Robert Thomas Can Still Be Better Even After First ASG Appearance

The 24-year-old alternate captain of the Blues plays in front of a home crowd during the league's annual superstar festivities, this time in Toronto
2024 NHL All-Star Thursday
2024 NHL All-Star Thursday / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The NHL headed to Toronto for the league's annual All-Star Game, and among the star players was one Blues standout. Robert Thomas, a 24-year-old center and the Blues' alternate captain played in his first NHL All-Star Game in front of a home crowd, being a native of Aurora, Ontario, a mere 45-minute drive north from the 6ix. He joined several other Western Conference All-Stars, playing on the Will Arnett-led "Team McDavid", otherwise headlined by the Oilers' star center Connor McDavid.

At the break, Thomas leads the Blues team in points (52), is tied with Pavel Buchnevich for goals (17), and also leads the team in assists (35) through his 49 games played in the 2023-24 NHL season. He's already looking to one-up his stats from 2022-23 (18 goals, 47 assists for 65 points in 73 games played) and has definitely earned the stitched letter "A" he currently possesses behind captain Brayden Schenn.

Although Thomas didn't participate in the prior Skills Competition, he was still one to watch this in the weekend's festivities. While the Blues' star didn't manage to get on the scoresheet, it wasn't for lack of trying as he had a couple good looks and a breakaway.

Thomas has come a long way from being in now-retired Blues veteran Paul Stastny's shadow. When he was drafted in 2017 and won the Stanley Cup the following season, Thomas was slated as the number 2 center on the Blues' roster.

Now, with his experience level, it's no wonder he's shot to the very top of NHL stardom, with 1 Cup under his belt and now, a first All-Star Game appearance on his resume as well.

He's so good even division rivals admire him, like fellow All-Starthat Cale Makar from Colorado, who notes Thomas' speed. AR Hockey Stats has Thomas rated a 97/100 for offensive impact and near identical high marks in other categories like point production and passing.

He also masters defensive difficulty, with a 92/100 there. Overall, Thomas is a 96/100, which could make somewhat of an argument that he's a candidate for the Hart MVP Trophy down the road. He's got steep competition, sure. But with numbers like those, it might not be completely crazy, and it'd certainly be fitting for a guy with his resume.