Nate Thompson was acquired specifically for the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. Before the madness created by the pandemic, Thompson arrived in Philadelphia just before the NHL trade deadline with Derek Grant. In any circumstance, it takes time to mesh with a new group of players. Perhaps, in that same challenge, Thompson and Grant built a bond. On Friday, we caught up with Thompson on a conference call.
Joining the Flyers
Some of the best trades require a low-risk draft pick for playoff experience. That was exactly the plan Chuck Fletcher had when he acquired Nate Thompson from the Montreal Canadiens for a 2020 fifth-round pick. He didn’t come alone. A separate trade saw the Philadelphia Flyers welcome Derek Grant and the two would bond while meshing with the rest of the locker room.
“It’s a tight-knit group here. I could feel that. Granter could feel that when we got here. It was kind of a seamless transition when we got here. When the break happened, team chat and guys were FaceTiming, it kind of felt like we’d been here the whole year.”Nate Thompson; 7/17/20
Many of the Philadelphia Flyers that have been on the team for the duration of the 2019-2020 season rave about how “tight-knit” the team is. It speaks volumes when a player, arriving at the trade deadline and only playing several games with his new team, echoes those sentiments. The locker room leadership continues to improve with the addition of comfortable league veterans.
“I think guys definitely took care of themselves and were prepared to come back.”Nate Thompson; 7/17/20
Leave it to a veteran to tell you what a conditioned hockey player looks like. Nate Thompson’s affirmation means that the Philadelphia Flyers will be close to their 2019-2020 regular season form. The potential for a deep Stanley Cup playoff run is promising. Showing exactly the professional that he is, Thompson returned ready to fight for playing time.
“I think having to know that you can’t get comfortable, it pushes me. I think it’s a good thing. You want competition, you want guys playing for spots. It makes the team better.”Nate Thompson; 7/17/20
That has been the constant theme for Nate Thompson. His whole career has been a battle for playing time. For thirteen seasons, Thompson has admittedly been under pressure on eight different teams. He’s used to thriving in “gut check” situations.
“I think just helping guys mentally, knowing that it’s a fun time of the year. It’s the best time of the year to play in the playoffs. Older guys helped me when I was going through it for the first time. I can do the same hopefully.”Nate Thompson; 7/17/20
His strongest quality may be how he approaches the mental aspect of the game. Thriving under pressure, remaining poised, but with a calm approach is the balanced mentality that works in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Passing that along to the younger players on the team, such as Joel Farabee, is why playoff experience helps an NHL team. It will be even more important with the unique playoff format in 2020.
“Every team, every game is going to be crucial. You don’t have time to feel out the first couple games. You have to hit the ground running. Make sure you’re going from zero to one hundred real quick. Guys have to make sure they are ready, game-ready every time they play.”Nate Thompson; 7/17/20
Check out some more Flyers Check-In’s with other players below:
- Carter Hart
- Jake Voracek
- Brian Elliott
- Derek Grant
- James van Riemsdyk
- Justin Braun
- Michael Raffl
- Carter Hart
- Kevin Hayes
- Joel Farabee
Mandatory Credit – © Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports