Tage Thompson was an offensive force during his time at UConn. The local kid from Orange, Connecticut, earned national recognition, including a nomination for the Hobey Baker Award, Division I’s most prestigious individual award. Now Thompson will get the chance to shine on hockey’s brightest stage after making the St Louis Blues opening night roster.
Thompson is the third player in the program’s history to land on an active NHL roster. Thompson was selected by the Blues as the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Thompson led the Huskies in scoring last season with 19 goals and 13 assists. He was named to Hockey East Third Team for his offensive production.
The forward amassed 33 goals in his two seasons in Storrs. Thompson did most of his damage on the power play, scoring 20 of his 33 goals with the man advantage.
St Louis has a number of veterans nursing injuries to start the season, opening the door for some younger players like Thompson to make their case for why they should be permanent additions.
If Thompson could carve himself a niche on the roster, he could be a deadly addition on the power play for a team that was already above average with the man advantage. The Blues converted their power play chances at a 21.3 percent clip last season, good enough for eighth in the league. The Blues were eliminated by the Nashville Predators in the second round last season, falling to the eventual Western Conference champions in six games.
Thompson is expected to share a line with Magnus Pääjärvi and Oskar Sundqvist after Blues head coach Mike Yeo sang the trio’s praises last week. Thompson scored one goal and added three assists in the six preseason games he suited up for the Blues.
Thompson’s NHL debut will also include a first hand look of the ultimate goal of every NHL player. The Pittsburg Penguins will raise their 2017 Championship banner to the rafters of PPG Paints Arena before dropping the puck with the Blues at 8 p.m.
Bryan Lambert is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.