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GASabresIUFAN

The Roster of the Future - Jbot’s Vision?

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Like most of us here, I like to play GM.  As y’all know, I also follow our prospects diligently.

After reading Pronman’s column in the Athletic about our pipeline and thinking about what I know about our current roster and cap situation, I have a much better feel for Jbot’s long-term vision for this franchise.

What crystallized my opinion was drafting a roster for 2-3 years out just using players currently here or in our pipeline.  I came up with a fast talented roster that has an over abundance of puck moving D but may need to add a little more physical toughness.

At forward

Line 1 - Skinner Eichel Cozens - I love this line - adding Cozens speed and willingness to play the corners could elevate these stars even further.

Line 2 - Vesey Mitts Reinhart - Vesey could score 35 playing with those two in their primes

Line 3 - Olofsson Asplund Thompson - Nice mix of talent, scoring, size.  I think Asplund projects as a solid two way center.  A better Larsson.

Line 4 - Routsalainen Davidsson Pekar - Kind of a slightly lesser version of Line 3 but with Pekar as the agitator.  If you don’t like Davidsson, ERod is still here and could easily slide into the 4th C role.

On Defense

D1 Dahlin Jokiharju - Potentially one the top pairings in the NHL

D2 ???? Montour - Montour would pair up nicely with any of the 4 potential candidates for the LHD job.  McCabe could even remain in the mix.

D3 ???? Samuelsson/Borgen - We’ll need a Borgen or Samuelsson. Fortunately we have both.  Johnson Samuelsson showed well together for Team USA. 

Don’t read the ???? as a negative or unknown, it’s a reflection of the depth we have here and no clear front runners for those 2 slots long-term.  I see Pilut, Laaksonen, Bryson and Johnson as fighting it out for those 2 slots and that is a great problem to have.

UPL in goal with Ullmark as the backup.

Obviously this won’t ever be an actual Sabres roster.  Cap considerations, injuries and developmental issues will all play a factor in whether or not this comes to pass in whole or in part.  This also doesn't reflect the return for Risto when he’s eventually traded.  However, there is no one on this mock roster that is an actual reach.  Pronman listed every prospect I included as having a chance or better of making the NHL plus this roster utilizes everyone in his top 10 under 23.  

Ultimately, this looks like a legit young, fast and potentially dynamic NHL team.  The biggest issues maybe re-signing Vesey and whether Davidsson develops into an NHLer.  

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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48 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Like most of us here, I like to play GM.  As y’all know, I also follow our prospects diligently.

After reading Pronman’s column in the Athletic about our pipeline and thinking about what I know about our current roster and cap situation, I have a much better feel for Jbot’s long-term vision for this franchise.

What crystallized my opinion was drafting a roster for 2-3 years out just using players currently here or in our pipeline.  I came up with a fast talented roster that has an over abundance of puck moving D but may need to add a little more physical toughness.

At forward

Line 1 - Skinner Eichel Cozens - I love this line - adding Cozens speed and willingness to play the corners could elevate these stars even further.

Line 2 - Vesey Mitts Reinhart - Vesey could score 35 playing with those two in their primes

Line 3 - Olofsson Asplund Thompson - Nice mix of talent, scoring, size.  I think Asplund projects as a solid two way center.  A better Larsson.

Line 4 - Routsalainen Davidsson Pekar - Kind of a slightly lesser version of Line 3 but with Pekar as the agitator.  If you don’t like Davidsson, ERod is still here and could easily slide into the 4th C role.

On Defense

D1 Dahlin Jokiharju - Potentially one the top pairings in the NHL

D2 ???? Montour - Montour would pair up nicely with any of the 4 potential candidates for the LHD job.  McCabe could even remain in the mix.

D3 ???? Samuelsson/Borgen - We’ll need a Borgen or Samuelsson. Fortunately we have both.  Johnson Samuelsson showed well together for Team USA. 

Don’t read the ???? as a negative or unknown, it’s a reflection of the depth we have here and no clear front runners for those 2 slots long-term.  I see Pilut, Laaksonen, Bryson and Johnson as fighting it out for those 2 slots and that is a great problem to have.

UPL in goal with Ullmark as the backup.

Obviously this won’t ever be an actual Sabres roster.  Cap considerations, injuries and developmental issues will all play a factor in whether or not this comes to pass in whole or in part.  This also doesn't reflect the return for Risto when he’s eventually traded.  However, there is no one on this mock roster that is an actual reach.  Pronman listed every prospect I included as having a chance or better of making the NHL plus this roster utilizes everyone in his top 10 under 23.  

Ultimately, this looks like a legit young, fast and potentially dynamic NHL team.  The biggest issues maybe re-signing Vesey and whether Davidsson develops into an NHLer.  

Were they to build up without trades or FA signings, would expect something very similar to that.  Though expect Vesey &  Olofsson would swap.  Also, project Davidsson as more of a winger than a C in the NHL.  He was a beast on the boards at the WJC 2 seasons ago.

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Realistically, I'd say 2 maybe 3 of the following ever become NHL regulars....   with Olofsson and Thompson probably having the best chance.  

Olofsson has that shot, Thompson the size and hands... the rest of them just don't do any one thing exceptionally well.    They're nice well-rounded prospects, but that's about it.    And while UPL has everything you want in a goalie prospect, history tells us that goalie prospects are crap shoots.     There's no way to predict how they'll react to the stresses of NHL starting goaltender duties, both mental and physical.

Olofsson
Asplund
Thompson
Routsalainen
Davidson
Pekar
Samuelsson
Borgen
UPL

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Great looking line-up and I'm all in. I've always liked Asplund. All these guys seem to have the potential to make the roster at some point, for how long is the question.

This brings up a question I've been considering over the last few days. IF some of these guys DON'T make the roster more due to a numbers issue (too many players in their position and not because of talent) what might the potential return be for some of them???

For example: Asplund continues to progress but is passed by Davidsson? What might we get in a trade for Asplund? Same with Borgen/ Samuelsson? Pilut/ Laaksonen? Of course, this would be different than a Bailey/ Baptiste situation in the possible expectation/ talent level. I'm talking players who force their way on to the roster by virtue of the play.

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1 hour ago, MakeSabresGrr8Again said:

Great looking line-up and I'm all in. I've always liked Asplund. All these guys seem to have the potential to make the roster at some point, for how long is the question.

This brings up a question I've been considering over the last few days. IF some of these guys DON'T make the roster more due to a numbers issue (too many players in their position and not because of talent) what might the potential return be for some of them???

For example: Asplund continues to progress but is passed by Davidsson? What might we get in a trade for Asplund? Same with Borgen/ Samuelsson? Pilut/ Laaksonen? Of course, this would be different than a Bailey/ Baptiste situation in the possible expectation/ talent level. I'm talking players who force their way on to the roster by virtue of the play.

Trading excess prospects happens all the time especially if a prospect is 2-3 years in the organization and is no longer a fit system wise or gets passed by a better player. I can see that happening to Borgen, Pilut, and others very easily.  Right now the RHDs are Montour, Miller, Risto, Bogo and Nelson.  Nelson and Bogo are UFAs at seasons end and a Risto is likely to get traded.  Jokiharju probably jumps into Risto’s slot and if Borgen doesn’t grab a slot in 2020, then he could easily get passed by Samuelsson.

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1 hour ago, pi2000 said:

Realistically, I'd say 2 maybe 3 of the following ever become NHL regulars....   with Olofsson and Thompson probably having the best chance.  

Olofsson has that shot, Thompson the size and hands... the rest of them just don't do any one thing exceptionally well.    They're nice well-rounded prospects, but that's about it.    And while UPL has everything you want in a goalie prospect, history tells us that goalie prospects are crap shoots.     There's no way to predict how they'll react to the stresses of NHL starting goaltender duties, both mental and physical.

Olofsson
Asplund
Thompson
Routsalainen
Davidson
Pekar
Samuelsson
Borgen
UPL

I’d actually go with 6 of the 9 become regulars although maybe not in Buffalo.   Olofsson Asplund and Thompson will be NHL players.  UPL  is a future No 1 goalie and if all goes well he’ll be our top goalie in 2021-22.  The next guys are Pekar and Samuelsson.  Pekar is a better prospect then Kaleta ever was and Patty skated in nearly 350 NHL games over 9 seasons.  Samuelsson biggest issue is skating, but reports are that’s much improved.  If he skates well enough, he’ll be a NHL D.  I haven’t seen Routsalainen or Davidsson in NA yet, so it’s hard to get a read on how their games translate and I think Borgen’s window has closed somewhat because of Jokiharju.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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I like what you're laying out and it's probably close to what the future holds but we shall see. I'd question your faith in Vesey. I'm not sure he has what it takes desire/attitude wise. maybe this trade is his wake up call and we get the potential Vesey that was so highly coveted before. We shall see. Also, Thompson has to prove it to me at this point. I see him as a failed prospect in the ahl right now and nothing more. Just didn't see him grow at all last year. Got worse. he has to beef up and get meaner and if not, he's just a footnote on the  terrible trade in Sabres history. 

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I can't get a firm grasp of Botterill's plans for the forwards yet. Seems he likes to add wingers who can play both sides, with speed. His strategy seems to be to acquire as many maybe-top 6  players as possible and hope a couple are forged through the process of competition. We'll see how that goes. Vesey won't be a long term top 6 player here. Current roster C is weak but I think his most cohesive strategy for a F position is actually at C, after seeing him draft Cozens. 

His plan on D seems crystal clear. I think it's fairly evident he's building our roster from the back end, out. Defense is our strength organizationally, across the board. 

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14 minutes ago, Thorny said:

I can't get a firm grasp of Botterill's plans for the forwards yet. Seems he likes to add wingers who can play both sides, with speed. His strategy seems to be to acquire as many maybe-top 6  players as possible and hope a couple are forged through the process of competition. We'll see how that goes. Vesey won't be a long term top 6 player here. Current roster C is weak but I think his most cohesive strategy for a F position is actually at C, after seeing him draft Cozens. 

His plan on D seems crystal clear. I think it's fairly evident he's building our roster from the back end, out. Defense is our strength organizationally, across the board. 

I think position flexibility is part of the plan for the forwards.  Wingers must play both sides and centers must also play wing when necessary.  The only forward nor required to do this is Eichel.  I think he is also focused on goal scorers on the wing.  Skinner, Sheary, Olofsson, and Vesey are known for being goal scorers more then playmakers, which is a skill we were seriously lacking when Jbot took over. It’s a skill we still need more of. I think he hopes Thompson also grows into a go to the net power forward.  Also speed in the wing is also a goal

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1 minute ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I think position flexibility is part of the plan for the forwards.  Wingers must play both sides and centers must also play wing when necessary.  The only forward nor required to do this is Eichel.  I think he is also focused on goal scorers on the wing.  Skinner, Sheary, Olofsson, and Vesey are known for being goal scorers more then playmakers, which is a skill we were seriously lacking when Jbot took over. It’s a skill we still need more of. I think he hopes Thompson also grows into a go to the net power forward.  Also speed in the wing is also a goal

Reinhart stands out in opposition to so much of this. A small part of my brain still expects him to be moved. Or at least I wouldn't be surprised if it happens. 

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There's no chance vesey scores 35. He's not magically going to score 20 more goals without significant pp time. 

Just now, Thorny said:

Reinhart stands out in opposition to so much of this. A small part of my brain still expects him to be moved. Or at least I wouldn't be surprised if it happens. 

Why would you move a 65 point consistent 20g scorer?

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8 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

There's no chance vesey scores 35. He's not magically going to score 20 more goals without significant pp time. 

Why would you move a 65 point consistent 20g scorer?

I wouldn’t. 

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7 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

There's no chance vesey scores 35. He's not magically going to score 20 more goals without significant pp time. 

Why would you move a 65 point consistent 20g scorer?

I’m pretty sure Jbot wants Vesey to be the net front presence on the 2nd PP. 

As to Reinhart, you move him because you need him to anchor a line and think he can produce at least as well from the pivot. That said, I doubt Reinhart ever gets moved with Cozens, and Asplund coming and Erod, Jack and Mitts already here to play center.

 

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7 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I’m pretty sure Jbot wants Vesey to be the net front presence on the 2nd PP. 

As to Reinhart, you move him because you need him to anchor a line and think he can produce at least as well from the pivot. That said, I doubt Reinhart ever gets moved with Cozens, and Asplund coming and Erod, Jack and Mitts already here to play center.

 

This confused me. You mean like move him in our lineup? We were talking trade. And what do you mean by pivot in this case? 

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1 minute ago, Thorny said:

This confused me. You mean like move him in our lineup? We were talking trade. And what do you mean by pivot in this case? 

I think HCRK is given free reign to build the lines, which is why Jbot wants guys who can play anywhere.  He may decide to try Reinhart again in the middle and move Casey to RW to take pressure off him. We’ll know more what in pre-season.

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I just don't see Reinhart moving to C, what with this being his 5th NHL season, fully established as a RWer, combined with Botterill's comments earlier on the matter where he seemed to strongly indicate he'd be staying at W. Can't rule it out, no, but I think it's unlikely. 

Botterill seems to view Eichel (obviously) and Mittelstadt firmly as centres, Skinner firmly as a LW, Reinhart firmly as a RW, then much of the other top-9 forwards as multi-position.

Sheary, Johansson, Olofsson, Vesey, Rodrigues are interchangeable on the wings, with Rodrigues also having the ability to play C. Though he's never mentioned Olofsson as a guy who plays both sides so he may be a good bet to be on the left. 

Edited by Thorny

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I think Olofsson played right wing in Sweden. 

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4 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

Thompson has to prove it to me at this point. I see him as a failed prospect in the ahl right now and nothing more. Just didn't see him grow at all last year. Got worse. he has to beef up and get meaner and if not, he's just a footnote on the  terrible trade in Sabres history. 

Agreed.  No offense to anyone; I understand you have to work with what we currently have, but penciling Tage Thompson into any future slot makes me cringe. 

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23 minutes ago, ... said:

Agreed.  No offense to anyone; I understand you have to work with what we currently have, but penciling Tage Thompson into any future slot makes me cringe. 

But Thompson provides Justin Bourne's 2nd best defensive stick work in the league. 😅

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11 minutes ago, Taro T said:

But Thompson provides Justin Bourne's 2nd best defensive stick work in the league. 😅

So Tage’s Stick can stay. 

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8 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

Why would you move a 65 point consistent 20g scorer?

Depends what comes back.

8 hours ago, Thorny said:

A small part of my brain still expects him to be moved. Or at least I wouldn't be surprised if it happens. 

I agree with this. Not saying I want him moved, just that it wouldn't surprise me. I think a lot of it depends on what he does this year. I know some of you will say he's already consistent and how many times does he have to prove it, but there is a contract coming up and a lot will depend on what he wants. Also I still have this feeling that JBot wants all of them to be his guys and he'd rather remove every single piece of the losing era, even the better ones (with the exception of Jack who he clearly made his cornerstone). Almost like JBot feels they are all tarnished or damaged by that and can't be fully fixed. Just an opinion and a feeling. I'd much rather he has a solid year and drives the second line making us a solid contender.

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Olofsson has played both RW and LW.

As to Thompson.  Tage is 6’6 and still only 21. He has two pro seasons under his belt and has already played 106 NHL games.

This is just a case of a big talented kid growing into a mans body. That takes time. It maybe another 2-3 years before he really blossoms.  I don’t know if he makes the team out of camp this season but he’ll be in Buffalo eventually. As he showed late last year he can dominate in the AHL.  He’ll be in Buffalo full time by mid season and grow from there.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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6 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Olofsson has played both RW and LW.

When has Olofsson last played RW?  I’ve heard that he hasn’t played there in like 4+ years.  Could be wrong though.

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Excellent post @GASabresIUFAN.  The notion of a Skinner-Eichel-Cozens top line starting in October 2020 makes me happy.

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2 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

Excellent post @GASabresIUFAN.  The notion of a Skinner-Eichel-Cozens top line starting in October 2020 makes me happy.

Why would Cozens play RW? 

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