We have made it to Prediction #55 for the Buffalo Sabres, and this one has to do with none other than center Tage Thompson.
As with Jeff Skinner in Bold Prediction #53, a dose of NHL Numerology is in order for Bold Prediction #55, featuring Tage Thompson. Over the past two seasons, Tage led the Buffalo Sabres in points with 68 and 94, respectively, and that trend shouldn’t change in 2023-24, barring injury, of course.
Last year, he scored 26 goals and 33 assists at even strength, which gave him 59 points on the season in the category. Flashback to 2021-22, and he also had 26 goals at even strength to go with 24 assists, giving him 50 points, so a nine-point differential.
Tage is still young, and he won’t even be 26 until October 30th, which means the arrow is still pointing upward for him. So for this bold prediction, Tage will score just as many points in 2023-24 at even strength as he scored in 2021-22.
Tage Thompson scores 68 points at even strength for the Buffalo Sabres
If this projection morphed into a reality, it would serve as a testament regarding just how far Tage’s game has come. In the months following his 68-point outburst, he earned a new contract that would keep him in Buffalo for the next seven seasons, a contract that kicks in starting this year.
Now, the question bodes: Can Tage hit triple-digits in points? Assuming he will score at least one or two times shorthanded – he has three points in the category over the past two seasons – then he only needs between 30 and 31 points on the man advantage to snag 100.
Last year, he had 34 points on the power play, which was much-improved over his 16 power play points in the previous season. However, the Buffalo Sabres man advantage was much better last year than it was in 2021-22, so that number should remain somewhere in the vicinity. However, if Tage tacks on 34 more power play points, another shorthanded point, and 68 at even strength, then he’s got 103 on the season.
(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)