Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Thomas' Role Expanding under Berube

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Thomas' Role Expanding under Berube

Article excerpt

DETROIT - Rookie Robert Thomas showed up for work last week, looked at the forward lines posted on the locker room wall, and there was his name ... at right wing.

Not since his first year of junior hockey with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League has Thomas played anywhere but center.

"Actually Chief (Craig Berube) talked to me a little bit about it," Thomas said. "Just kind of said we have a lot of center depth and we want to try you out on the wing with Schenner."

That's where he has played in the three games since Berube stepped in as Blues interim head coach following the dismissal of Mike Yeo -- on a line centered by Brayden Schenn and with Robby Fabbri on left wing.

"I was actually kind of excited," Thomas said. "It's a great opportunity to play alongside a guy like Schenner and Fabs. It's obviously not a position I'm used to, but a little bit of change, it's always good for you."

Although the line went without a point in Saturday's 8-4 loss to Winnipeg, the trio combined for three goals and three assists over their first two contests together, both against Nashville.

"I wanted to get Schenn back in the middle and Thomas has got great vision with the puck," Berube said. "He can make plays, so he's playing with one of our guys that we need to score goals."

Besides the extra minutes that come with playing on the Schenn line, Thomas also has seen his role expand on special teams, seeing regular duty on both the power play and killing penalties under Berube.

"It's another great step in the right direction," Thomas said. "It's been a long road. Starting to earn their trust, I'm starting to get a little bit more now. I've just gotta keep building on it and keep striving for more."

Thomas said the experience is similar to his first season with London in juniors in 2015-16. He was 16 years old then.

"We had a stacked team and you gotta start at the bottom and work your way in," he said. …

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