Tyce Thompson: New Face, Familiar PlaceNov 29, 2023
By Joe Flionis | Bridgeport Islanders
The New York Islanders acquired forward Tyce Thompson from the New Jersey Devils on Sunday afternoon. He has been loaned to the Bridgeport Islanders and will wear #29 with the team.
Through three professional seasons, the 24-year-old forward has played in 11 NHL games with New Jersey and is coming off a 26-point campaign with the Utica Comets last season. He was iniitally selected by the Devils in the fourth round (96th overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft.
The son of former Bridgeport Islanders head coach Brent Thompson, who had a 12-year stint with the organization, Tyce is excited to join the team he grew up around and rooting for.
“It’s awesome,” Thompson said of joining the Islanders. “I grew up an Islanders fan, going to the games, being around the locker room with my dad, and to now be one of the players, it's pretty cool. It’s definitely something I always wanted to do when I was younger.”
Brent Thompson served as Bridgeport’s head coach during the 2011-2012 season and from 2014-2023, spending 10 total years with Bridgeport. A former 13-year professional hockey player himself, Brent played 635 AHL games between the Springfield Falcons, Hartford Wolfpack, Louisville Panthers, Hershey Bears, and Providence Bruins; and 121 NHL games with Los Angeles Kings, Winnipeg Jets, Phoenix Coyotes.
Tyce’s older brother, Tage, currently plays in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres. You can say hockey runs deep within the family.
“Both my brother and my dad have been traded before,” Tyce explained on advice from his family. “They told me to go in with a fresh start and a good attitude. It’s a new opportunity so take advantage of it and try to make a good first impression.”
With only a few practices under his belt so far, Tyce has been making the most of his time with his new team.
“It's been good,” Thompson said of his first practice. “It was a little tougher today, you know, up and down the ice. It’s a lot of high energy out there with a lot of guys talking, it’s a fun group to be around.”
Arriving to his new team is not a completely unfamiliar scene for the Milford, Connecticut native. He attended New York Islanders Development Camp on Long Island in June of 2018 and will be re-joining former teammate with the Comets in Brian Pinho.
"I got really close with Brian last year, so having that familiar face coming into the locker room, plus a few other guys that I know, makes the transition a lot easier,” Thompson said.
He will likely make his Islanders debut this Friday night at Amica Mutual Pavilion when Bridgeport takes on the Providence Bruins at 7:05 p.m. It's another familiar town for Tyce Thompson, who played three seasons of college hockey at Providence College. He captained the Friars during his senior campaign in 2020-21.