BUFFALO – Tage Thompson leaves the counting to his mother, Kim. The new Sabres winger can’t tally the exact number of places he has lived. He just knows he moved around a lot growing up because of his father’s playing and coaching career.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” said Thompson, who was acquired in Sunday’s blockbuster Ryan O’Reilly trade with the St. Louis Blues. “I know my mom’s tried to do the math.”
His father, Brent Thompson, played for six teams after Tage was born in 1997. He also coached four others before Tage left to attend UConn.
Tage Thompson, 20, said when he attended Pioneer High School in Michigan as a junior, it was his ninth school.
“Almost a new school every year, so I’ve moved around quite a bit,” he said this afternoon on a conference call. “I’m not sure how many states I’ve lived in.”
Thompson, however, is grateful for his experiences. He believes shuttling around the country prepared him for the surprising news he had been packaged with forwards Patrik Berglund and Vladimir Sobotka and two draft picks for O’Reilly, the center the Blues coveted.
“Honestly, it helped me for situations like this,” Thompson said. “My dad went through it for 15 years playing and coaching now. … It’s tough, but … the life I’ve lived, as far as what my dad went through, has helped me prepare for opportunities like this.”
The 6-foot-5, 201-pound Thompson, the 26th overall pick in 2016, believes he has a terrific opportunity with the Sabres.
“It’s just a really good fit for me,” he said. “Obviously, they’re a really young team. St. Louis, they rely on more of their veteran guys. I was pigeon-holed in a sense, didn’t really get to play a lot, play the game I like to play.
“So I’m excited to come to a new team, new organization with some young players, just go out there, have fun, make mistakes.”
Thompson said he’s a “big power forward” with a “knack for making plays.”
“I got a shooter’s mentality,” he said. “I love to shoot the puck and score goals.”