Sabres Top-Tier Talent is For Real (Part 2 of 2)

Sabres Top-Tier Talent is For Real (Part 2 of 2)

by September 20, 2020 0 comments

In the previous installment of the top-tier talent on the Buffalo Sabres, we focused on Jack Eichel, Mattias Samuelsson, Victor Olofsson, Ryan Johnson, and the newly acquired, Eric Staal. This article, for all intents and purposes, will focus on three additional players, and what the Sabres can garner with the (highly-coveted) eighth-overall pick at next month’s NHL Entry Draft. Let’s get the ball rolling, shall we?

Rasmus Dahlin, D

Selected first-overall back at the 2018 NHL Draft, Rasmus Dahlin starts us off as one of the best young defensemen in the game. Born and raised in Trollhattan, Sweden, this kid is just oozing with raw skill as the cream of the crop amongst the Sabres defence-core. Needless to say, this is a real, special player with a sky-high upside that’s just tipping the surface of what he can be. 

At the tender age of 20, Dahlin is already an excellent skater and can quarterback a power-play with the best of them. He’s quick, dynamic, talented, responsible, and has an astute understanding of the game. At 6’3, 185 pounds, he is a graceful skater and moves the puck with pinpoint accuracy in all three zones. An injury-riddled, (and pandemic-shortened) 2019-20 saw Dahlin skate in just 59 games tallying 40 points (4 goals, 36 assists) to go along with a minus-seven rating and 19 minutes of ice time. This is a player who’s going to get better and better, and the Sabres are very lucky to have him. Dahlin is up there with the likes of Cale Makar, Quinn Hughes, and Miro Heiskanen as some of the best blue-liners in the NHL. He’s that good.

Dylan Cozens, C

The undisputed number one prospect in the Sabres organization appears in the form of talented forward Dylan Cozens from the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Western Hockey League (WHL). Where do we even begin with Cozens? Drafted last summer by the Sabres in the first round, seventh-overall, he is a gifted playmaker with a real nose for the net. He loves to make plays, approaches the game with a real competitive edge, and possesses a high hockey-IQ. Cozens is a shoo-in to make the Sabres out of camp and should slot in comfortably amongst their top-nine forward group. 

A native of Whitehorse, Yukon, Cozens tallied nine points in seven games with Team Canada during the 2020 World Juniors, that saw him bring home a Gold Medal. What a moment that must have been! He also scored 85 points, including 38 goals this past season in Lethbridge. Cozens is the real deal and should have Sabres fans chomping at the bit to see him in live-action at the National Hockey League level.

Sam Reinhart, C/RW

Four years before Dahlin went first overall and just one year before Jack Eichel second overall, the Sabres landed Sam Reinhart with the number two overall selection at the 2014 NHL Draft. Since then, Reinhart has solidified himself as a solid and dependable top-six forward on a Sabres team that’s had little to cheer about. 

Born and raised in West Vancouver, British Columbia, the 24-year-old forward is as consistent as they come. In five full seasons in the Queen City, “Rhino” has hit the 20-goal plateau four times, and scored at least 50 points three times. He’s the picture-perfect winger because he plays hard, finishes plays, and loves to drive the net. Reinhart plays a direct game and possesses a real underrated wrist-shot. He’s also a strong skater, responsible in his own end, and can really “zip it” across the ice surface. A pending restricted free agent (RFA), look for Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams to secure his services on 4-6 year term, further cementing himself as a key piece of the puzzle in the 716.

8th Overall Selection at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft

Although there’s no concrete player we can attach/quantify, (just yet) to the eight-overall draft pick, it’s importance is tenfold to the entire Sabres organization. At this point, we can only speculate as to who the Sabres will choose with the pick, but what we do know is that all eyes will be glued to Adams as he navigates through his very first draft.

Some potential selections with the pick include the likes of top prospects Alexander Holtz, Cole Perfetti, Anton Lundell, Jack Quinn, Jake Sanderson and a plethora of others. Again, no one knows which players fall to where just yet, but the Sabres do indeed have a lot of options to secure a very good player in a draft as deep as this one. Stay tuned, hockey fans!

As the Sabres look towards the present and future, they can take solace in the amount of talent they possess, and look towards steering the ship in the right direction once and for all. That’s all Sabres fans can really hope for. 

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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images

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