thomas enjoys playing video games. He, Jordan Kyrou, and Vince Dunn finished in first place in the 2020 Fortnite NHLPA Open. The trio won $100,000 and donated it to three charities: $50,000 to St. Louis Children’s Hospital, $25,000 to St. Louis Area Foodbank, and $25,000 to Muscular Dystrophy Research.

Robert Thomas’ theme song from the 1990s is “Smooth” by Santana featuring Rob Thomas. Oh, and his favorite fast food is Wendy’s. Can you relate?

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Ana Kieu

Ana Kieu is a journalist by trade. Her love for sports shows in her writing, editing, and podcasting work. She writes about the NHL for Inside The Rink.

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