Orange County Register beat writer Eric Stephens reports that center Nate Thompson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight after missing more than 7 months with an Achilles injury suffered during an offseason workout.
The 32-year-old veteran took line rushes with Joseph Cramarossa and Logan Shaw this morning, so expect that combination to hold down 4th line responsibilities.
Thompson adds more faceoff prowess (52.7 FO% over 2 seasons with the Ducks) as well as effective penalty killing and physical play.
Thompson will play after returning from a 3-game conditioning sting with the San Diego Gulls where he registered 1 assist, 6 shots, and 2 penalty minutes.
Thompson told the media that the only difficult thing about returning to competitive hockey was getting his timing back. “It came back pretty quick. It was like riding a bike. Once you kind of get thrown in the fire a little bit and put in different situations, your mind’s forced to move quickly. It went well, and it was a lot of fun to play some live games.”
With the activation of Thompson, it appears as though Shea Theodore’s continuous merry-go-round to San Diego and back has paid off. Stephens has been told that the Ducks saved enough money with the young defenseman’s seemingly constant AHL transactions that they will not need to trade anyone or send somone back to San Diego in order to remain cap compliant.