Tage Thompson has changed the Sabres' rebuild
As well as the perception of the trade that brought him to Buffalo
There might not be a more fascinating player in the NHL for me right now than Buffalo Sabres forward Tage Thompson.
I just can’t over the career path this guy has followed, and how much it might change the Sabres entire organization.
That path: A late first-round pick by St. Louis, a key piece of the trade to Buffalo that sent Ryan O’Reilly to the Blues, a borderline bust of a prospect for the first four years of his NHL career, and then just when everybody (including the Sabres themselves) were ready to give up on him, he had a breakout season a year ago. That performance earned him a $50 million contract extension this offseason, one that looked like a gigantic gamble given the lack of comparable players to him throughout recent NHL history.
Not only has Thompson answered every question and doubt that may have existed around him, he has come back during the 2022-23 season and been even better than he was a year ago. Even more stunning, he has been one of the single most dominant players in the entire league and completely changed his team’s short-term and long-term outlook and the narrative around the trade that brought him to Buffalo.
Let’s start with what it means for the Sabres and their future.
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