(Image Source: EA Sports)
Another season of rebuilding, tinkering, and selling was set to be on the cards for the Buffalo Sabres. But, having been robbed of the first overall pick in the draft several times, they took Rasmus Dahlin first overall, traded for sniper Jeff Skinner, and signed Carter Hutton in net, and now it all seems to be coming together for Buffalo.
At the 27-game mark in the season, the Sabres were coming off of a ten-game win streak, which saw them climb to sit one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs and two behind the Tampa Bay Lightning. Now, while they’re not Stanley Cup contenders yet, things finally look to be trending in the right direction in Buffalo.
Jack Eichel, Center, 87 OVR
Age: 21Role: Playmaker CenterHeight: 188cmWeight: 93kgShoots: RightBest Stats: 92 Deking, Hand-Eye. 91 Wrist Shot Accuracy.
Coming second only to Connor McDavid in his 2015 draft class, Jack Eichel has taken the Buffalo Sabres by the horns and earned the captain’s patch for his efforts. Still only 21-years-old, Eichel led the Sabres in 2017/18 with 25 goals and 64 points. Now, 27 games into the new campaign, Eichel continues to lead the way, with a whopping 32 points in 27 games, utilizing his playmaking more than his shooting skills this season.
Rasmus Ristolainen, Defenseman, 86 OVR
Age: 23Role: RightHeight: 193cmWeight: 99kgShoots: RightBest Stats: 90 Shot Blocking, Stick Checking, Balance, Strength, Slap Shot Power
Also still young, Rasmus Ristolainen cuts a formidable shadow on the ice with his huge frame and stick reach. He’s been a consistent 40-plus point scorer over the last few seasons but hasn’t breached the ten-goal mark in a single campaign yet. But, if the Sabres keep flying, Ristolainen could see his tally of three goals in 27 games grow to surpass ten for the first time in his professional career.
Carter Hutton, Goaltender, 82 OVR
Age: 32Role: Hybrid GoaltenderHeight: 185cmWeight: 92kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: 87 Recover, Stick Low, Glove Low
Having been one of the best, if not the best backup goaltender in the NHL through spells with the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues, the Buffalo Sabres have given Carter Hutton a starting role. Now in his prime, Hutton has been putting in strong performances while adjusting to the increased role, holding a .917 save percentage through 19 starts.
NHL 19 Buffalo Sabres Roster
From the Day 1, September 13 update, this is how the Buffalo Sabres’ first lines start. Buffalo’s strengths are in the team’s speed and youth. In NHL 19, it’s hard to see the team with these starting ratings going on a ten-game tear, but there are some very user-friendly skaters on each line, with Hutton’s rating improving significantly after the first couple of seasons as a recognized starter.
Jeff Skinner (84) – Jack Eichel (87) – Sam Reinhart (83)Marco Scandella (81) – Rasmus Ristolainen (86)Carter Hutton (82)
|Name||Overall Rating||Position/Role||Height||Age||Shoots||Best Stats|
|Jeff Skinner||84||Left Wing Sniper||180cm||26||Left||92 Agility. 91 Acceleration. 90 Wrist Shot Accuracy, Deking, Puck Control|
|Sam Reinhart||83||Right Wing Playmaker||185cm||22||Right||95 Discipline. 91 Deking. 89 Passing, Puck Control|
|Kyle Okposo||83||Right Wing Power Forward||183cm||30||Right||88 Slap Shot Power, Balance, Hand-Eye, Passing, Puck Control|
|Conor Sheary||81||Left Wing Playmaker||173cm||26||Left||88 Acceleration, Agility, Speed, Deking|
|Vladimir Sbotka||81||Two-Way Left Wing||178cm||31||Left||87 Acceleration, Agility, Speed, Aggressiveness|
|Marco Scandella||81||Defensive Defenseman||191cm||28||Left||88 Slap Shot Power. 87 Wrist Shot Power, Body Checking, Strength, Balance, Shot Blocking, Stick Checking|
|Jake McCabe||80||Two-Way Defenseman||185cm||24||Left||86 Slap Shot Power, Defensive Awareness. 85 Strength, Durability, Body Checking, Wrist Shot Power, Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Speed, Stick Checking, Shot Blocking|
|Jason Pominville||80||Right Wing Playmaker||183cm||35||Right||90 Discipline. 87 Slap Shot Power, Wrist Shot Power, Speed|
|Zach Bogosian||80||Defensive Defenseman||191cm||28||Right||89 Strength, Balance, Shot Blocking|
|Patrik Berglund||80||Two-Way Right Wing||193cm||30||Left||91 Discipline. 88 Balance, Strength|
|Zemgus Girgensons||79||Two-Way Center||188cm||24||Left||87 Speed. 85 Defensive Awareness, Stick Checking, Discipline, Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Slap Shot Power, Aggressiveness, Body Checking, Durability, Strength|
|Matt Hunwick||79||Defensive Defenseman||180cm||33||Left||88 Shot Blocking. 87 Body Checking, Slap Shot Power|
|Tage Thompson||79||Power Forward Center||196cm||20||Right||88 Balance. 87 Slap Shot Power, Wrist Shot Power|
|Nathan Beaulieu||79||Two-Way Defenseman||188cm||25||Left||87 Stick Checking. 86 Slap Shot Power, Endurance|
|Casey Mittelstadt||79||Playmaker Center||185cm||19||Left||87 Acceleration, Agility, Speed|
|Evan Rodrigues||78||Playmaker Center||180cm||25||Right||87 Acceleration, Agility, Speed|
|Scott Wilson||78||Two-Way Left Wing||180cm||26||Left||86 Slap Shot Power. 85 Wrist Shot Power, Agility, Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Speed|
|*Nicholas Baptiste||75||Right Wing Power Forward||185cm||23||Right||85 Agility, Acceleration, Speed, Strength, Body Checking, Aggressiveness, Wrist Shot Power, Slap Shot Power|
|Casey Nelson||75||Two-Way Defenseman||185cm||26||Right||85 Slap Shot Power, Durability. 84 Wrist Shot Power, Body Checking, Strength, Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Speed, Stick Checking|
|Linus Ullmark||79||Hybrid Goaltender||191cm||25||Left||85 Recover, Endurance, Durability|
*Nicholas Baptiste traded to the Nashville Predators on October 1.
Rasmus Dahlin, Defenseman, 82 OVR
Age: 18Role: Two-Way DefensemanHeight: 185cmWeight: 75kgShoots: LeftPotential: Elite med
It took a little while for him to adjust, as you would expect from a teenager entering the NHL – despite playing adult hockey in Sweden’s top division – but Dahlin is now showing the skills that made him the first overall pick of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. He’s already incredibly mobile with an 85 in acceleration, agility, and speed, and generates a wealth of power from both types of shot.
The Buffalo Sabres roster is already filled with great young talents: but there’s much more to come. Alexander Nylander has the potential become a top-class forward, with Brendan Guhle adding some hefty bite on the blueline. Casey Mittelstadt is already in the NHL lines at 19-years-old, and they have one of the hottest goaltending prospects in their pool, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. There may not be many players in the pool, but it boasts a tremendous amount of NHL potential.
NHL 19 Buffalo Sabres Top Prospects
|Oskari Laaksonen||57||Two-Way Defenseman||188cm||19||Right||Top 6 med|
|Marcus Davidsson||59||Two-Way Left Wing||183cm||19||Left||Top 9 med|
|Alexander Nylander||74||Right Wing Playmaker||183cm||20||Right||Elite med|
|Rasmus Asplund||66||Two-Way Left Wing||180cm||20||Left||Top 9 med|
|Brendan Guhle||76||Two-Way Defenseman||188cm||21||Left||Top 4 med|
|Devante Stephens||57||Defensive Defenseman||185cm||21||Left||7th D med|
|Vasily Glotov||60||Playmaker Center||178cm||21||Left||AHL Top 6 med|
|Jonas Johansson||68||Butterfly Goaltender||193cm||22||Left||Backup med|
|Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen||66||Hybrid Goaltender||191cm||19||Left||Elite med|