Photo Credit: Stephen Slade
While preparing for the NHL Draft, the Flyers will likely try to add a scoring forward to help fill the depth scoring issue and balance a farm system currently loaded with defensive prospects. Like fellow NCAA prospect Luke Kunin, Tage Thompson certainly fits the bill.
Elite Prospects lists Thompson at 6’5″ 194 lbs, making him a size comparable to Julien Gauthier, another potential Flyers target.
Unlike Max Jones, who had some potential scoring concerns, Thompson is a bit closer to the point per game threshold that usually acts as a cut-off for determining if a forward is NHL caliber.
At 0.889 points per game this season in Hockey East of the NCAA, Thompson would be expected to score .258 points per game in the NHL next season or 21 points per 82 games.
Of course, this number could jump if Thompson were to return to school for another year or two before jumping to the pro ranks.
Another reason that Thompson is intriguing, with the potential for NHL expansion, it would be wise to have more NCAA prospects who can stay in school longer and avoid being plucked in a potential expansion draft. Heading into 2016’s draft, we could see teams pick NCAA prospects and Europeans over Major Junior solely to potentially keep players protected longer.
The Flyers would benefit from Thompson’s size up front, and if his skill matches that size, he’s going to be a top line power forward. If not, solely on his NCAA freshman year, at worst Tage Thompson would be a Ryan White type, a hulking body checker who can be a net front presence on the second powerplay unit.