Thomas, 23, had just recently recorded his first NHL points, but he was also sent down to the AHL. He was a second-rounder (40th overall in 2010 by the New York Rangers) with solid AHL stats.
Perhaps management decided that Thomas couldn’t quite make the cut as a main roster player after getting a short look at him with the big club?
Lessio shares a similar profile as Thomas. He’s 22 and was a second-rounder as well (56th overall in 2011 by the Coyotes) and even has similar experience (29 games for Lessio, 26 for Thomas) at the NHL level.
Both players will need to work up to the NHL level.