St. Louis Blues: Five Things We Must Know By End Of 2017 Preseason

ST. LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 2: Robby Fabbri
ST. LOUIS, MO - FEBRUARY 2: Robby Fabbri /
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St. Louis Blues
BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 14: Tage Thompson /

Tage Thompson’s Potential

While the tagline is a bit vague, the Blues basically need to know what Tage Thompson‘s viability for the NHL this season is by the end of camp. They also need to know his position, so he’s a combination of the issues with Fabbri and Kostin.

If he does not make the team, we will get political answers. We will hear the usual “he’s great and he’ll be up here soon” stuff. We should be able to tell if he’s going to play at all this season or if it is going to be another year or two.

Neither possibility is bad. If Thompson is not ready for the NHL, he’s not ready. I’m not advocating thrusting the guy into the lineup just for the sake of it. I simply want to know how his great finish last year and his prospect camp work translates with the big boys.

Thompson led all scorers, not just Blues scorers, in the Traverse City Prospects Tournament. He set up teammates, scored goals and looked like a player that is going to be hard to stop when he is on his game.

Hopefully we get a good sample size to know if that will carry over into the pro game. If we don’t see it translating enough, I’d like him to stay in the AHL for 90% of the season.

If Thompson is not going to be the last man cut or even have a shot at the team this year, leave him down to develop. I’d rather not have him be one of the guys jockeyed back and forth when the inevitable injuries occur.

We might not know what team Thompson will be on (likely Chicago), but he needs to get used to playing. Being in the NHL for a game and then sitting in the press box would do nothing for his development.

If Thompson pulls a Robby Fabbri and doesn’t let the Blues send him down, that’s fantastic. The guy seems to have enough potential that I’d love to have a new dynamic in the bottom-six. We need to know where he clearly stands once the smoke clears and the season begins.

Speaking of Fabbri, we need to have a better grip on where Thompson will slot in. The Blues seem to have a habit of starting guys they want at center on the wing. I’ve never quite understood how that makes sense unless there is that much less pressure on the wing.

Thompson has said he feels comfortable at center and the Blues need depth up the middle. If he’s a center then leave him there and let him work through things.