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Season Preview: Buffalo Sabres

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

Conference: Eastern

Division: Atlantic



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Offseason



Additions: Eric Comrie, Ilya Lyubushkin, Riley Sheahan, Kale Clague, Chase Priskie, Jeremy Davies

Subtractions: Colin Miller, Cody Eakin, Mark Pysyk, Dustin Tokarski, Aaron Dell, Will Butcher, Drake Caggiula, Mark Jankowski, John Hayden, Arttu Ruotsalainen


The biggest addition to the Sabres' roster is Eric Comrie, who is expected to challenge for the majority of the starts this season. Other than that, however, the team opted to let their young players push into bigger roles instead of bringing in more top-end competition.


 


Injury Report



Probable For Opener: -None-

Questionable For Opener: -None-

Out To Begin Season: -None-

Out For Season: -None-


The Sabres expect to be fully healthy come the start of the season.


 

Projected Lineup

(league ranks in parentheses)



Forwards (31st)

Jeff Skinner - Tage Thompson - Alex Tuch

Rasmus Asplund - Casey Mittelstadt - Victor Olofsson

Peyton Krebs - Dylan Cozens - Jack Quinn

Vinnie Hinostroza - Zemgus Girgensons - Kyle Okposo


Defense (29th)

Mattias Samuelsson - Rasmus Dahlin

Owen Power - Henri Jokiharju

Jacob Bryson - Ilya Lyubushkin


Goalies (13th)

Eric Comrie

Craig Anderson


Buffalo's lineup, Comrie aside, does not project very well despite some optimism for this young roster to take a step forward this season. It's important to note that growth isn't always linear, so the prospect of Thompson to repeat or improve upon his offensive explosion last season is not certain.


Also, relying on rookies Power and Quinn as the really only impactful newcomers to essentially the same lineup last season isn't likely enough to shoot the Sabres up the position ranks. Historically, rookies at their respective ages do not have a huge impact on standings points, although their development over the course of the season is certainly exciting to follow.


 


Dynamic Players


Snipers: Peyton Krebs

Playmakers: Jeff Skinner | Alex Tuch | Victor Olofsson

Volume Shooters: Jeff Skinner | Alex Tuch | Tage Thompson

Play-Drivers: Owen Power

Shutdown Defenders: Rasmus Asplund

Shot Blockers: -None-

Hitters: -None-

Enforcers: -None-

Penalty Drawers: -None-

PP Specialists: -None-

PK Specialists: -None-

Faceoff Specialists: -None-


 


Fantasy Impact


Studs: -None-

Duds: -None-

Sleepers: Eric Comrie, Owen Power

Other Roster Worthy: Jeff Skinner, Alex Tuch, Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin, Victor Olofsson


There's not a lot here in terms of fantasy value, but the high shot-rates of the Skinner-Thompson-Tuch line certainly makes any of them viable in both season-long formats as well as daily fantasy as a cheaper stack option.


While Dahlin and Olofsson provide powerplay value, Power showed in his limited stint at the end of last season that his scoring at even-strength is enough to provide some fantasy value in a pinch. Comrie's per-game stats last season were very intruiging as well if you're looking for a late-round flier in net.

2022-2023 PuckLuck Projections

PLAYER

POS

G

A

PTS

W

GA

SV

SO

Jeff Skinner

F

30

41

70

Alex Tuch

F

20

43

63

Tage Thompson

F

27

30

57

Victor Olofsson

F

24

33

56

Rasmus Dahlin

D

8

37

45

Owen Power

D

25

27

52

Eric Comrie

G

17

107

1015

3


 


Betting Impact



PuckLuck Projection: 74 points

Floor: 62 points Ceiling: 93 points


Projection Data Confidence: 48%

(League Average: 70%)


PuckLuck Odds:

  • Stanley Cup: +200000

  • President's Trophy: +50000

  • Conference: +20000

  • Division: +10000

DraftKings Sportsbook Lines:

  • Stanley Cup: +15000

  • President's Trophy: +30000

  • Conference: +5500

  • Division: +7000

The small sample the league's youngest roster provides us makes it very difficult to project the Sabres this season, as referenced by our 31-point swing between the floor and ceiling for standings points. If everything clicks, a 93-point ceiling likely caps their playoff chances as slim, let alone anything enough to warrant a futures bet.


The Sabres were consistently strong on the over last season, due to their loose style of play and poor goaltending. Keep an eye on the variance this season of the team's goals against when Comrie is in net compared to Craig Anderson. There could be some value on the over if you catch sportsbooks sleeping on a night the 41 year-old backup is in.


 


Season Outlook



Division Projection: 8th

Conference Projection: 14th

League Projection: 27th

Playoffs? Doubtful


Placed in one of the toughest divisions, Buffalo is fighting an uphill battle to break their current playoff drought. Both Ottawa and Detroit - teams that finished behind them in the standings - made major moves in the offseason that will likely help them leapfrog the Sabres. Take into account the top four teams in the division from last season are projected to hold firm, and you're left with Buffalo and Montreal battling to stay out of the cellar.


The Sabres are probably a lottery team come next offseason once again, but the real measure of success should be in the development of their top prospects.


Will the Buffalo Sabres make the playoffs this season?

  • Yes

  • No



 


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