The Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday ensured a key piece of their rebuilding effort will stick around, signing forward Tage Thompson to a seven-year contract extension worth $50 million.
The contract, which begins with the 2023-24 season, rewards Thompson, 24, five months after a career season ended. He led the Sabres with 38 goals and 68 points while playing 78 games, and all of those totals were career highs.
“Tage Thompson embodies the pride we expect from every player who wears the Buffalo Sabres sweater,” general manager Kevyn Adams said in a news release. “His success last season is a testament to his unrelenting dedication to his craft and commitment to bettering the team both on and off the ice, which we believe will help us reach even greater heights moving forward.”
Thompson, a 2016 first-round pick of the St. Louis Blues, was acquired by Buffalo in the Ryan O’Reilly trade in July 2018. O’Reilly led the Blues to the Stanley Cup in 2019. The Sabres have a long-term vision of accomplishing the same, and Thompson’s deal plays into that.
“This is a place I want to be at for a very long time,” Thompson said in his end-of-season availability. “I want to be a guy that helps this team win and make the playoffs and win a Stanley Cup, and obviously those are all just words and you’ve got to put that into action.
“I’m excited to be a guy that’s a Buffalo Sabre, and I think we’ve got lot of guys in the room that feel the same way about our team as I do.”
One of Thompson’s trends last season was a knack for scoring on home ice. He finished with 25 goals in Buffalo.
“I feel like I’ve always known that my potential’s there and that I could eventually reach it,” Thompson said.
Thompson, who played collegiately at UConn, has a brother in the NHL, as well. Tyce Thompson, who played at Providence College, is a forward with the New Jersey Devils. Tyce Thompson was a fourth-round choice in 2019.