Chris Thorburn, 29, RW, 6’3, 230 lbs
Last Year's Ranking: #17
This Year's Ranking: #20
Chris Thorburn is a touchy subject for me.
First of all, he is a fourth line player.
Second of all, he doesn't score much.
And third of all, he isn't that great of a scrapper.
So, the only thing he was going for him is his leadership.
And on a team with a two-time Stanley Cup champion as captain there's not much room for Thorburn to improve in that category as he will always be behind in that department due to his fourth line role.
Seeing the departure of Tanner Glass, another low scoring, but much better of a scrapper, fourth liner, it begs the question of why not give a Patrice Cormier the shot at a fourth line role full time and let Thorburn find his place somewhere else.
Despite those nagging doubts in my mind as a Jets fan, Thorburn did impress at times.
The 6'3, 230 pound winger had 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 72 games to go along with 83 penalty minutes and a -6 rating.
After a 19 point season in Atlanta in 2010-11, Thorburn's 11 points was a bit of a drop off but under the new regime in Winnipeg, it wasn't to come as a surprise.
Thorburn's fall in the rankings go for his decrease in production both offensively and his role on a third line who needed to play as one because of the lack of a true third line.
But Thorburn did throw down the mits 11 times this season, winning (according to hockeyfights.com) six, losing four, and tying 1.
As far as grittiness goes, Thorburn is not the premier fist thrower but he's all the Jets have until they find another fighter.