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2019-20 Sabres Prospects

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10 hours ago, North Buffalo said:

It really depends on the fit imo for Samuelsson and who he might be paired with.  Based on what we saw in the rookie 3-3 camp his skating looks improved.  If he can continue improving his reaction time... first quick step... I could easily see him jumping over a few guys because of his size and strength, especially if Risto and or McCabe get moved.  I could see him being a good opposite D for one of the puck movers.  He seems to me like a more intelligent version of Risto depending on what Rakru may or may not be able to do with Risto's play and a bigger version of McCabe.

He doesn’t have Risto’s O skills.  More like a better version on Bogo.  Maybe.

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If Samuelsson scores 25 points in a season it will be because he went d-to-d with Rasmus who then went on to do Rasmus things by himself. He’s no Josh Gorges but his offence is McCabe-ish.

But I don’t like the Bogo reference either because even though he will occasionally hurt people, he is not the type to go charging all over the ice. He’s not a reckless player and he’s not a hard-around-the-boards type either. 

Again, I’ll reference the Lydman/Tallinder pair. He’s a big, reliable defender who will protect the blueline and the net, separate his man from the puck, and smartly get it out of danger. He’s stronger, smoother and more effective than McCabe and will be an upgrade when he replaces him.

Edited by dudacek
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2 minutes ago, dudacek said:

If Samuelsson scores 25 points in a season it will be because he went d-to-d with Rasmus who then went on to do Rasmus things by himself. He’s no Josh Gorges but his offence is McCabe-ish.

But I don’t like the Bogo reference either because even though he will occasionally hurt people, he is not the type to go charging all over the ice. He’s not a reckless player and he’s not a hard-around-the-boards type either. 

Again, I’ll reference the Lydman/Tallinder pair. He’s a big, reliable defender who will protect the blueline and the net, separate his man from the puck, and smartly get it out of danger. He’s stronger, smoother and more effective than McCabe and will be an upgrade when he replaces him.

I also think Bogo is too good of a skater for this comp, or at least he was in his earlier years.  

I would agree with your good comp.  A bigger better McCabe is type of player you are hoping Samuelsson becomes.

 

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I was looking over our D prospects and we have 9 legit D players with 7 having IMHO good to excellent shots at playing and contributing in the NHL. The question for me is their arrival date as full time NHLers and where they fit in.  Two things brought this subject to mind. The first is our current roster of D with 9 NHL players, once McCabe signs, there are 4  UFAs (Nelson, Scandella, Bogosian and Hunwick) after the season and Montour and Pilut as RFA.  Depending on what McCabe signs for, he could also be a UFA (since his 7 games in 2013-14 burned a year of his ELC and next season will be his 7th pro year) after next season.  

The second thing was the NHL.com article about Samuelsson. https://www.nhl.com/news/mattias-samuelsson-buffalo-sabres-prospect/c-308371636?tid=277567768

I'm also going to assume for arguments sake that Risto is also traded before this coming season.  Therefore of the remaining 8 NHL defenders after Risto is traded that leaves just two signed beyond next season.  That is a huge opportunity for prospects.  So when will they arrive in the NHL.

1) Jokiharju -  Turned 20 in June and was Chicago's 1st rd pick in 2017 (29th overall).  Played 38 games in the NHL as a 19 year old 1st year pro and played well until a coaching change sent him to the minors where he also excelled.  I think he could make the Sabres out of camp and I see the 6'0" 200 lbs D as Dahlin eventually RHD partner, but not next season.  I suspect with an abundance of guys on NHL contracts, Jokiharju, who is waivers exempt, starts the year in Roch and plays big minutes.  I also suspect, he'll be a full time Sabre by mid-season, earlier if things don't start well. Full-time Sabre - 2020-21

2) Pliut - Undrafted 23 year old, dominated the AHL with 26 pts in 30 games.  Looked good early in 33 NHL games, but lost confidence later.  Injury ended his season and will delay start of this coming year.  He'll need time to get his seas legs back and will start the year in Rochester.  Full-time Sabre in 2020-21

3) Borgen - 22 year old RHD(4th rd 92nd overall in 2015) has impressed with solid stay at home physical game, but moves well.  At 6'3 200, he and Samuelsson our probably our most physical D prospects and things looked good for him to get a role in Buffalo in 2020-21 until the Sabres acquired Jokiharju.  Now with Montour, Miller and Jokiharju in front of him I wonder where he fits in our future.  He could step into Nelson's role but I suspect management will want him playing in Roch and not riding the bench in Buffalo.  Full-time Sabre in 2021-22, where I could see us losing Miller to expansion and Borgen jumping into that 3rd line role.

The next 3 probably need 2-3 more years each before they are ready, but as Samuelsson and Johnson were drafted at a similar place as Jokiharju, maybe one will surprise and force his way into Buffalo.

4) Samuelsson - Nice write up by NHL.com.   Already 6'4 217, this LHD was our 2nd rd pick (32nd overall) in 2018. Samuelsson has completed a solid year at Western Mich and will return for one more year. The question is whether his skating will be good enough for the NHL, and if it is, how long will he need in the AHL to get NHL ready.  I'm going to assume jump one AHL season for him to ready to step into a 3rd pairing role with the Sabres.  That puts his arrival in 2021-22.  Can you imagine a Borgen Samuelsson pairing on the 3rd pair?

5) Johnson - Jbot grabbed this slick skating LHD with the 31st overall pick in 2019.  Johnson heads to Minn in the fall.  How long he'll need there before turning pro is anyone's guess.  I figure 2 years there and then at least one AHL season.  At that point, I can see him replacing Pilut.  Figure 2022-23 at the earliest.

6) Laaksonen - Now 6'2 the 20 year old RHD surprise 3rd rd pick in 2017 (89th overall) has exceeded expectations.  I slick skating, puck moving and offensively gifted D made a huge positive impression with his play for Finland's 2019 gold medal winning WJC U20 team.  Is returning for 1 more year in Finland and then here in 2020-21.  Will he need 2 year or just one in the AHL.  I think he'll need only 1.  Arrival 2021-22.  Again Borgen may end up the odd man out depending on how this kid develops. 

Guys with longer odds

7) Bryson - 4th rd in 2017 (99th overall) was a very effective 2 way LHD and coaches favorite for Providence College for 3 seasons.   only 5'9" I'm curious to see how games translates to the pros.  Will start in Rochester and is a guy to keep an eye on. Will be 22 in Nov.  If he adjusts well to the pros, he could force his way into the mix over the next 2 years.  Could he help make McCabe expendable in a year or two?  With so many openings in the NHL after this season, he has a shot.  2020-21 or 2021-22 best case.

Others Hickey 23 and Fitzgerald 22.  Former college players are long shots to be anything but AHL players, but both are former 3rd rd picks (Hickey 2014, and Fitz 2016) out of excellent college programs (BU and BC respectively) so there is talent here.  It's just a question if they can translate it to the pros.  Both are young enough to have time to develop.

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Good analysis.  That nhl.com piece on Samuelsson was a good read.  Sure sounds like he will be moving over to Roch after this season.  Maybe one year there and then he could be knocking on the door.  He is much more mature and physically developed than some of his peers at that age.  I could see him having a real look in two seasons.

Also need to keep in mind he is as close to a stay at home defenseman as they come.  His numbers this year won't jump off the page but IMHO he is the exact type guy we need.  So many offensive puck movers who can put up some points.  Can't wait for a great skating stay at home D.

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The NHL.com article on Samuelsson was nice, but I think the only reason it was written is because his father is Kjell Samuelsson.  It doesn’t really give any new info or discuss any improvements as a hockey player.  He is big, he is a leader, his dad played in the NHL, his coach is Andy Murray.  It was far from in depth.  

I hope his skating, passing, and decision making end up being good enough to allow his size and defensive attributes to play to their fullest an the NHL level.  I think he has at least one more NCAA season and one full season in the AHL to go before he gets any real look in the NHL.  Maybe a good amount of NHL time in 2021-22 and a full time NHLer in 2022-23.  He is probably quite a ways out still.

Edited by Curt

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It was interesting to learn he will be given an 'A' and become part of the leadership group as a junior.  Yes every college coach pumps their kids tires but some nice quotes from Murray as well.

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48 minutes ago, Derrico said:

It was interesting to learn he will be given an 'A' and become part of the leadership group as a junior.  Yes every college coach pumps their kids tires but some nice quotes from Murray as well.

I believe he is a Sophomore.

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49 minutes ago, WildCard said:

That top pair tho

Only one right shot D on the team?  Man am I glad I taught my kid to be a right shot instead of a left.  😁

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18 minutes ago, Let's Go B-Lo said:

Only one right shot D on the team?  Man am I glad I taught my kid to be a right shot instead of a left.  😁

Didn't know you could teach that??  I thought whatever hip you slide on (baseball slide) is your natural inclination.  Slide on your right hip, you shoot right. 

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4 minutes ago, Tondas said:

Didn't know you could teach that??  I thought whatever hip you slide on (baseball slide) is your natural inclination.  Slide on your right hip, you shoot right. 

You can teach yourself to do whatever you want, hence switch hitters in baseball or guys that throw with their right hand but hit left handed, etc.  It's my understanding that where you learn to play dictates a lot of how you learn to hold the stick.  US tends to have the dominant hand on the bottom of the stick which makes a right handed player a right handed shot while Canada has the dominant hand on the top of the stick which would make a right handed player a left handed shot.  I'm a right handed person who shoots lefty. My son is a right handed person who shoots righty.  We both golf, throw, and hit baseballs righty.  I might be totally wrong about that but I remember hearing it somewhere.  It makes sense to me anyway because it explains the relative shortage of RH defensemen in the game compared to LH.  Given that left handed people make up about 10% of the population if they were putting their dominant hand on the bottom they'd be left hand shots while all the right handed people would be right hand shots but it doesn't seem to be that way.  Assuming that Canada still provides the majority of players in upper hockey leagues it would make sense to me that this would get flipped around if they were teaching kids to hold the stick the other way and create a situation where RH players were the minority.  If they weren't and the US and Canada were doing it the same way I'd expect there to be a tremendous shortage of North American left handed shots and there isn't. Only 10% of the the total players in NA would be expected to be left hand shots if this were true and I don't think it is.  

But then I try to buy gear and the LH sticks are always the ones on clearance which means they sell fewer of them, of course I'm also shopping in the US which if I'm correct generally teaches righties to be righties and lefties to be lefties. My sons teams also seem to be excessively right handed which also leads me to believe the righties as righties thing is real.

In short, I don't know.  🤣

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I've watched a lot of minor hockey in Canada over the last 20+ years and I would say that the majority of players shoot left, maybe as much as 2/3.

Many golfers take up the game left handed as well, bringing their hockey mechanics to the motion before refining it into a swing.

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25 minutes ago, Let's Go B-Lo said:

You can teach yourself to do whatever you want, hence switch hitters in baseball or guys that throw with their right hand but hit left handed, etc.  It's my understanding that where you learn to play dictates a lot of how you learn to hold the stick.  US tends to have the dominant hand on the bottom of the stick which makes a right handed player a right handed shot while Canada has the dominant hand on the top of the stick which would make a right handed player a left handed shot.  I'm a right handed person who shoots lefty. My son is a right handed person who shoots righty.  We both golf, throw, and hit baseballs righty.  I might be totally wrong about that but I remember hearing it somewhere.  It makes sense to me anyway because it explains the relative shortage of RH defensemen in the game compared to LH.  Given that left handed people make up about 10% of the population if they were putting their dominant hand on the bottom they'd be left hand shots while all the right handed people would be right hand shots but it doesn't seem to be that way.  Assuming that Canada still provides the majority of players in upper hockey leagues it would make sense to me that this would get flipped around if they were teaching kids to hold the stick the other way and create a situation where RH players were the minority.  If they weren't and the US and Canada were doing it the same way I'd expect there to be a tremendous shortage of North American left handed shots and there isn't. Only 10% of the the total players in NA would be expected to be left hand shots if this were true and I don't think it is.  

But then I try to buy gear and the LH sticks are always the ones on clearance which means they sell fewer of them, of course I'm also shopping in the US which if I'm correct generally teaches righties to be righties and lefties to be lefties. My sons teams also seem to be excessively right handed which also leads me to believe the righties as righties thing is real.

In short, I don't know.  🤣

Interesting.  I do everything right handed except hockey.  I started playing and naturally shot lefty from the moment I hit the ice.  Never gave it any thought and the coach never asked which arm we threw with or batted with, go figure.

Edit: I do slide on my left side in baseball.

Edited by Georgia Blizzard
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2 minutes ago, Georgia Blizzard said:

Interesting.  I do everything right handed except hockey.  I started playing and naturally shot lefty from the moment I hit the ice.  Never gave it any thought and the coach never asked which arm we threw with or batted with, go figure.

Me too but when you think about it playing hockey left handed and golfing right handed makes no sense. Yet, it's what I do.  In fact, if I'd forced myself to golf lefty I'd probably be better off with the weaker hand on the bottom of the club.

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15 minutes ago, Let's Go B-Lo said:

You can teach yourself to do whatever you want, hence switch hitters in baseball or guys that throw with their right hand but hit left handed, etc.  It's my understanding that where you learn to play dictates a lot of how you learn to hold the stick.  US tends to have the dominant hand on the bottom of the stick which makes a right handed player a right handed shot while Canada has the dominant hand on the top of the stick which would make a right handed player a left handed shot.  I'm a right handed person who shoots lefty. My son is a right handed person who shoots righty.  We both golf, throw, and hit baseballs righty.  I might be totally wrong about that but I remember hearing it somewhere.  It makes sense to me anyway because it explains the relative shortage of RH defensemen in the game compared to LH.  Given that left handed people make up about 10% of the population if they were putting their dominant hand on the bottom they'd be left hand shots while all the right handed people would be right hand shots but it doesn't seem to be that way.  Assuming that Canada still provides the majority of players in upper hockey leagues it would make sense to me that this would get flipped around if they were teaching kids to hold the stick the other way and create a situation where RH players were the minority.  If they weren't and the US and Canada were doing it the same way I'd expect there to be a tremendous shortage of North American left handed shots and there isn't. Only 10% of the the total players in NA would be expected to be left hand shots if this were true and I don't think it is.  

But then I try to buy gear and the LH sticks are always the ones on clearance which means they sell fewer of them, of course I'm also shopping in the US which if I'm correct generally teaches righties to be righties and lefties to be lefties. My sons teams also seem to be excessively right handed which also leads me to believe the righties as righties thing is real.

In short, I don't know.  🤣

Great post.  Once you start skating, you have a natural inclination on which way to crossover is more conformable. Also which way to stop.   At that point, the shooting preference is pretty much identified.  Then I look at the Russian teams of the 70s and 80 and 95% of their players shot left.  There must be a way to teach it. 

I'm looking to take up the guitar.  Before I buy, I'll have to figure out if I WANT to be a lefty or righty (not a political statement).  😀

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6 minutes ago, Let's Go B-Lo said:

Me too but when you think about it playing hockey left handed and golfing right handed makes no sense. Yet, it's what I do.  In fact, if I'd forced myself to golf lefty I'd probably be better off with the weaker hand on the bottom of the club.

Hockey is the only one where you only have one hand on the stick a lot of the time. I think it makes sense that you would want it to be your dominant hand. I find righties as righties bizarre.

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3 minutes ago, SwampD said:

Hockey is the only one where you only have one hand on the stick a lot of the time. I think it makes sense that you would want it to be your dominant hand. I find righties as righties bizarre.

See, this makes good sense to me and makes me feel less strange.  It also explains why the Russians were almost all left hand shots.

Edited by Let's Go B-Lo

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That's a good breakdown up there, @GASabresIUFAN, thanks. 

Just to lay it out for my own eyes, current roster, signed beyond this year in bold, prospects, by GA's ranking, in italics:

 

 

D.pdf

Edited by Thorny

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54 minutes ago, Georgia Blizzard said:

Interesting.  I do everything right handed except hockey.  I started playing and naturally shot lefty from the moment I hit the ice.  Never gave it any thought and the coach never asked which arm we threw with or batted with, go figure.

Edit: I do slide on my left side in baseball.

If you shoot with your dominant hand low, you will tend to have generally better control and less power than someone who shoots with the dominant hand up top.  Which makes sense as the dominant hand is typically stronger than the less dominant one and also has slightly better control than the less dominant one.

In the US we usually have the player hold the stick the way that seems more comfortable.  In Canada, they seem to have the players learn the way that will provide more power as practicing will improve the puck control.

To this day, shooting opposite hand results in a much harder shot though there is absolutely no control.  And used to be able to pick a corner or 5 hole with great precision.  Still have reasonable control passing or shooting but with little power

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4 hours ago, Let's Go B-Lo said:

Me too but when you think about it playing hockey left handed and golfing right handed makes no sense. Yet, it's what I do.  In fact, if I'd forced myself to golf lefty I'd probably be better off with the weaker hand on the bottom of the club.

I hit golf balls from either side but bat righty, play hockey lefty... I am a better chipper from my left but better driver from my right.   I have no clue on handedness and with work I can do most things with either hand...  though I tend to do them a little different.

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11 hours ago, WildCard said:

That top pair tho

I imagine Cozens would be playing for Canada if healthy.  Nice to know the USA hockey likes 2 of our top D prospects.

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NHL Network/TSN had their top 50 prospects.  Requirements 25 and under and under 25 games.  3 Sabres and one other mention.

1) Jokiharju would have made the list but for his 30+ games last season

2) Olofsson made he list at 47

3) UPL made the list at 44

4) Cozens made the list at 24

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10 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

NHL Network/TSN had their top 50 prospects.  Requirements 25 and under and under 25 games.  3 Sabres and one other mention.

1) Jokiharju would have made the list but for his 30+ games last season

2) Olofsson made he list at 47

3) UPL made the list at 44

4) Cozens made the list at 24

Out of curiosity, did Nylander make the list?

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