St Louis Blues forward Tage Thompson (32) and Minnesota Wild defenseman Nick Seeler

(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports)

Thompson Felt 'Pigeonholed' With Blues, Excited To Be 'Relied On' In Buffalo

Thompson says he thought St. Louis was going to be a spot that "I could settle down, but things change." 

July 02, 2018 - 3:30 pm
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The 20-year-old former forward prospect for the St. Louis Blues, Tage Thompson made some comments saying the Blues "pigeonholed" him last season. Thompson was traded to the Buffalo Sabres, Sunday, in a deal that brought Ryan O'Reilly to St. Louis. 

Thompson's role with St. Louis in 2017-18 was more by necessity than choice to start the season, after forward Robby Fabbri was out for the season with his second torn ACL, in training camp. Thompson and Sammy Blais were two prospects that St. Louis was forced to use more at the NHL level than expected. 

Related story: Blues Trade For O'Reilly Sets Up Bright Future in St. Louis

Thompson spoke with media via phone conference, Monday and described how shocked he was to find out late Sunday night that he had been traded: 

"I was a little thrown off honestly when I got traded. I just sat down and soaked it up last night and I think (Buffalo) is a really good fit for me. They've got a really young team and St. Louis, they rely more on their veteran guys so I was kind of pigeoned holed in a sense and didn't really get to play a lot or play the game I like to play. So I'm excited to come to a new team, new organization with some young players that can go out there have fun, make mistakes, learn and grow and develop and help the team win." 

Thompson played in 41 games in 2017-18 and averaged just over 11 minutes per game, scoring three goals and adding six assists. In 46 career AHL games for the Chicago Wolves and San Antonio Rampage, the forward recorded 20 points. He believes Buffalo will give him a shot at playing as a top-six forward.

"I think you play better when you have confidence and just them giving me this opportunity has given me a ton more confidence," Thompson says. "Buffalo really wanted me and it's nice to be wanted. St. Louis has got their Ryan O'Reilly now and they're going on the older route so I'm exicted to be apart of Buffalo and the younger crew.

"Obviously my role in St. Louis wasn't that big and I played small minutes in a minimal role as far as creating offense." 

Thompson says he thought St. Louis was going to be a spot that "I could settle down, but things change." 

Thompson played 45.4 total minutes on the Blues power play last season, registering five shots on goal in that time. He is hoping to play a more prominent role with Buffalo.

"I think I play better when there is more pressure, when I'm relied on a little more. It was that way at UCONN for my two years there," Thompson says. "I feel like I thrive under pressure and being leaned on so I'm excited to be the guy that they look to in terms of producing and helping the team succeed."