General manager Kevyn Adams spoke on the deal:
Tage Thompson embodies the pride we expect from every player who wears the Buffalo Sabres sweater. His success last season is a testament to his unrelenting dedication to his craft and commitment to bettering the team both on and off the ice, which we believe will help us reach even greater heights moving forward. We are thrilled to extend Tage, keeping him and his family in Buffalo for many years to come.
Thompson, who will turn 25 in October, exploded for a breakout campaign in 2021-22. Playing in 78 games, Thompson shattered his previous single-digit career-highs in goals and assists, tallying 38 goals and 30 assists for 68 points. Widely credited due to the coaching of Don Granato and moving Thompson to center, he flourished in what was a promising year for him and the team overall.
He’ll need to keep up that pace now, though. More than $7MM per season is a massive commitment for one season of more than 15 points, but it could end up being a bargain just the same if he improves on those numbers. Any opinion of the deal will solely rely on one’s opinion of Thompson’s ceiling and how much development one thinks he has left.
In any event, Thompson is the team’s number one center for the long haul now. He heads up a deep group of young centers that includes Dylan Cozens, Peyton Krebs, Casey Mittelstadt, and Matthew Savoie, who all have the potential to be long-term, high-end top-nine fixtures for Buffalo.
It also gives the Sabres a degree of financial certainty that they’ve lacked in recent years. Forced to take on contracts purely to get to the salary cap’s spending floor, deals like Thompson’s given to young players instead of bloated free agent deals are a smarter way of managing money as Buffalo exits their rebuild.
Thompson will be 33 when the deal expires, meaning this will take Thompson all the way through his prime, in all likelihood.