The Ontario Reign are about to get another shot in the arm offensively as forward Akil Thomas is expected to make his season debut on Saturday against Bakersfield. He was activated off the injured/non-roster list on Friday, the team announced:

A former second-round pick in 2018, Thomas had surgery on both shoulders in the offseason following a successful first season of pro hockey. With the Reign for all of the shortened 2021 season, Thomas collected 11 goals and 26 points in 40 games. He also added a goal in the lone playoff game for Ontario.

The Toronto, Ontario native had a slow start with the Reign, tallying just one goal through his first seven contests, but he finished the year strong with 10 points in the final seven regular-season games.

Thomas’s 26 points were second-most on the Reign roster, only to Arthur Kaliyev.

His best game came against the Condors in March. With the Reign trailing 4-1 and just over three minutes remaining in regulation, Thomas scored three goals, stunning Bakersfield and sending the game to overtime. He contributed with another goal in the shootout.

“He’s an interesting one because he’s sort of like an avalanche,” Reign head coach John Wroblewski said of Thomas in his end-of-season media availability. “He just kind of keeps rolling along, doesn’t ever make any mistakes, never gets stopped, and then he makes four elite plays a game that sometimes [goes] slightly unnoticed because it’s a deft play with a flip pass or just a bump play on the power play — something just extremely unique and heady.

“There [were] also the nights where he racks up the hat-trick or the three assists and is the game-changer in addition to playing his overall style of game,” Wroblewski continued. “So very, very impressed by his rookie year and with a couple more steps, a couple of steps quicker, a little more power to his stride, he could someday push for a spot with Kings.”

Ontario Reign: Previewing Akil Thomas’ 2021-22 Season

2 thoughts

    1. That’s a good question – one I don’t immediately know the answer to. I wonder if they give him a look along the wing and bring Vilardi back up to the NHL level. We’ll see tomorrow, I suppose!

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