A. J. Thelen
|A. J. Thelen|
March 11, 1986 |
Savage, MN, USA
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||212 lb (96 kg; 15 st 2 lb)|
|Played for||Houston Aeros
|NHL Draft||12th overall, 2004
Anthony James "A. J." Thelen (born March 11, 1986) is an American retired professional ice hockey defenseman. He was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, selected 12th overall.
After playing for the U.S. National Under-18 Development Program in 2002–03, Thelen joined Michigan State University to play college hockey. After his freshman season in 2003–04, he was drafted in the first round, 12th overall, in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota Wild. Following his sophomore season with Michigan State, however, he was dismissed by the league for rules infractions.
Accordingly, he joined the major junior Western Hockey League (WHL) with the Prince Albert Raiders. Upon completing his first season in the WHL, Thelen was assigned by the Wild to their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Houston Aeros, where he made his professional debut, playing in one game. The next season, in 2006–07, after missing some time due to a knee sprain, Thelen was traded by the Raiders to the Vancouver Giants, in exchange for defenseman John Flatters and prospect Nathan Deck, where he captured the 2007 Memorial Cup championship with the Giants as tournament hosts.
In 2008–09, Thelen joined the Florida Everblades. During the 2009-10 ECHL season, Thelen was named to the ECHL All-Star Team and took part in the skills competition. Thelen won the Hardest Shot Competition with a shot of 101.9 mph. On February 13, 2010, Thelen would suffer another concussion, the third of his career. He attempted to come back a week later, but ended up sitting out the rest of the season due to post-concussion syndrome.
With back issues and a history of concussions, Thelen retired from hockey after the completion of the 2010-11 ECHL season at age 25.
|2003–04||Michigan State University||CCHA||42||11||18||29||50||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004–05||Michigan State University||CCHA||33||0||11||11||48||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005–06||Prince Albert Raiders||WHL||72||13||23||36||79||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||Prince Albert Raiders||WHL||23||4||8||12||53||—||—||—||—||—|
Awards and honors
|All-CCHA Rookie Team||2003-04|
|All-CCHA First Team||2003-04|
|CCHA Best Offensive Defenseman||2003-04|
|AHCA West Second-Team All-American||2003–04|
|CHL Memorial Cup||2007|
- "K-Wings Bolster Blue Line And Add Grit Up Front". WingsStadium.com. 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- "Giants refuse to stand pat, grab Wild prospect". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2009-02-08.
- "Injury Updates On Defensemen A.J. Thelen, Ryan Van Buskirk, As Well As Center Mike Bayrack". NaplesNews.com. 2009-03-03. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- "Former Florida Everblades defense and Minnesota Wild first round draft pick A.J. Thelen signs with Kalamazoo Wings". NaplesNews.com. 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
- A. J. Thelen career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- A. J. Thelen career statistics at EliteProspects.com
|Awards and achievements|
|CCHA Best Offensive Defenseman
|Minnesota Wild first round draft pick