BOSTON — Everyone that watched him develop in the Bruins organization knew that Nate Thompson would someday establish himself as, at worst, a solid fourth-line, two-way center.

Well, he has finally blossomed with Tampa Bay under first-year head coach Guy Boucher.

In 25 games, Thompson has posted 3-6-9 totals in 14:22 of ice time. He has come a long way since the Bruins lost him on waivers to the New York Islanders in October 2008.

“The guy’s call him Nate Boucher,” joked the Tampa Bay coach after his team’s morning skate today when explaining how much he likes Thompson. “He’s a heart-and-soul guy. One thing that’s surprised me, he was described as a grinding guy that’s good on the penalty kill. He’s a lot more than that. He’s got better hands, he’s got more speed than people give him credit for.”

We’ll see Thompson, a sixth-round pick by Boston in 2003, against his former organization today at TD Garden starting after the 7 p.m. puck drop.