2008-09: Paul Thompson skated in 27 of 38 games for New Hampshire as a sophomore. He scored 4 goals with 5 assists and was -3 with 22 PMs. The Wildcats finished third in Hockey East and lost to eventual national champion Boston University in the NCAA Northeast Region Final.
2009-10: Thompson emerged as a legitimate scorer once given the opportunity to play a top line role for New Hampshire. He skated in all 39 games as a junior for the Hockey East regular season champion Wildcats and was second on the team in points with 19 goals and 20 assists. He scored four times on the power play and was +12 with 24 PMs.
2010-11: Thompson finished the season with 28 goals and 52 points through 29 games, good for tenth in the nation. He also managed 12 powerplay goals which was tops in the nation. He was a unanimous selection as a Hockey East First Team All-Star and Hockey East Player of the Year. He is also a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the best player in D1 Men's hockey. On March 28th, Thompson signed a two-year, entry-level deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
2011-12: Thompson worked to find a regular spot in the lineup for Penguins' AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in his first pro season. He played in 67 games, scoring 10 goals with 15 assists, and was minus-one with 37 penalty minutes. The Penguins finished second in the East Division behind Calder Cup champion Norfolk and reached the second round in the playoffs. Thompson played in all 12 playoff games and scored 2 goals with 1 assist; finishing minus-two with 2 penalty minutes. He skated in one ECHL game for Wheeling and had 1 goal with 1 assist.
2012-13: Thompson appeared in 58 games with Pittsburgh's AHL affiliate in his second pro season, missing 15 games in February with an upper body injury. He was third on the team with 20 goals and had nine assists; finishing +1 with 84 penalty minutes. Wilkes-Barre Scranton finished third in the AHL's East Division and reached the Eastern Conference Finals against Syracuse. Thompson scored 3 goals with 3 assists in 15 playoff games and was -11 with 21 penalty minutes. He was re-signed by Pittsburgh to a one-year contract as a restricted free agent in July of 2013.
Paul Thompson is a former offensive standout at the NCAA level who is slowly adjusting his game to the pros. He is sturdily built and while not overly physical, he possesses a high compete level. He is also a very good stick-handler and scores a lot of his goals in traffic. Thompson is at his most effective when he is playing physically in the opponents end. He is particularly good at forcing his way into the blue paint around the net to score garbage goals.
As far as things that need improvement, Thompson's skating could use an upgrade. It's not bad, but improving it would vastly benefit his offensive game. He also needs to get fasters in order for his game to translate to the next level.
Thompson will play the 2013-14 season in the AHL. He projects as a top-nine forward and power-play specialist.
Thompson was dealt by the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Spencer Machacek in February of 2014.