Let’s not discount Tage Thompson’s beginning to his Blues career. He absolutely lit it up at Traverse City, and during the pre-season he averaged 16 minutes and 54 seconds of ice time a night. Before the season started, he had a goal and three assists, and seemed a sure-fire bet for at least a cup of coffee with the Blues.
That cup of coffee cooled, and during his first five regular season games Thompson was held off the scoresheet, was a team-worst -3, and averaged just a smidge over ten minutes a night. It’s all part of the learning process for someone who is just 19 years old and who has a bright career in front of him. There’s not much to read into him being sent down to the Rampage other than the fact that he just needs a little more work.
Today marks the NHL debut of Samuel Blais. Blais’ pre-season performance was just as impressive as Thompson’s - if not more so. He had two goals and two assists in all seven pre-season games, averaging 15:13 in ice time. Many expected him to hang around to start the year.
In two games with the Rampage, he has three goals and an assist. There’s absolutely no reason not to give him a shot against tougher competition. He’ll get it, too, as he’ll be on a line with the red-hot duo of Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn, who are responsible for four goals and 12 points between them.