An extremely disappointing season for Tage Thompson has come to an abrupt conclusion, as the Buffalo Sabres announced that the young forward has undergone shoulder surgery and will be out for the remainder of the season. Thompson’s recovery timeline is set at five to six months, meaning he should be ready to return for training camp next season.
Thompson, 22, was one of the big pieces the Sabres received from the St. Louis Blues in the Ryan O’Reilly trade, but still hasn’t been able to even establish himself as an NHL regular. He played 65 games for the Sabres last season but received limited minutes and recorded just 12 points. This year he failed to make the team out of camp and ended up playing 16 games with the Rochester Americans.
While he was good enough to earn a call-up in November—Thompson scored 12 points in those 16 games with Rochester—he was quickly injured and moved off the roster. That initial injury obviously didn’t heal as the team had hoped, as a three to five week timetable has now led to surgery and a season lost.
Importantly, Thompson is in the final year of his entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent in the summer. With not even a full NHL game under his belt this season he won’t have much leverage in contract talks, and he isn’t yet eligible for salary arbitration.