Sabres News NHL: The Buffalo Sabres set to put top overall pick Rasmus Dahlin on the top line.



Buffalo Sabres 2018 Season Preview



Jack Eichel was the guy drafted after Connor McDavid in 2015. Many considered him a generational talent like McDavid. Eichel should finally see line 1 action in 2017-2018.



Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Posted on 9/21/2018.



Buffalo Sabres Line 1 Forwards


Player
Position
Games Played
Height
Weight
Goals
Assists
Points
Jeff Skinner
Left Wing
70
5-foot-11-inches
187-pounds
24
25
49
Jack Eichel
Center
61
6-foot-2-inches
194-pounds
25
39
64
Kyle Okposo
Right Wing
65
6-foot-0-inches
208-pounds
15
29
41

Bufalo Sabres Line 2 Forwards


Player
Position
Games Played
Height
Weight
Goals
Assists
Points
Vladimir Sobotka
Left Wing
81
5-foot-11-inches
189-pounds
11
20
31
Casey Mittelstadt
Center
34
6-foot-1-inches
202-pounds
11
19
30
Sam Reinhart
Right Wing
82
6-foot-1-inches
183-pounds
25
25
50

Buffalo Sabres Line 3 Forwards


Player
Position
Games Played
Height
Weight
Goals
Assists
Points
Connor Sheary
Left Wing
79
5-foot-8-inches
176-pounds
18
12
30
Patrik Berglund
Center
57
6-foot-4-inches
215-pounds
17
9
26
Jason Pominville
Right Wing
82
6-foot-0-inches
181-pounds
16
18
34

Buffalo Sabres Line 4 Forwards


Player
Position
Games Played
Height
Weight
Goals
Assists
Points
Evan Rodrigues
Left Wing
48
5-foot-10-inches
176-pounds
7
18
25
Zemgus Girgensons
Center
71
6-foot-2-inches
200-pounds
7
8
15
Tage Thompson
Right Wing
41
6-foot-0-inches
190-pounds
1
9
10


Buffalo Sabres Forwards Review: Buffalo has an excellent first line with Jeff Skinner and Kyle Okposo at left wing and right wing. Those guys will do more with Jack Eichel playing on the top line next season instead of Ryan O'Reilly.


Vladimir Sobotka, Casey Mittelstadt, Buffalo's 2017 first round pick, and Sam Reinhart can anchor the second line at center and right wing with Benoit Pouliot coming from Edmonton to compliment them at left wing. Third line left winger Connor Sheary and right winger Jason Pominville are talented enough to be used on the second line. Buffalo has 12 forwards that can score 10 points or more as well as an underrated offense. Sheary will be week-to-week with his upper body injury. I expect Buffalo to click offensively once Sheary returns.


Buffalo was the only team to score under 200 goals in the NHL last season. They scored fewer goals. To be fair, the Sabres had a new GM and a new head coach. Expectations for the Sabres will be much loftier moving forward.




Buffalo Sabres Defensive Lines


Player
Line
Games Played
Height
Weight
Goals
Assists
Points
Rasmus Ristolainen
Line 1
73
6-foot-4-inches
215-pounds
6
35
41
Rasmus Dahlin
Line 1
41
6-foot-3-inches
198-pounds
7
13
20
Marco Scandella
Line 2
82
6-foot-3-inches
208-pounds
5
17
22
Zach Bogosian
Line 2
18
6-foot-3-inches
228-pounds
0
0
1
Jake McCabe
Line 3
53
6-foot-1-inches
209-pounds
3
9
12
Nathan Beaulieu
Line 3
59
6-foot-2-inches
205-pounds
1
8
9


Buffalo Sabres Defensemen Review: Buffalo has one good defender in Rasumus Ristolanen. Now Buffalo has Rasmus Dahlin on the top line. The second line with Marco Scandella and Zach Bogosian looks much better. The third line with Jake McCabe and Nathan Beaulieu. Buffalo's defense should make a huge leap this season as long as everyone on Buffalo's blue line stays healthy.


Last year Buffalo ranked 28th in goals allowed and 22nd in penalty killing. They improved defensively from a bottom-feeder to a team that got slightly better. I think Buffalo can be a top 20 team in both goals allowed and penalty killing.




Draft Utopia Between The Pipes Goalie Tracker


Starting Goalie


Player
Team
Games Played
Record
Shutouts
Save Percentage
Goals Against Average
Carter Hutton
Buffalo Sabres
32
17-7-3
3 Shutouts
.931
2.09 GAA

Backup Goalie


Player
Team
Games Played
Record
Shutouts
Save Percentage
Goals Against Average
Linus Ullmark
Buffalo Sabres
5
1-2-0
0 Shutouts
.935
2.00 GAA


Buffalo Sabres Goaltender Review: Buffalo finally got a reliable goalie in Carter Hutton. They also got a better backup in Linus Ullmark.




Buffalo Sabres Prospect Pool: Buffalo has winger Alex Nylander on the Providence Americans in the AHL after taking him 8th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Nylander is versatile enough to play either winger role. Cliff Pu could be a future call up as well. Brycen Martin could be a future callup too.


The Sabres have some guys from this 2014 draft class that are NHL ready at this point like second round pick Brendan Lemieux at left wing and third round pick Jonas Johansen as a goalie to develop for the future. These guys did so bad in the AHL that they went to the ECHL so they may not ever see NHL ice time.




Buffalo Sabres 2018-2019 Prediction


Buffalo finally has all the pieces to be a playoff team. I think they have the tools to be a top 3 team in the Atlantic Division with Boston and Tampa Bay. Even if they don't make that leap their future is only going to get better with the long-term pieces that the Sabres have. They won't win a playoff series this season, but the ability to get to the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs is there.




Click the link below to get information on Buffalo's AHL partner, the Rochester Americans.










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