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Five Questions with Head Coach Leo Thomas

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Five Questions with Head Coach Leo Thomas


When you were a kid, how did you first get into hockey? 

“Obviously, growing up in Toronto, hockey was everywhere. You basically come out of the womb with a hockey stick in your hand, and I was no different. But, I really first got into hockey because of my older brother, Kahlil. He played hockey, and when I was young, I wanted to do everything he did. So, when he was playing hockey, that’s what I wanted to do.”


Who were some of your mentors and guys you looked up to while playing?

“Like every kid, I looked up to NHL players – especially [Toronto Maple] Leafs players. But my mentor growing up was my older brother. He was the reason I got into hockey, and I always looked up to him. He went professional before me, and I was lucky to be able to follow him there, as well. I’m very fortunate to have had a lot of people help me throughout the years, but I’d have to say my older brother is the one that I looked up to the most.”


How have you changed or evolved in your two years of coaching after your playing career, and what are some of the most important things you learned while coaching with Kevin Kerr?

“The thing that has changed for me the most over the last two years is my patience. Some things just take time to develop, and I’ve become a lot more patient in my first two years of coaching. Kerrsy helped me out a ton the past two years, especially with a lot of the behind the scenes stuff that people don’t think about. There’s so much more to being a head coach at this level than just knowing the game of hockey, and Kevin helped me the most with those aspects.”


What kind of team do you want to put on the ice, and what traits do you look for most in a player?

“I want to put a team on the ice that is going to be hard to play against. We want to bring constant pressure on both ends of the ice. Our team is still going to be very fast like the last two years and have lots of skill, but I also want to try and bring some more size without slowing our team speed down. I look for all of that in players – fast, physical players who bring a relentless work ethic for all 200 feet, but I also look for quality team guys who bring a love for the game.”


If you weren’t involved with hockey, what other sport would you most want to work in?

“If I were going to work in another sport, it’d have to be baseball. I played as a kid growing up, and the sport has really grown in Canada. I’ve always loved the game and the [Toronto] Blue Jays, so that would be the sport I would work in if not for hockey.”


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