|Calvin Thurkauf/Tomas Soustal make impact|
This season, GM Bruce Hamilton didn't have to land that big fish because he already had two of them in his back pocket. Fresh off World Junior Hockey experiences with Switzerland and the Czech Republic respectively, Calvin Thurkauf and Tomas Soustal returned to the Rockets this weekend brimming with confidence. How can you not after competing and holding your own against the best players in the world in your age group?
Both imports are no shrinking violets either. Thurkauf and Soustal play an in-your-face game that resembles more of a North American style than a European one. Both are big bodied forwards who are tough to play against. Unlike some players with a big frame but are faint of heart, Thurkauf and Soustal play with both power and a high skill set. The two have combined for 43 points in 59 games this season. While not daunting numbers, the sky is the limit for two players that still, in my opinion, don't realize how much of an impact they can make in their first and second seasons respectively. And let's be honest, sometimes you don't know what you have until its gone, which was the case when the two were in Finland.
With both out of the line-up for ten games, the first thing you noticed was the lack of depth at the forward position. For a good portion of December, the Tyson Baillie, Kole Lind and Dillon Dube line was doing the bulk of the scoring. What was also clearly evident was a lack of size at the forward position, an aspects of great value that can't be overlooked. Size that plays big, which Thurkauf and Soustal do, make them an even greater influence/impact on the game.
Selecting players in the CHL Import Draft has been a weakness for the organization over the years, but clearly the impact that Thurkauf and Soustal have made can't be understated. Both 18, they still have no less than another year ahead of them in Kelowna, which should excite fans considering these two will only get better with age.