Tage Thompson was the first UConn men’s hockey player with big fanfare around him. Cole Schneider made the NHL for the first time in 2015-16, but he was picked up as an undrafted free agent and has been an up-and-down player, playing in six NHL games. Thompson played for the US National Development Team prior to coming to Storrs and played for the United States in the IIHF World Junior Championship, a program first.
Thompson now has the chance to make good on the promise that he showed playing for the Huskies when he scored 64 points in just two seasons as he made the St. Louis Blues’ opening day roster on Monday.
The Orange, Connecticut native is one of 13 forwards on the Blues’ roster for Wednesday’s season opener in Pittsburgh against the Penguins and will wear No. 32 for St. Louis. If Thompson sticks with the Blues, he will come to New York for back-to-back games against the Islanders and Rangers, respectively, on Oct. 9 and 10. The Blues come to Boston for the first time on Feb. 1.
Even though he only spent two seasons at UConn, Thompson was one of the most prolific offensive talents the Huskies have ever had and his NHL success will only do good things for the program.
By staying home and going to UConn and now reaching the game’s highest level, other kids from Connecticut may be motivated to do the same thing instead of going to UMass-Lowell, Boston University or Boston College. This could lead to even more success on the recruiting front for head coach Mike Cavanaugh.