Brent Thompson made a living in professional hockey for 14-plus seasons as a big, bruising blueliner. The 48-year-old’s sons, Tage and Tyce, have carved paths in the ice game in a much different manner — as point-producing forwards.
“Everything went right. They didn’t want to be anything like me!” chuckled Brent, who joined the coaching ranks after his playing career ended in 2005 and is entering his sixth consecutive season and seventh overall as the bench boss of the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers. “I tried to put Tage as a defenseman, but he didn’t like it. He just took the puck and ended up being up the ice all the time. Tyce started out as a D-man and was a little more defensive-minded at a young age, but each of them wanted to score goals and wanted the puck on his stick. They naturally fit the position and played center for most of their lives, but in college they were shifted to the wings, which suited them for that timeframe.”
Tage, 21, was selected 26th overall in the 2016 National Hockey League draft by the St. Louis Blues and made his NHL debut during the 2017-18 campaign, notching nine points (3-6-9) in 41 games. The 6-foot-6, 205-pounder was traded last summer to the Buffalo Sabres, with whom he registered 12 points (7-5-12) in 65 contests last season.
Before turning pro, Tage played two years at the University of Connecticut, where he totaled 64 points (33-31-64) in 70 games.