The Devils and restricted free agent forward Tyce Thompson have struck a deal to avoid arbitration. The team announced today that they’ve signed Thompson to a two-year deal. The financial structure of the deal is as follows:
2022-23: $750K NHL salary, $175K AHL salary (two-way)
2023-24: $775,000 NHL salary (one-way)
Thompson, 23, is the brother of Buffalo Sabres star Tage Thompson and the son of former NHLer Brent Thompson. A 2019 fourth-round pick, Thompson made his professional debut in 2020-21 after a three-year stint at Providence College in the NCAA.
Thompson was a highly productive college forward, scoring 94 points in 101 career games, with time served as team captain in his senior season. Thompson’s time as a pro has been less successful than his collegiate career, although that’s largely for reasons out of his control. Thompson spent most of last season recovering from shoulder surgery, and as a result, only got into 18 games. (two with the Devils, 16 with the AHL’s Utica Comets)
In Utica, Thompson began to show why he was such a strong NCAA scorer. He had six goals and 15 points in 16 games, proving that his collegiate production could translate to the professional game. The Calgary, Alberta native will likely spend the first year of his new deal in the AHL, hoping to repeat his performance from last season in a larger sample size and continue to show Devils management that he’s worthy of NHL opportunities.
If all goes according to plan, 2023-2024 will be the year he becomes a regular NHL-er, as evidenced by the structure of the deal. Thompson was given a one-way contract for that year, meaning he cannot be sent to the minors without clearing waivers, and will not be subject to a significantly reduced minors salary. The Devils clearly believe in Thompson, and should he find his way to the NHL he will join a promising team in New Jersey that could be overflowing with talented youngsters in just a few years.