Tage Thompson

Aaron Vickers

Thompson is a big, strong forward who plays more of a skill game than a power game. In battles for loose pucks and along the boards, he does a great job using his body to shield the puck and gain a winning position. However, when the puck is on his stick approaching or in the offensive zone, he often opts for flash over power. Thompson likes to toe drag and try to go through the defender with skilled moves instead of around him with his reach and strength. His long reach does play a part in his creative offensive mind. Skating wise, Thompson uses powerful strides to get up and down the ice. He shows nice speed with and without the puck. He creates opportunities as he drives the center lane without the puck. Thompson has a pro-ready shot that is hard and quick off his stick. He will lay the body when he wants to, but he is not someone who will be overly physical. He does use his body to his advantage, to protect the puck in the offensive end before either making a beautiful pass or getting off a hard shot. Thompson does a great job of cutting to the middle, crossing the center of the ice and then shooting back across the goalie’s body, forcing him to make a difficult save. He’s also an extremely smart player in the offensive zone and on the rush. Thompson is a talented player, but we believe that he is even smarter than he is talented. He is the son of the current Bridgeport Sound Tigers head coach Brent Thompson. Being the son of an AHL head coach (and former NHL assistant) has obviously made an impact on what kind of player Thompson is. What impresses most about his defensive game is how disciplined he is. After making a mistake, Thompson never repeats it. He is rarely out of position and never over-pursues the puck. NHL teams will say is that his higher ranking is more about what he could become than what he is right now, which is true about all prospects pre-draft, but more so in the case of this raw, hard-working talent.   (May 2016)