In his second full season with the WHL's Thunderbirds, 17-year-old Shea Theodore finished eighth in the league in scoring by defenceman with 19 goals and 50 points in 71 games.
The 6"2, 175 lb. rearguard from Aldergrove, B.C. finished the season ranked #11 of all North American skaters by Central Scouting Services, and is known for his offensive prowess, his smooth skating and puck-moving abilities, and for being lethal with the man advantage.
From Hockey Prospectus' Corey Pronman:
He is a dynamic skater, with a powerful stride that lets him pick up speed quickly. He can be a real threat when rushing the puck up the ice. He thinks the game so well in the offensive end, displaying a high level of ability with the puck. Theodore can dangle, but he is more of an instinctual passer, whether on outlets or controlling the point on the power play. He possesses a big shot as well.
Like many prospects his age, however, there are some areas that Theodore needs to improve upon. At just 175 lbs. he could stand to add some bulk to his frame, and he has been working on improving his game in the defensive zone. His Seattle Thunderbirds team squeezed into the playoffs in the WHL's Eastern Conference despite finishing the season 14 games below .500 and having a goal differential of -76, and Theodore bore the brunt of his team's defensive woes, logging big minutes and finishing the season a -24. Seattle was eliminated in seven games, in which Theodore scored two assists and finished +1.
From The Hockey Writers' Andrew Eide:
It’s in his own zone that he needs to improve on the most. Early in the season he struggled and head coach Steve Konowalchuk worked with him to become a more consistent player. He seemed to learn from those early mistakes and really picked up his game at both ends of the ice in the second half of the season. It will be interesting to see if that commitment to defense in the second half improves his stock in the eyes of NHL scouts. Like many WHL offensive-minded defenseman Theodore is not the most physical player and needs to improve on his strength in order to excel at the next level.
At 22nd overall, Theodore is something of a project pick, and while the Flames are in need of an impact player who can step into the lineup sooner rather than later on a rebuilding squad, defence is an area where they can probably stand to wait for a prospect to develop for several years--especially for a player with Theodore's skills. You can never really go wrong with a puck-moving defenceman who can skate well, and while Theodore might not be Jay Bouwmeester in terms of eating up minutes against top-flight forwards, but he's a young defenceman who has raw skills and time on his side to develop them.