St. Louis Blues Tage Thompson Joins Team USA For World Championships

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 4: Brent Seabrook
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 4: Brent Seabrook /

The St. Louis Blues added another member of their ranks to those not quite hanging up the skates for the early summer. Tage Thompson will rejoin the international stage this offseason.

St. Louis Blues forward prospect Tage Thompson did not have an overly impressive rookie season in the NHL. In fact, to be blunt, it was somewhat of a disappointment.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty of reason to be high on Thompson’s prospects for the future. However, even after 41 games at the NHL level, prospect is still the key word in that sentence.

Most of what we like about Thompson’s game is still in theory. He showed glimpses and flashes of the player that might come to be, but never quite put it all together.

He still has a lot of growing to do, both physically and mentally within the pro game. It is one thing to dangle against college guys, but you only get away with that for so long against seasoned NHL veterans.

Despite the relatively under the radar season Thompson had, he still got noticed by the higher-ups at USA hockey. He will indeed be going with Team USA to represent America at the IIHF World Championships.

The Blues already knew they had a handful of representatives for Team Canada. However, Thompson’s inclusion was a bit surprising.

Team USA was slower to roll out their full lineup. Most of the names included came out individually, such as naming Patrick Kane the captain just days after the NHL season ended but not listing a full roster.

Thompson’s inclusion can be nothing but a good thing though. Even though it will not be in the Blues’ system, he’s a young guy that needs to keep getting repetitions. Playing with some big names on an international stage will definitely help him.

While it’s definitely a young roster, there is some very good talent there. Any team that can throw out DeBrincat and Gaudreau will be hard to contain.

Team USA might actually need Thompson to be somewhat of an enforcer, since plenty of those forwards are more undersized. Nobody expects him to rough anyone up, but his size will be a good compliment to the speedier players and Thompson is no slouch when it comes to skating as well.

There will be another St. Louis connection in goal for Team USA as Keith Kinkaid was named to the squad. Kinkaid is from New York, but played for the St. Louis Bandits of the NAHL. He won the Robertson Cup with that team going 30-5-4 and 10-2 in the playoffs.

Back to Thompson though, he might actually feel more putting on the red, white and blue than he does the note. He played in both the U-20 and U-18 world championships. He also played for the USNDP in juniors, registering 19 goals and 30 points before heading off to UConn.

The international stage probably suits Thompson’s game better than the NHL at this stage of his development as well. He’s not overly physical yet, mostly due to his smaller frame on a tall body. Getting in some good ice time while not being depended on for checking will help him along.

If nothing else, it is always an honor to be selected by your country and represent team USA. Blues fans should be proud even if they hope/expect to see more from this young man in the coming seasons.