All Thomas Darcy wants to do is play the game he loves.
The 2003 born skilled right shooting defenceman made a difficult decision to leave his Major U18 AAA team back home in Quebec in favour of coming east to play at Rothesay Netherwood School.
The Moncton Wildcats Draft Pick certainly made his presence known Sunday in his first game versus the Moncton Flyers.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to play hockey at RNS because it’s has allowed me to be on the ice everyday practicing and also being able to have access to a fitness Center during these tough times during pandemic,” Darcy said.
“I have the opportunity to play games which in Quebec during these times I would not be able to. RNS is a great school.”
The smooth skating product from Terrbonne, Quebec is an effective puck moving transitional rearguard with great offensive instincts.
Darcy was passed over in his draft year two years ago which is very surprising given his skill set.
The Wildcats scouting staff were very surprised he was still available in the 8th round in June’s entry draft.
Darcy is clearly a diamond in the rough and almost cracked the Cats line up out of camp this season.
At 6”0, 175 pounds, Darcy definitely has all the tools to play at the next level. The seventeen year old defender has a cannon for a shot and thinks the game extremely well.
As any young defenceman Darcy will have to sure up his defensive play in order to excel at the QMJHL level.
He plays a similar game and style to that of Cats overager Tristan De Jong.
Darcy played a great game yesterday scoring twice, playing in every situation.
A great showing considering he had to quarantine and only had a hand full of practices with his new squad.
“Thomas has been at the school for a bit now,” said RNS Head Coach Jeff Lewis.
“Obviously, given the situation with isolation, he’s only been at the school and on the ice for a little while.”
“Thomas is a good student athlete, he’s a mature kid and a big physical presence for us on the backend,” said Lewis who also works at Wildcat scout.
“He skates well and is very skilled, so far Thomas has already proven to be really valuable and gives us another impact tool on the backend within our group.”
“Thomas is coming in with a hockey pedigree, so it’s always good to add guys like that to your room and they have that leadership, skill and experience.”
From a Wildcat perspective Lewis believes Darcy is definitely going to get a look potentially in the second half.
“I think this year was kind of weird for all junior teams when it came to the selection process and what everything was going to look like,” Lewis said.
“From my understanding and from what I got to see of Camp, I think he had a really good camp.”
“He was right in the mix. I think being an 2003 born player maybe it was a chance to get some more development with another year at the U18 level.”
“I think geographically being closer to Moncton that is our hope he would be or might get some games when that opportunity presents itself.”
“He’s going to try to get on the ice with the Cats if and when he can.”
“Being able to get on the ice everyday with us and getting into the weight room and hopefully it’s his goal is to make the Wildcats next season and hopefully we can help him achieve that, but I certainly believe he’s going to be right there for sure in the mix next season,” explained Lewis.
I am working on the defensive aspects of my game to get to the next level,” Darcy said.
“I think I need to be a good two way defender and I don’t need to do too much when I have the puck, and just play simple.”
Spoken like a real student of the game. Less is more for so many young talented defenders.
There’s no question the Wildcats will sign Darcy as AP or affiliate player for the remainder of the season.
“I think Thomas would even say he has to work on getting a little bit better defending and getting better in his zone,” said Lewis when asked about things he needs to work on to excel at the next level.
“We have discussed through meetings and by watching tape already that it’s just the finer details right now when it comes to defending and playing the position, making quicker reads and getting on the right side of guys, and having the stick in the right spots,” said Lewis.
“His instincts are to kind of jump into the rush, he skates very well, he’s strong, has good hands and has a great shot.”
“The offensive game is where his instincts are, but based on one game so far he’s a good defender at this level, but everything now is about preparing for the next level.”
Thomas Darcy has the talent and all the tools it takes to play at the next level.
For now he has to take full advantage of any opportunity when it presents itself to play for the Cats.
As for the prospect of making his QMJHL debut.
“I am really excited to have a opportunity to play as an AP for the Moncton Wildcats,” Darcy said.
“I’m really excited to potentially have this opportunity. I think it could be a great opportunity for me to show what I am able to do.”
“I think that if I have the chance to play with the Wildcats it will help me a lot to become a more mature player and develop a lot of the little aspects that I can add in my game to become a better player.”
Rest assured the Moncton Wildcats are keeping a very close eye on his progression especially with him being in their backyard so to speak.
As of right now Thomas Darcy is a draft day steal for the Moncton Wildcats.