Stop me if this sounds like a perfect pick for the Calgary Flames at 35th overall.
College freshman from Connecticut, playing for his hometown school in Hartford. The kid is 6’5″ and 185 pounds, with a frame that can easily bulk up, and he’s a right-shooting winger. Oh, and his father is a former NHLer born in Calgary, and he was born in Hartford while his father was playing for the American Hockey League’s Wolf Pack.
Now, if only somehow Tage Thompson is still around when the Flames hit the podium in the second round.
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 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
Thompson mainly played right wing with Connecticut, but has the
versatility to play centre as he sometimes did with the US NTDP. With
his size and his smarts, he might be able to play centre at the next
level, but the question will be if he has the playmaking skills and
skating skills to play in the middle. He might be better off as a goal
scoring, two way winger. Thompson’s style is reminiscent of James van
Reimsdyk but this is a stylistic comparison and not one based on talent.
The NCAA is a pretty tough circuit for freshmen, and Hockey East is a pretty tough conference. With those things in mind, Thompson had 32 points in 36 games (on a team that finished eighth out of 12 in the conference). He was tied for 76th in Division I hockey in scoring, and his 13 power-play goals led the entire country.
Yes, nobody scored more power-play goals in Division I hockey in the United States than Thompson.
It speaks bit to him needing to lean on his special teams time to produce, but that’s usually to be expected for a skinny tall kid in the NCAA. For reference, he’s an October birthday and was 18 for the entire season, and for comparison’s sake similar tall skinny kid Mark Jankowski had 18 points in his freshman season.
FIT FOR THE FLAMES
To be blunt? Thompson fits the Flames’ needs like a glove.
- He’s a right-shooting winger, which the Flames desperately need.
- He’s tall and has a frame that can bulk up.
- He can score goals.
- His dad played in the NHL (and is from Calgary).
- He’s going to college (though he’d be more of a Flames fit if he was going to Providence College or one of the Boston schools).
- He projects as a power forward.
SUM IT UP
If Thompson is available at 35th overall, Brad Treliving needs to shove people out of the way and get to the podium to draft him. If he’s still available in the late first round and they need to trade up a few spots to grab him, that’s probably something they should look at doing.
On paper, the kid ticks off every organizational box that they have.
Previous draft targets: Alexander Nylander | Pierre-Luc Dubois | Matthew Tkachuk | Jakob Chychrun | Olli Juolevi | Clayton Keller | Alex DeBrincat | Sam Steel | Vitalii Abramov | Jake Bean | Tyson Jost | Mikhail Sergachev | Tyler Benson | Griffin Luce | Logan Brown | Samuel Girard | Will Bitten | Cliff Pu | Taylor Raddysh | Adam Mascherin | Carter Hart | Jordan Kyrou | Cam Morrison | Cam Dineen | Matthew Phillips | Carsen Twarynski | Sean Day