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Annual expectations thread 2022/23: #19 Peyton Krebs


dudacek
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What do you expect from: #19 Peyton Krebs  

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  1. 1. Which of these best describes what you think the Sabres will get from Krebs this year?

    • He will be one of the team's bigger disappointments, spending significant time in the press box, or even Rochester
    • He will be with the Sabres all season, and with similar results: 30ish points and a lot of ups and downs
    • He will be a lineup regular and show modest improvement at both ends of the rink
    • He will take a significant step: 50-plus points and a consistently positive impact
  2. 2. What position do you think Krebs will mostly play this year?

  3. 3. What position do you think Krebs is best suited to play long-term over his career?



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At 17, Peyton Krebs was the centrepiece in the rebuild of a dismal .278 Kootenay Ice WHL franchise that transformed into a .771 team by the time he graduated to the pros.

He totalled 25 goals and 103 points in his final 62 WHL games, spread over two pandemic seasons, coming back from a torn Achilles heel and earning plaudits for his effort, passing and leadership, with a clear path in front of him as the top prospect of a stacked Vegas Golden Knights franchise.

Then came Nov. 4, where he unexpectedly found himself in Rochester as a key asset in the year's biggest NHL trade, and property of the lowly Buffalo Sabres.

On the ice, Krebs proved himself a very good AHL player, with 31 points in just 30 games, including playoffs. In the NHL, however, things were less smooth. He had just 1 point in his first 15 NHL games, and finished the season with just 1 in his final 8. In between he put up a respectable 20 in 34, mixing some elite passes in with some dreadful giveaways.

Off the ice, he became one of the team's more notable marketing chips, being featured prominently in the Sabres Embedded "Putting Down Roots" segment and conducting a memorable interview where he rhapsodized about raising a family on a backyard rink in a wintry, tree-wrapped Buffalo property.

https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=197782

In some ways, Krebs is the poster child for the Adams' Sabres: get 'em young, talented, self-motivated and unproven, and give them an opportunity to carve out their best self within the context of the team, while falling in love with Buffalo and being a Sabre.

It would probably be unfair to look at his development path as a metaphor for the team's. But it is an easy thing to do.

What do you expect from him this year?

Edited by dudacek
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@Curt probably has the points about right.  

Expect Krebs will play more W than C but expect him to play a fair amount at each.

LT expect him to play a Briere style C role where he's nominally the C but a linemate helps with a lot of the heavy lifting of the job.

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He played 48 games for the Sabres last season and blew hot and cold.  In those 48 games he only had points in 17 of them, but in those 17 games he scored 7g and 15 assists.  

A step forward would be scoring more consistently.  A playmaker as gifted as Krebs should be adding helpers more often than once every 3 games.  That said 22 points in 48 games is verging on a 40 point pace as a rookie.  The 7 goals were also a nice surprise.  

The biggest roadblock for next season is where does he play and with whom?  He is arguably the team's 4th best center right now behind TnT, Mitts and Cozens.  He is also at best the 3rd LW behind Skinner and VO, but could also be behind Asplund and JJP depending on how camp shakes out.  

I honestly think his highest and best use is as the 3rd scoring line center.  It might be fun to create a line of him centering snipers like VO and Quinn.  Do that and use matchups at home and he could easily put up 50 assists.  On the other hand, leave him at LW in a depth role with the 11 minutes he was often used last season and if we get 40 points we'll be lucky.   

The Sabres haven't had in 2 decades the overall depth in skill they have right now.  Other than Girgensons, Vinnie. Bjork and Sheahan, you can make a reasonable argument for the other 11 forwards to play in the top 9 or even the top 6.  Krebs is in a dog fight for PT with rookies Quinn, and JPP, developing young vets in Asplund, Mitts and Cozens.  Those 6 are competing with our top 5 scorers and vets in TnT, Tuch, Skinner, VO and KO.  This is going to be one hell of a camp.  

Why is there so much overall talent? of the 15 forwards legitimately competing for NHL spots this season, 12 were drafted in the first 34 picks.  10 in the actual 1st rd including 5 top 10 picks although no one picked better than 7th overall (Cozens, KO and Skinner).  Mitts and Quinn were 8th overall picks. The only guy drafted outside the top 34 who is guaranteed a roster spot in former 7th rd pick VO. 

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Krebs showed some good chemistry with Olofsson last year and has historically had some good chemistry with Cozens.

I like the concept of that line: passer, shooter, power forward. Not sure who would play centre.

6 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I honestly think his highest and best use is as the 3rd scoring line center.  It might be fun to create a line of him centering snipers like VO and Quinn.  Do that and use matchups at home and he could easily put up 50 assists.  On the other hand, leave him at LW in a depth role with the 11 minutes he was often used last season and if we get 40 points we'll be lucky.   

 

 

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3 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Krebs showed some good chemistry with Olofsson last year and has historically had some good chemistry with Cozens.

I like the concept of that line: passer, shooter, power forward. Not sure who would play centre.

 

I don't have an issue with that other than I believe DG's long-term goal is to make Cozens our top 2 way center in the mold of what ROR was supposed to be.  

1 minute ago, Sabres Fan in NS said:

50+ points in a a break-out season of sorts.  Next season will be his true coming of age season ... 70+ points.

Wing 

And wing / hybrid centre (kind of like Briere)

Briere is a reasonable aspiration for Krebs, although I don't think Krebs is as gifted as a scorer.  DG does like position-less hockey.  He does like giving his players freedom to create.  

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35 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Krebs showed some good chemistry with Olofsson last year and has historically had some good chemistry with Cozens.

I like the concept of that line: passer, shooter, power forward. Not sure who would play centre.

 

They can alternate draws depending on who is hot, strong side/weak side, historical data vs opponents. Defensive zone responsibilities could be shared, first one back helps D.

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2 minutes ago, French Collection said:

They can alternate draws depending on who is hot, strong side/weak side, historical data vs opponents. Defensive zone responsibilities could be shared, first one back helps D.

And these are tactics that Granato seems to already utilize

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Krebsie IMHO is one of the many guys who will be competing for ice time, PP time and higher/lower spots in the lineup.  That group includes pretty much everyone other than TT, Skinner and Tuch:  Krebs, Cozens, Mitts, VO, Quinn, JJP, Asplund, Vinnie and perhaps KO (although if KO still has his legs, he'll be in the 1st group).

There are a million potential outcomes.

Based on Krebsie's history, wheels, vision and attitude, I expect him to swim, not sink.  I kinda expect him to win the #3C spot from Mitts by the halfway point of the season.

It will be fun to watch.

 

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The kid has a personality which is refreshing for interviews.  Good character.  Lots of talent but his ceiling is still to be determined.  He'll have ups and downs this season just like the other young players.

I like him on the wing this season.  I liked him with Cozens and would like to see if there's a match playing on a line (Krebs Cozens Quinn).

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I’m a little torn on Krebs. 

Love his hustle, his unselfishness, his fearlessness, and his off-ice approach to being a Sabre. He’s a kid I am really pulling for to succeed. And he’s got lots of speed and skill, and he really cares about his defence.

But he’s got to fix the turnovers, and the number of battles he loses if he is going to earn top 6 or even top 9 ice time. Another NHL coach would have had him nailed to the bench last year.

Theoretically, those are the kind of flaws that age and experience will overcome, so fingers crossed.

His inability to score goals though, that isn’t going to change. And that’s why I think his ceiling is lower than some of our other touted prospects. His lack of being a shooting threat also counteracts his excellent vision on the power play. He’s going to need more balance to his game.

There is a future, however, where it’s pretty easy to envision better shooters like Quinn, Kulich, Rosen and Peterka feasting off those passes.

It might even arrive a little sooner for guys like Olofsson, Thompson and Tuch.

I’ve got some patience for this kid. Which is good, because I think it will be needed.

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I would love to see Krebs become Brierish. The thing to remember though, is that Briere was 24 before he showed his Briereness consistently. And then Phoenix traded him because they wanted a big center.

This season, I can see a rookie 4th line of JJP-Krebs-Quinn for advantageous matchups. I can see Krebs forcing his way onto the 2nd line wing. I can also see a rough camp with turnovers that lead to Krebs starting the season in Rochester as the top center (so as to play center exclusively and in all situations).

My other thought is the "how many rookies at once?" question. I believe a lineup can only handle one F and one D rookie at a time. This is especially important this season where the primary competition (understaffed BOS via injury, lots of UFA Detroit, and trade/UFA pickup Ottawa) are all going to be in the fight with us at the beginning of the season. Defensive lapses or learning on the fly from JJP/Quinn/Power all at once is not going to make the fans happy. It's why Sheahan is a good pickup.

I think either Quinn or Peterka starts the season in Buffalo (yes, and Krebs is here, too). Then the other of JJP/Quinn is the first call-up and once injuries are recovered from, then Bjork/Sheahan is the person sent down and the kids stay.

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5 minutes ago, French Collection said:

One place I haven’t seen him slotted in is W onThompson’s line. He doesn’t deserve 1st line minutes yet but he may be a future set up man for TT.

Someday, yes. But right now Thompson and Skinner work well together. And we've seen that not every center meshes with Skinner -- though a lot of that was Krueger. Tuch (midseason) and Olofsson (end-season, once his shot returned) were quality mates for them.

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6 hours ago, nfreeman said:

Krebsie IMHO is one of the many guys who will be competing for ice time, PP time and higher/lower spots in the lineup.  That group includes pretty much everyone other than TT, Skinner and Tuch:  Krebs, Cozens, Mitts, VO, Quinn, JJP, Asplund, Vinnie and perhaps KO (although if KO still has his legs, he'll be in the 1st group).

There are a million potential outcomes.

Based on Krebsie's history, wheels, vision and attitude, I expect him to swim, not sink.  I kinda expect him to win the #3C spot from Mitts by the halfway point of the season.

It will be fun to watch.

 

Krebsie?

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Posted (edited)

I still like the concept of a Quinn Peterka Krebs line, but when I watched in the AHL, I didn’t think there were enough pucks to go around; they all like to carry it, they all like to go get it. Peterka Quinn was good and Peterka Krebs was solid, but I think they need an off-puck thinker as the third.

Krebs and Olofsson, or Krebs and Thompson with a structure guy, that might work.

The Krebs/Briere thing doesn’t work for me because Peyton is rarely thinking shoot, while Danny attacked the net like a shark. Savoie is more the Briere type. (Savoie/Krebs might be something to look forward to).

Edited by dudacek
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On 8/11/2022 at 7:15 AM, Curt said:

I expect slight improvement with lots of ups and downs still.  40-45 points as a middle 6 winger.

I can get here for sure. 

On 8/11/2022 at 9:42 AM, Taro T said:

@Curt probably has the points about right.  

Expect Krebs will play more W than C but expect him to play a fair amount at each.

LT expect him to play a Briere style C role where he's nominally the C but a linemate helps with a lot of the heavy lifting of the job.

I think Savoie is more likely to fit the Briere role. Krebs needs to take a big step this season because all the drafted centers will close on him quickly if he does not. 

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I think Krebsie's Sabres comparable is more like Derek Roy than Danny Briere, although Roy was a better finisher than Krebs and Krebs has a lot more heart and determination than Roy had.

Roy (one of my least favorite Sabres ever) was also a smallish center who was physically overmatched when he first reached the NHL -- I recall him getting knocked over pretty much every time he entered the offensive zone.  But they brought him along slowly -- he played 2 full years in juniors after being drafted and didn't become an NHL regular until his D+5 season, although that was partially due to the lockout in 2004-05.  He improved his strength on his skates over time and became a very productive player in a supporting role, at least in the regular season -- after Black Sunday, he disappeared once the going got tough in the playoffs.  (Roy also completely fell off the table after leaving the Sabres -- he was one of quite a few guys whom Lindy got far more out of than anyone else was able to.)

Krebs is entering his D+4 season, although the pandemic plus injury resulted in him playing only 71 games total in his D+1 and D+2 seasons.  He then played a total of 77 games last year, his D+3 season, spread across 2 NHL teams (57 games) and 2 AHL teams (20 games).  So he really hasn't gotten that many reps, nor has he had the benefit of a stable, deliberate development path in a winning environment. 

Hopefully he'll have that type of environment this coming season and will benefit from it.  If so, I can see him developing into a Roy-type role on this team -- a smart, speedy, skilled guy who benefits from down-lineup matchups against the opposition's lower-level defenders, can play a 200-foot game well against those matchups, can play special teams pretty well and is quite productive in that role.

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3 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

he was one of quite a few guys whom Lindy got far more out of than anyone else was able to

This is a characteristic I think I see in Granato, too.  It'll take a little while longer to evaluate him, of course, but I think I see this.

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6 hours ago, nfreeman said:

I think Krebsie's Sabres comparable is more like Derek Roy than Danny Briere, although Roy was a better finisher than Krebs and Krebs has a lot more heart and determination than Roy had.

Roy (one of my least favorite Sabres ever) was also a smallish center who was physically overmatched when he first reached the NHL -- I recall him getting knocked over pretty much every time he entered the offensive zone.  But they brought him along slowly -- he played 2 full years in juniors after being drafted and didn't become an NHL regular until his D+5 season, although that was partially due to the lockout in 2004-05.  He improved his strength on his skates over time and became a very productive player in a supporting role, at least in the regular season -- after Black Sunday, he disappeared once the going got tough in the playoffs.  (Roy also completely fell off the table after leaving the Sabres -- he was one of quite a few guys whom Lindy got far more out of than anyone else was able to.)

Krebs is entering his D+4 season, although the pandemic plus injury resulted in him playing only 71 games total in his D+1 and D+2 seasons.  He then played a total of 77 games last year, his D+3 season, spread across 2 NHL teams (57 games) and 2 AHL teams (20 games).  So he really hasn't gotten that many reps, nor has he had the benefit of a stable, deliberate development path in a winning environment. 

Hopefully he'll have that type of environment this coming season and will benefit from it.  If so, I can see him developing into a Roy-type role on this team -- a smart, speedy, skilled guy who benefits from down-lineup matchups against the opposition's lower-level defenders, can play a 200-foot game well against those matchups, can play special teams pretty well and is quite productive in that role.

Krebs is developing into Tim Connolly. He’s just not there yet. Connolly is a much better comparable than Briere or Roy. 

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