Tage Thompson – The Next Ones: NHL 2016 Draft Prospect Profile

Tage Thompson

2015-16 Team: University of Connecticut (#29)

Date of birth: October 30th, 1997

Place of birth: Oyster Bay, New York

Ht:  6’5″ Wt: 185 lbs.

Shoots: Right

Position: C/RW

NHL Draft Eligibility: 2016 1st year eligible

Twitter: @TThompson_97

THW The Next Ones Ranking (February): 26

Other Rankings:

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One of the older prospects in the upcoming NHL draft – having just missed the cutoff for 2015 – Thompson’s put on quite a show at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) for the Huskies this season. Having racked up 32 points (14g-18a) in just 36 games, Thompson is second on the team in scoring behind freshman – and St. Louis Blues’ 2014 pick – Max Letunov.

Currently listed at 6-foot-5, Thompson has the size to be an intimidating figure on the ice. The figure and build of a power forward, he has a lot more upside when it comes to his offensive skill and stick handling. He’s been called for just six minor penalties this season which is a plus when a player is that big and plays the physical game.

Thompson has the ability to play both the wing and down the middle. He’s shown incredible promise in the face-off circle which could impress teams as a possible fit for a first or second line centre.

His raw skill and size should significantly impact where he goes in the upcoming draft. He can move quickly for a big guy and sees the ice as good as most project first-round picks. While he might not possess the same quality of skill as the top five picks, he’s has an all-around game that should make him an attractive prospect. He’ll likely develop into a top-six forward at some point and will be an impact player at the NHL level.

NHL Draft Projection:

His size and forechecking ability are certainly among his assets, but his ability to get around the ice and stick-handling skills should make Thompson an interesting pick. While he could be an enticing late first-round pick, expect Thompson to be an early second rounder in this year’s NHL draft.

Quotables:

A third true freshman who is up for the 2016 draft, Thompson is quick for a 6-foot-5 kid and has great anticipation.

Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News

Tage, who is studying business and sports management at UConn, is eligible for the NHL draft in June and speculation is that he’ll be selected in the first or second round. He’s a hair under 6-5 and weighs 190 pounds, having gained 10 since his arrival at UConn, a prospect with a big frame and that booming shot.

Mike Anthony, Hartford Courant

Statistics:

Strengths:

  • Size
  • Physicality
  • Booming shot
  • Powerplay presence
  • Ability to stay out of the box
  • Versatility in position (centre or talented winger)
  • Consistency in the face-off circle

Under Construction (Improvements to Make):

  • Strength on the puck
  • Skating
  • Fill out his frame
  • Defensive zone coverage

NHL Potential:

There’s no question that Thompson will have a shot at becoming a strong, talented top-six forward. While he has the ability to take face-offs with consistency, he’s better fit at higher levels as a power winger who can add a physical presence along the boards. If he can mature physically and grow into his frame, he should make a solid first or second line winger at the NHL level.

NHL Player(s) Comparison – Jamie Benn

Risk-Reward Analysis:  

Risk = 2.5/5   Reward = 3.5/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential:

Offensive = 7.5/10 Defensive = 4.5/10

Awards/Achievements

  • 2014-2015 U18 World Junior Championship Gold Medal

Interview/Profile Links

Videos:

YouTube player

Shots From the Slot:

Thompson is the son of former Los Angeles Kings pick Brent Thompson (drafted 39th overall in 1989) who played 121 games in the NHL with the Kings, Jets and Coyotes amassing 11 points (1g-10a) and 352 penalty minutes. He now coaches the New York Islanders’ AHL affiliate – the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. While Tage did inherit his father’s size, he possess a higher quality of all-around skill.

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THW’s The Next Ones prospect profile template design architect: Chris Ralph