Flames Second Round Targets 2016: Tage Thompson

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.

SCOUTING REPORTS

From Andrew Forbes of The Hockey Writers:

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
level.

From Ben Kerr of Last Word on Sports:

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 NUMBERS

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

  • everton fc

    Thompson is indeed an interesting pick. He’ll probably play at 200-210 lbs. Smart kid, it seems. Could he drop to #53?? I doubt it. So do you go w/him at #35, or Mascherin or one of the cast of characters we’ve discussed here over the past month.

  • wot96

    Maybe he’s a great kid and maybe he’ll be a great player. But to me, he has all the signs of being Janko part Deux.

    Pass. If only because I don’t want the wailing and snarling about what might have been if we take this kid on a reach at 35 when some of the others that have been profiled might still be there too.

    • Christian Roatis

      Every prospect has weaknesses, and that’s one of the best one to have. Skating can be improved exponentially with new strength programs and mechanics coaches. Skating is one of the easiest areas of the game to improve, and there are many examples around the league to support this claim.

      If a prospect has bad hockey IQ on the other hand…

  • KiLLKiND

    There are many great players in the late 20 – late 30 range and then appears to be a drop off before we pick again at 54 – 56 I think we should package those two and try to move up. I read an article about the value of trading up and down and it shows that most trades for moving up or down are within 30% of true value. However it also showed that it is most often GM’s undervaluing late round draft picks that is why most teams “lose” the trade value wise, when trading up.

    I think in this case the value of getting another pick in the top 40 will be worth it as in the top 40 this year we are aiming at drafting top 6, top 4 d-men. After that many players project to be bottom 6, 3rd pairing players. Maybe we will get lucky and have someone as skilled as Andersson drop to us again ,but I really like many of the prospects that have been discussed for our 35 pick and would love the opportunity to draft 2 of them.

  • Shoestring

    I have read he lacks physicality, which could be a concern. If it’s lacks physicality because he doesn’t steam roll guys every shift then that’s ok. I don’t what a big guy who plays small. All the PP points too could be a red flag. How does he compare head to head with Tufte??

    • Baalzamon

      Lol. Tufte couldn’t even stick in the USHL last season. It’s not close.

      Thompson: .88 ppg in NCAA

      Tufte: .52 ppg in USHL

      Granted Tufte is a fair bit younger, but I really don’t understand why he’s so highly-regarded.

      • scoopz

        I would watch what you spout off about, dude. It wasn’t that Tufte couldn’t hack the USHL; he went back to H.S to play with his buddies and try to get to the State tourney. Three other studs did the same thing. It’s actually a pretty common occurrence with MN top-end prospects in the USHL.

        He hardly played any USHL games after coming back. Accounting for game speed change and other factors, that isn’t that concerning.

  • loudogYYC

    I know comparisons can be incomplete and unfair, but for those who may know, how does this compare to Hunter Smith the year he was drafted?

    Power forwards are always intriguing, but the majority of PF prospects end up with careers in the A or become bottom 6ers. Can this kid play bottom 6 minutes effectively if the scoring doesn’t pan out?