Beginning with the 2000-01 season, Nate Thompson spent his four year junior career with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL. The following season he continued to improve, but it was during the 2003 playoffs, he had what was probably the finest playoff performance of his junior career. Thompson was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the 6th round (183rd overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft and returned to Seattle for the 2003-04 season and a 65 game, 36-point total.
2004-05: In what would be his final junior season, Thompson helped his team finish first in the US Division. At the end of the Thunderbirds postseason in 2005, Thompson received a tryout contract with Providence and played 11 playoff games with the baby B’s.
2005-06: After a successful camp in Boston during September of 2005, he was assigned to Providence, where he officially began his professional career. Thompson scored his first professional goal in October of 2005
2006-07: Thompson served as an assistant captain for the Providence Bruins, centering the team’s checking line. He made his NHL debut on October 21st, one of four appearances for Boston. Thompson had some injury troubles midseason, but appeared in 67 games and had a career high in points. Received the Hendricks Memorial Fan Appreciation award following the season.
2007-08: In his third pro season, Thompson served as captain of the Providence Bruins. He had a career-best season offensively. He was re-signed by the Bruins in July 2008.
Thompson was claimed off of waivers by the New York Islanders in October of 2008.
Thompson is a superb skater who plays a solid game at both ends of the ice, and is often used in penalty killing situations. More of a defensive forward, he does all of the little things to help his team win games, whether it is blocking shots, carrying the puck out of the defensive zone or sticking up for a teammate. Because of his speed he gets many scoring opportunities but needs to improve on his finishing ability. He is an intense competitor and a leader on and off the ice.
Thompson was acquired by the Anaheim Ducks from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2013-14 season.