BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Tage Thompson’s ascending stardom has been apparent through the Sabres season. It was affirmed Thursday when the 25-year-old center was selected to his first NHL All-Star Game.

“I think you dream of playing in the NHL, winning a Stanley Cup, being an NHL All-Star,” Thompson told the team website. “To get selected and be able to go is a pretty cool feeling.”

The league’s hockey operations department picked the first 32 All-Stars, one from each team. Fans will choose the final 12 players who make it — three skaters and a goalie from each division — with a Twitter component involved for the first time. All-Star Weekend is set for Feb. 3-4 in South Florida.

Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin represented the Sabres at last year’s NHL All-Star Game.

Former Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark, now with the Bruins, joined Thompson among 11 first-time All-Star selections.

Thompson ranks second in the NHL with 30 goals, and is tied for third with 55 points. He is the only NHL player to score four or more goals in a game this season, and the only player with at least three hat tricks performances.

The highlight of Thompson’s season so far was a five-goal outburst at Columbus, which tied Dave Andreychuk’s team record. That was two games in which Thompson has recorded six points. Pat LaFontaine (1991-92) is the only other player in team history to accomplish that feat twice in the same season.

Rewarded with a seven-year, $50 million contract extension, Thompson was a finalist for the All-Star Game as Buffalo’s “Last Man In” candidate during his breakout 2020-21 season when he finished with 38 goals.

Over his past 82 games, Thompson has 55 goals and 104 points. He is on pace for 68 goals this season, which would rank second in team history, and 125 points, which would be the third-most by a Sabre.

Buffalo (19-15-2) has won seven of eight going into a four-game homestand that begins Saturday against Minnesota.

NHL All-Star Selections

METROPOLITAN DIVISION

Ovechkin, Crosby, G Igor Shesterkin (N.Y. Rangers), F Brock Nelson (N.Y. Islanders), F Jack Hughes (New Jersey), F Andrei Svechnikov (Carolina), F Johnny Gaudreau (Columbus), F Kevin Hayes (Philadelphia)

ATLANTIC DIVISION

F Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay), F Tage Thompson (Buffalo), G Linus Ullmark (Boston), F Dylan Larkin (Detroit), F Matthew Tkachuk (Florida), F Brady Tkachuk (Ottawa), F Mitch Marner (Toronto), F Nick Suzuki (Montreal)

CENTRAL DIVISION

Makar, F Jason Robertson (Dallas), F Kirill Kaprizov (Minnesota), F Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis), F Clayton Keller (Arizona), D Seth Jones (Chicago), D Josh Morrissey (Winnipeg), G Juuse Saros (Nashville)

PACIFIC DIVISION

Thompson, F Connor McDavid (Edmonton), F Matty Beniers (Seattle), F Troy Terry (Anaheim), F Kevin Fiala (Los Angeles), F Nazem Kadri (Calgary), F Elias Pettersson (Vancouver), D Erik Karlsson (San Jose)

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Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.