Players aren’t always pleased when they get traded—especially when they’re sent from a perennial playoff contender to the worst team in the NHL.
“We feel like this is a great fit for me and it’s going to be exactly what I’ve been looking for as far as an opportunity to go in and play a lot and produce and help a team win,” Thompson told reporters on a conference call Monday. “The organization thinks the same thing, so it’s nice to be on the same page and be given an opportunity.”
Thompson had a frustrating rookie campaign with the Blues, registering just three goals and six assists in 41 games, while averaging a mere 11:55 in ice-time per game.
The 26th-overall pick from the 2016 NHL Draft even suggested he wasn’t being properly utilized by the Blues
“In St. Louis, they rely on their veteran guys, so I was pigeonholed in a sense where I didn’t get to play a lot or get to play the game I like to play, so I’m excited to come to a new team with some young players where I can just go out there, have fun and make some mistakes and help the team win,” Thompson said. “I think I play better when I’m relied on a little bit more. I really feel like I thrive under pressure, so I’m excited to be the guy that they look to in terms of producing and helping the team succeed.”
Tage Thompson sees Buffalo as a perfect fit.
His style of play should fit right in too pic.twitter.com/Pu1TJaKAgl
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) July 2, 2018
“Great shot, great size, good reach on the ice, has played NHL games, had the opportunity to win a world juniors gold medal,” Sabres general manager Jason Botterill said Sunday. “We think he can step into our lineup and grow with our young centremen. Also has a bit of a shooter’s mentality, which we like.”
Thompson, a 6-foot-5 University of Connecticut alumnus, joins a Sabres team that boasts a slew youthful talent, including top-10 picks Jack Eichel, Casey Mittelstadt, Alexander Nylander, Sam Reinhart, Rasmus Ristolainen and 2018 first-overall pick Rasmus Dahlin.
“Based on our talks [with Botterill] I think they are excited to have me and I’m excited to be a part of it,” Thompson added. “They really have big plans for me to be a big part of the team and play a lot, have a lot of opportunities to be successful and put up points and help the team win in that way. So yeah, I’m really excited and hopefully, I can find a spot in the top six and produce.”