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Former UConn star Tage Thompson inks seven-year, $50 million contract extension with Buffalo Sabres

The lone first round pick in program history is coming off a breakout 2021-22 campaign.

Buffalo Sabres v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Coming off a breakout season, former UConn men’s hockey star Tage Thompson got paid. On Tuesday, the Buffalo Sabres announced a seven-year, $50 million contract extension for Thompson, making him the team’s second-highest paid player by average annual value.

After totaling just 18 goals and 17 assists through his first four NHL seasons, Thompson exploded with a 38-goal, 30-assist campaign this past season after moving to center in the preseason. He also played in 78 games, which surpassed his previous career-high of 65. While the Sabres went just 32-39-11 this past year, the extension shows that the team believes the 24-year old Thompson is a centerpiece of the rebuild.

“This is a place I want to be at for a very long time,” Thompson said back in May. “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.”

Thompson is the only first round pick ever to come out of UConn, going 26th overall to the St. Louis Blues in 2016. Until Matthew Wood committed, Thompson was the top prospect the Huskies had ever landed. In his two seasons in Storrs, Thompson racked up 33 goals and 31 assists in 70 games from 2015-17. As a freshman, he led the nation with 13 power play goals and the next year, he was named a Hockey East Third Team All-Star.

Currently, Thompson is only former UConn player currently in the NHL. Max Letunov appeared in three games with the San Jose Sharks during the 2019-20 season but hasn’t made it back since. Adam Huska’s NHL debut this past season didn’t go well as he allowed seven goals on 46 shots against the Colorado Avalanche — the eventual Stanley Cup champions. Huska signed in the KHL this offseason.