Buffalo Sabres Top 20 Under 24 Prospect Rankings, #5: Tage Thompson

After missing most of last season with a shoulder injury, Thompson looks to take that next step

The Top 20 Under 24 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. It was a combination of five staff writers and over 300 readers that ranked prospects under the age of 24 and have played less than 125 NHL games.

Tage Thompson is going to be a player to watch when (if) training camp gets underway in a few weeks. He missed most of last season with a shoulder injury that he suffered in his only game with the Buffalo Sabres.

He comes into this season with a new three-year deal with a $1.4 million annual average value. Thompson is also not waiver-exempt this season, which means he would need to clear waivers if he was returned to the Rochester Amerks of the AHL. Those two factors combined, point to Thompson being with the Sabres next season.

It’s unfortunate how his season ended last year because he was starting to show the upside that Jason Botterill hoped for when he acquired him from the St. Louis Blues. He only played 16 games with the Amerks last season, however, he was their best player over that stretch.

Thompson was not only their top offensive player statistically with 12 points in 16 games, but he flashed when you watched the games as well. The big winger was also dynamic in the tracking data that I did for Amerks games last year. He was far and away their top offensive contributor in primary shot contributions.

If he can pick up where he left off he could be a big piece to the Sabres putting together a playoff season. He could also be a nice value contract for the next three years as well if all of his ability comes together.

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