The puck will drop between the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers in 74 days, so let’s make another bold prediction on the season.
There is sky-high optimism for the Buffalo Sabres in 2023-24, or at least more optimism than we’ve seen in years. Buffalo should be a perennial playoff contender from here on out thanks to their young core that will remain in town for quite some time, and even in their incoming players.
That said, there is nothing wrong with making more than a few, or 75, bold predictions for the upcoming season. Yesterday, we talked up Devon Levi and what he’s capable of in the net. Today, we’re getting bold on an established player who has spent the past two seasons making shockwaves throughout the league.
Tage Thompson led the Sabres in goals over the past two seasons, with 38 in 2021-22 and 47 in 2022-23. Two seasons ago, we thought he’d hit the 40-goal mark, but unfortunately, he fell short. Last year, he looked like he would cruise past the half-century threshold, but a late-season injury stagnated him.
Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson will score 50 goals in 2023-24
If recent history is cluing us in, it’s that Tage will hit the 50-goal mark in 2023-24. But this is a bold prediction piece, so I’m giving him another plus-nine improvement in the category, finishing the season with 57 goals and 49 assists, for a total of 106 points.
With a full year of experience playing together on the first line, Tage and his linemates – Alex Tuch and Jeff Skinner – could all end up with career seasons that supersede what they did last year. And they were one of the top lines in hockey, with Tuch knocking down 79 points while Skinner scored 82.
What’s scary, however, is that while Tuch and Skinner are well into their respective primes, the 25-year-old Tage Thompson could just be scratching the surface. And if that’s the case, we could be seeing such outings from Tage for a long, long time.
(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)