TRAVERSE CITY - Tage Thompson did exactly what he set out to do in his first trip to Traverse City.
"I think the goal is to come in and make a good first impression to the organization," Thompson said before his first NHL Prospect Tournament. "Your first impression shows everyone your character and what you're all about. Making a good impact will help me down the road."
Thompson's impact wasn't just good. It was extraordinary.
The 6-foot-5, 200-pound forward scored four goals and five assists in four games in Traverse City, helping the Blues to a 3-1 record in the tournament. Thompson led not only his club - but also led all prospects in the tournament - with nine points.
Perhaps even more impressive than his point total, however, was their quality. Thompson delivered with clutch performances in key moments of every Blues win in Traverse City.
With his team trailing Dallas 6-3 midway through the third period on Sept. 9, Thompson took matters into his own hands, setting up two power-play goals in a span of 2:13. Then, he tied the game with his first goal of the tournament with 2:29 remaining in regulation. The Blues would eventually snag a 7-6 overtime victory to complete the comeback.
For an encore, Thompson recorded a goal and an assist - including the game-winner with 4:28 remaining in the third period - to give the Blues a 3-2 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets, who were undefeated in the tournament.
Finally, with his team tied 1-1 in the second period vs. Detroit on Tuesday, Thompson scored two goals in 4:42 to give the Blues a commanding 3-1 lead over the Red Wings after 40 minutes. Detroit would never recover.
So… is Thompson as good as advertised?
"Yeah, absolutely," said Blues Development Coach Barret Jackman. "He's put on weight, he's worked on his skating and he has elite skill. I think Blues fans are going to be very excited to see what he can do in the main camp."
TOURNAMENT NOTES: The Blues were the only team in Traverse City to have four players register five or more points in the tournament. Thompson (9), Jake Walman (7), Klim Kostin (5), Robert Thomas (5) and Adam Musil (4) each finished in the Top 25 in scoring. "The kids you want to shine and play well had great tournaments. The future looks bright with these prospects," Jackman said… Musil and Jordan Kyrou were banged up and did not play in the final game in Traverse City. Jackman said they were held out for precautionary reasons… After a tough start to the tournament, goalie Evan Fitzpatrick rebounded nicely in his final game, making 26 saves in a 5-1 win vs. Detroit. "He showed a lot of character after two tough games," Jackman said. "He made the saves early and played a solid game in net for us."… Many of the Blues prospects in Traverse City will join the club for training camp in St. Louis, which begins Friday at 9 a.m. at the Ice Zone at St. Louis Outlet Mall.