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2022-2023 forwards


sabresparaavida
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The Sabres have 9 returning forwards under contract for next year: Mitts, Cozens, Skinner, Tage, Girgs, Okposo, Asplund, Bjork, and Tuch. 
 

RFAs that the Sabres may re-sign: Oloffson, Murray, and R2.

AHL players that may deserve time in the big club: Quinn, JJP, Krebs and Weissbach.

The Sabres likely keep 14 forwards next year. Barring a trade, all 9 returning forwards make the roster again next year. Oloffson and Murray should be locks to re-sign, Oloffson is a roster lock, and Murray looks like he may be giving reasons to stay. R2 is less of a lock to re-sign, there’s a chance he goes Pilut mode, and he may not make the roster if re-signed. 
 

I expect Quinn and JJP to make the team next year. Their scoring pace suggests that they are ready for NHL, provided they have adequate defensive responsibility. I think Krebs making the team at the start of the year is less likely. He would likely not be in our top 3 centers, and it would probably be better for his development to get 1st line minutes in Rochester, than 4th line minutes in Buffalo. He could still make the team as a Lw, but he seems more like a first call-up to me, as I think Quinn and JJP beat him out for wing slots. I don’t think Weissbach is ready, but perhaps is ready for a callup mid-season.

I don’t think the Sabres go after many if any UFAs this year. The kids are looking like they are ready for spots and signing more players may be blocking them, something Kevyn Adams doesn’t seem fond of.

It seems to me that it could end up being Quinn, JJP, Krebs, R2, Murray and Weissbach battling for 3 roster spots. I could see the lines looking something like this:

Skinner-Thompson-Oloffson

Tuch-Mitts-Quinn

Asplund -Cozens-JJP

Murray-Girgs-Okposo

 Bjork-R2

Callups: Krebs, Weissbach 

Still not a star-studded line up, but more potential to grow into one. 

Thoughts?

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4 minutes ago, sabresparaavida said:

The Sabres have 9 returning forwards under contract for next year: Mitts, Cozens, Skinner, Tage, Girgs, Okposo, Asplund, Bjork, and Tuch. 
 

RFAs that the Sabres may re-sign: Oloffson, Murray, and R2.

AHL players that may deserve time in the big club: Quinn, JJP, Krebs and Weissbach.

The Sabres likely keep 14 forwards next year. Barring a trade, all 9 returning forwards make the roster again next year. Oloffson and Murray should be locks to re-sign, Oloffson is a roster lock, and Murray looks like he may be giving reasons to stay. R2 is less of a lock to re-sign, there’s a chance he goes Pilut mode, and he may not make the roster if re-signed. 
 

I expect Quinn and JJP to make the team next year. Their scoring pace suggests that they are ready for NHL, provided they have adequate defensive responsibility. I think Krebs making the team at the start of the year is less likely. He would likely not be in our top 3 centers, and it would probably be better for his development to get 1st line minutes in Rochester, than 4th line minutes in Buffalo. He could still make the team as a Lw, but he seems more like a first call-up to me, as I think Quinn and JJP beat him out for wing slots. I don’t think Weissbach is ready, but perhaps is ready for a callup mid-season.

I don’t think the Sabres go after many if any UFAs this year. The kids are looking like they are ready for spots and signing more players may be blocking them, something Kevyn Adams doesn’t seem fond of.

It seems to me that it could end up being Quinn, JJP, Krebs, R2, Murray and Weissbach battling for 3 roster spots. I could see the lines looking something like this:

Skinner-Thompson-Oloffson

Tuch-Mitts-Quinn

Asplund -Cozens-JJP

Murray-Girgs-Okposo

 Bjork-R2

Callups: Krebs, Weissbach 

Still not a star-studded line up, but more potential to grow into one. 

Thoughts?

Have to see what Mitts looks like over hopefully an extended stretch here, before I can say how confident I'd be in that C spine heading into next season. Also Tuch. After him and a few others, we are counting on a lot of younger, unestablished talent. 

It looks okay but I'm not sure that represents a contender for the playoffs in 2023, at least. 

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At least initially, I wouldn’t split up Quinn and Peterka when they come to the Sabres. There is going to be a learning curve as well as periods of struggle for all the players coming up to the NHL, keeping two of them together would possibly help with this, given Their Chemistry in Rochester. 

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2 minutes ago, Brawndo said:

At least initially, I wouldn’t split up Quinn and Peterka when they come to the Sabres. There is going to be a learning curve as well as periods of struggle for all the players coming up to the NHL, keeping two of them together would possibly help with this, given Their Chemistry in Rochester. 

Ya. So say Tuch goes to Cozens' RW, we could potentially have Quinn and Peterka with Casey. All the more reason I'm really interested to see how he looks once he gets going here. 

Casey, that is. 

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1 minute ago, Thorny said:

Ya. So say Tuch goes to Cozens' RW, we could potentially have Quinn and Peterka with Casey. All the more reason I'm really interested to see how he looks once he gets going here. 

Casey, that is. 

And Krebs with Dylan and Alex. Shayne Wright with Olofsson and Murray.  Mmmhmmm. 

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Considering that we have 60 games left in the season, my guess is opinions are going to change significantly. 

As of right now Olofsson is a must to re-sign.  Of the signed players, I think only Bjork doesn’t have a role next season (thankfully).  

Still lots of questions.  Who are the 4 centers? Do we want Krebs centering the “4th” line.  Will Krebs and JJP be ready defensively for the NHL?  How much will VO cost to keep. Does he want to stay with only one more year until he’s a UFA?  Will Jankowski come up and win the 4th line center job like Lazar did?  Will KA think the lineup needs more veteran presence?  Can Murray win a job long-term?  Will R2 find a role? One injury and R2 could blossom with the right linemates.  Could Eakin actually earn a new deal?

If I had to guess 

Skinner Cozens Tuch

Asplund Thompson VO

Krebs Mitts Quinn

Girgensons Jankowski KO.

JJP starts in the minors as his 2 way game isn’t ready.  Murray and R2 are re-signed and are the spares.  Bjork traded for a 5th.  
 

 

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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I think some players to really watch the next handful of games will be all 3 young centers (Mitts especially) and Murray. If Mitts can play similar or better to how he was at the end of last season, that gives me a bit more confidence in our center line. If Murray can keep performing well, I could see him being a great option for next year with Okposo and Girgs, as well as a netfront guy for one of the PP units. 

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I might change my mind as things unfold but I want to see Murray-Cozens-Okposo for longer this season and if it keeps jelling perhaps keep that line together next year. A sort of checking line with some scoring potential. Cozens and Murray also serving as the 4th forwards, front of the net guys on PP 1 and 2 respectively. 

A lot depends on what Mitts plays like when he returns. Will he be good? Or just a placeholder for Krebs? idk but not convinced he's the real deal yet based just on end of last year. Wait and see. 

Don't care what happens to R2.

So something similar to:

Asplund-Thompson-Olofsson

Skinner-Mitts-Tuch

Murray-Cozens-Okposo

Peterka*-Girgensens-Quinn*

*(to start, eased in, and then moved up the roster if/when their play demands it)

Bjork is the spare whatever, and I'd add 1 or 2 Hayden types for a tougher look when/if needed. Not sure who. Usually not that hard to find. 

In general I believe more in line chemistry and identity than all the scorers on a top line etc.   How players mesh together is the big thing for me personally.  

 

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14 minutes ago, sabresparaavida said:

I think some players to really watch the next handful of games will be all 3 young centers (Mitts especially) and Murray. If Mitts can play similar or better to how he was at the end of last season, that gives me a bit more confidence in our center line. If Murray can keep performing well, I could see him being a great option for next year with Okposo and Girgs, as well as a netfront guy for one of the PP units. 

Looks like the Sabres are auditioning their older prospects first.

R2 didn’t cut it, Murray’s turn.

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22 hours ago, Brawndo said:

At least initially, I wouldn’t split up Quinn and Peterka when they come to the Sabres. There is going to be a learning curve as well as periods of struggle for all the players coming up to the NHL, keeping two of them together would possibly help with this, given Their Chemistry in Rochester. 

It may help, but I also think there is a reasonable concern that both would be among our weaker forwards defensively. Is putting both of them on the same line good considering that they may lead to a lot more goals against?

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10 minutes ago, sabresparaavida said:

It may help, but I also think there is a reasonable concern that both would be among our weaker forwards defensively. Is putting both of them on the same line good considering that they may lead to a lot more goals against?

The way this works is you put a defence-first but skilled player between them.  Jochen Hecht with Danny Briere and J.P. DuMont.  Tim Connolly between Ales Kotalik and Maxim Afinogenov.  In an extreme case, you put Gil Perreault with Wayne Gretzky and Guy LaFleur.

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20 hours ago, dudacek said:

Looks like the Sabres are auditioning their older prospects first.

R2 didn’t cut it, Murray’s turn.

I’m not sure I agree with this statement.  I suspect they sent R2 down because he was asked to play a role that he’s not built for with JAG linemates.  It will be interesting to see if they bring him back up now that Mitts is back.  

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22 hours ago, sabresparaavida said:

The Sabres have 9 returning forwards under contract for next year: Mitts, Cozens, Skinner, Tage, Girgs, Okposo, Asplund, Bjork, and Tuch. 
 

RFAs that the Sabres may re-sign: Oloffson, Murray, and R2.

AHL players that may deserve time in the big club: Quinn, JJP, Krebs and Weissbach.

The Sabres likely keep 14 forwards next year. Barring a trade, all 9 returning forwards make the roster again next year. Oloffson and Murray should be locks to re-sign, Oloffson is a roster lock, and Murray looks like he may be giving reasons to stay. R2 is less of a lock to re-sign, there’s a chance he goes Pilut mode, and he may not make the roster if re-signed. 
 

I expect Quinn and JJP to make the team next year. Their scoring pace suggests that they are ready for NHL, provided they have adequate defensive responsibility. I think Krebs making the team at the start of the year is less likely. He would likely not be in our top 3 centers, and it would probably be better for his development to get 1st line minutes in Rochester, than 4th line minutes in Buffalo. He could still make the team as a Lw, but he seems more like a first call-up to me, as I think Quinn and JJP beat him out for wing slots. I don’t think Weissbach is ready, but perhaps is ready for a callup mid-season.

I don’t think the Sabres go after many if any UFAs this year. The kids are looking like they are ready for spots and signing more players may be blocking them, something Kevyn Adams doesn’t seem fond of.

It seems to me that it could end up being Quinn, JJP, Krebs, R2, Murray and Weissbach battling for 3 roster spots. I could see the lines looking something like this:

Skinner-Thompson-Oloffson

Tuch-Mitts-Quinn

Asplund -Cozens-JJP

Murray-Girgs-Okposo

 Bjork-R2

Callups: Krebs, Weissbach 

Still not a star-studded line up, but more potential to grow into one. 

Thoughts?

I’d be surprised if Weissbach ever becomes a full time NHL player.  He’ll probably need another season in the AHL before he gets a chance. 

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18 minutes ago, inkman said:

I’d be surprised if Weissbach ever becomes a full time NHL player.  He’ll probably need another season in the AHL before he gets a chance. 

I’d agree. I was more throwing him out as a possibility, as he is the next most likely forward to get called up from our system outside of the ones earlier mentioned

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22 hours ago, sabresparaavida said:

I’d agree. I was more throwing him out as a possibility, as he is the next most likely forward to get called up from our system outside of the ones earlier mentioned

 

23 hours ago, inkman said:

I’d be surprised if Weissbach ever becomes a full time NHL player.  He’ll probably need another season in the AHL before he gets a chance. 

Based on what?  I follow Big-10 hockey pretty closely and all Weissbach has done is improve every season.  Yes he is being over-shadowed by the 3 kids, but his development is following a similar script as Olofsson.  He's undersized, but strong on his skates, sees the ice very well, skates well, shots well and passes well.  If the 3 kids weren't in Rochester, we'd all be singing his praises because he'd be the best O prospect on the team.  Even with the 3 kids, Murray and 3 top AHL vets playing (Malone, Mersch and Jankowski) in front of him he still has 8 points in 14 games.   With Murray and Jankowski now in the NHL (but R2 returning) maybe he'll get more opportunity to show what he can do.

I do agree that it maybe hard for him to make the Sabres long-term because of our young depth at forward.  Similar players such as Gerbe, Byron and even Olofsson all found their place in the NHL, I'm pretty sure Weissbach will as well.  

 

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30 minutes ago, Curt said:

What happened his junior season?  The numbers regressed pretty hard.

He did sort of.  It was more a case of a bad team with 2 star players (Turcotte and Caufield) and Weissbach getting shuffled down the lines.  I do think that season turned his career around.  He couldn't rely simply on his skill level, but had to work harder.  The next season, he and Caufield made a lethal 1-2 punch and turned a bad team into a good team despite losing Turcotte and K'Andre Miller.  It also helped that they received much much better goaltending from a senior transfer.

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