Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his rankings of the Top 30 draft-eligible prospects of 2016. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2016 NHL Draft, which will be held at First Niagara Center here in Buffalo on June 24 and 25.
#25. Tage Thompson – C, University of Connecticut (Hockey East)
|(Photo Credit: Getty Images) |
Teams coveting big-bodied talent and blistering shooting skill have no doubt become quite familiar with the name Tage Thompson.
With a long skating stride and an equally long reach, the 6-foot-5 Thompson jumped right into NCAA Division-I action as true freshman with the University of Connecticut, using his lethal shot to ring up 14 goals and 32 points in 36 games, along the way staking a claim to a spot in the first round of the upcoming draft.
Scouts may look at the fact that 13 of Thompson’s 14 goals came with the man advantage, but there’s nothing to be alarmed about when considering how the Huskies were playing just their second season in the ultra-competitive Hockey East conference with the fifth-youngest roster in the nation and just four NHL draft picks on its roster.
Like so many of the top names in the draft class, NHL bloodlines are in play as Thompson’s father Brent logged 121 NHL games and many more fighting majors as part of a 15-year pro career.
The younger Thompson doesn’t play with the same aggression that his father did, but it likely won’t matter if he continues to rip pucks into the back of the net like he did during his successful freshman campaign all the while continuing to round out the finer details of his game away from the puck.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline and an updated organizational depth chart, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects).