Tyson Jost wasted little time turning heads to start the 2017 World Junior Championship with a sweet backhand goal just minutes into Canada’s opening game of the tournament, and American Tage Thompson waited only days before scoring a goal that knocked Jost’s off the top of the tournament’s best-of list.
Thompson’s slick tally came in the second game of the tournament for Team USA, against a Slovakian team that had been blown out 5-0 just one night earlier at the hands of the Canadians. With the Slovaks having put a slight scare into the Americans, scoring a late first period power play goal to cut USA’s 2-0 lead in half, it took only two minutes of play in the second frame for Thompson to restore the two-goal margin.
Skating into the zone on a partial 3-on-2, Thompson drove down towards the net as Kieffer Bellows threw a cross-ice pass to Jack Roslovic, and as Thompson pivoted his body to face the play, he took a pass from Roslovic and did the rest. Upon receiving the puck, Thompson pulled the puck back into his body, spun to open up to his forehand side and shovelled the puck up and over the glove of Slovakian netminder Matej Tomek:
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) December 29, 2016
Thomoson’s tally, Team USA’s third of the game, would stand as the game-winner in a 5-2 American victory.
Thompson has turned some heads through the first two games of the tournament, and his gorgeous goal was indicative of how well he has played through the start of the world juniors. He picked up two helpers in the opening game — a convincing 6-1 win over Latvia — and his marker brought his two-game point total to three, tied for tops on the American squad.
A first-round pick of the St. Louis Blues this past June, Thompson’s size alone makes him an intriguing prospect. He stands 6-foot-5, 185 pounds with ample room to grow, and he’s played both down the middle and on the wing. His natural goal scoring ability has made him a prospect to watch, too, as he’s netted 12 goals and 20 points in 18 games in his sophomore year at University of Connecticut.
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