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Annual expectations thread 2022/23: #71 Victor Olofsson


dudacek
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What do you expect from Victor Olofsson?  

35 members have voted

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

    • A breakout season of 30-plus goals and 60-plus points
    • More of what we’ve seen 20-25 goals and a similar number of assists in a middle-6 role
    • He’ll continue to score, but will get traded prior to the start of the 23/24 season


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Olofsson’s season could best be described as a donut: lots of high-calorie deliciousness wrapped around a whole lot of nothing.

To put it in the form of numbers: 3 goals and 14 points in 36 mid-season games (including a 30-game goalless drought) while recovering from an injury that robbed him of his signature shot; 17 goals and 35 points in the 36 games to start and finish the season.

Over the course of the year, Victor did some work to erase the perception he was strictly a PP specialist: both his ES goal/60 totals and his primary assist/60 totals doubled what he put up the previous season. His raw ES point total of 36 was good for 3rd overall on the Sabres.

https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=142605

A lot was said about the significance of the Sabres committing 7 years and $50 million to Tage Thompson and the statement the team made with that move. Less was made about the statement made by the 2-year, $4.7 million deal given Olofsson, a deal that walks him quickly to free agency and could put him on the trade block as soon as this deadline.

He’s almost universally pencilled in as the Sabres #3 winger, but finished just 7th in ice time among the team’s forwards last year. It’s not hard to read into the big picture that Quinn and Peterka, each of whom play more of the up-tempo style preached by the team, are being groomed for his role.

It will be interesting to see how his season plays out and what happens in the aftermath.

What do you expect from Victor Olofsson?

(Last year’s takes here):

 

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Smashing the over on my boy 

Good players produce more when surrounded by good talent so as the talent improves that’s exactly what I expect to happen with VO. 

Because that’s exactly what he is. One of our best, in fact, demonstrably. 

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It will be interesting (imo) to see what the power play turns into with Dahlin hopefully reaching full maturity and Power perhaps getting PP minutes. Will there be enough talent on ice that teams won't be able to key on any one player (perhaps just attacking the points) and maybe that VO shot gets reintroduced in some capacity. It was extremely effective for a while when teams keyed on that curly haired muppet we had captaining the team and we need to find a way to get that sniper shot back in. 

As far as trading him goes, I see that happening at the 2024 deadline if we are not a playoff team. Not before. After that though I suspect he's gone. 

Otherwise I see him being about the same as we've seen. No more no less. 

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I'm pretty sure Ales Kotalik had his best season at age 27, which is the same age Victor was last year.  They both have very similar styles and I expect their trajectory will be the same.  Victor will have another productive year, probably slightly better than last year for points/game, but I don't see him hitting 60pts in an 82 game span.  

Edited by SHAAAUGHT!!!
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58 minutes ago, Weave said:

We’ve seen his best.  I think we’ll see a couple more seasons of it.

Maybe be have, but not over a full season.

His per/82 over his career puts him at 29 goals and 56 points. He's only played 188 NHL games.

I think he's got 30/60 over a full season before he starts to wind down.

Edited by dudacek
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7 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

As far as trading him goes, I see that happening at the 2024 deadline if we are not a playoff team. Not before. After that though I suspect he's gone. 

Otherwise I see him being about the same as we've seen. No more no less. 

With that contract, it makes a heck of a lot more sense to trade him at the 2023 deadline (if we're out of the race) or draft (to fix a roster weakness), at least from an asset management perspective.

At the 2024 deadline, we don't expect the team to be in sell-off mode and he will likely end up walking that summer for nothing.

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I like the way Victor has quietly gone about improving his game (at least to the eye test, someone may prove me wrong with the stats). He seems more involved in the fore/back check and I hope that with an injury free year he can continue to to improve. A 50-60 pt session shouldn't be unreasonable. 

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I like VO.  He's homegrown, he gets better and adds something to his game every year and he seems to have a good team attitude.

His 1st 2 NHL seasons were the Covid seasons, and I am convinced that last season, his 3rd, was substantially impacted in that long middle stretch by his injury (which I think was to his wrist) -- and even so he delivered 20-29-49 in 72 games.

I was kinda hoping they'd give him a longer-term deal, but I understand why they settled on 2 years.  I think buying UFA years would've gotten expensive and he hasn't quite proven himself yet to be worth that kind of commitment, especially with younger forward prospects coming fast.

Still, I think there is a very real possibility that he stays healthy, has a big year, establishes himself definitively as a legit top-6 guy and a core piece, while one or both of Quinn or JJP struggles to adapt to the NHL, and KA decides to give him, say, a 4-year extension next summer -- and I think one of the reasons KA chose a 2-year term for his contract was to keep that option open.

I think if he stays healthy, 30-35-65 is very much on the table.

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4 hours ago, dudacek said:

With that contract, it makes a heck of a lot more sense to trade him at the 2023 deadline (if we're out of the race) or draft (to fix a roster weakness), at least from an asset management perspective.

At the 2024 deadline, we don't expect the team to be in sell-off mode and he will likely end up walking that summer for nothing.

Possibly, but I would counter that IF at the 2024 we are a playoff team and a buyer not a seller, then I don't really care if he walks for nothing as we will be good and getting better anyway. 

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The case of VO is perhaps the most noticeable microcosm of the overall optimism of the base, as in the minds of many, thoughts are already on the point at which he’ll, apparently inevitably, be replaced with better players (even though he is one of our best.)

We are nearing “there’s no room for VO”.

14 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

Possibly, but I would counter that IF at the 2024 we are a playoff team and a buyer not a seller, then I don't really care if he walks for nothing as we will be good and getting better anyway. 

Edited by Thorny
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3 minutes ago, Thorny said:

So his production to go non-negligibly down? 

He’s been averaging 55 when healthy over the last 3 seasons, with it very slightly higher last season in particular. 

- - - 

The case of VO is perhaps the most glaring microcosm of the overall optimism of the board, as in the minds of many, thoughts are already on the point at which he’ll, apparently inevitably, be replaced with better players (even though he is one of our best.)

We are nearing “there’s no room for VO”.

 

It's not exactly that. I would rather phrase it that the salary he commands will be better spent elsewhere as there may be young and cheaper options to fill his role. 

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57 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

It's not exactly that. I would rather phrase it that the salary he commands will be better spent elsewhere as there may be young and cheaper options to fill his role. 

Younger and cheaper options for a top 3 F scorer on the team?

Edited by Thorny
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Sometimes, this may seem weird, you can actually choose to *keep* your best players, cycling out the BOTTOM ones, in an effort to improve rather than tread water. 

We have so much cap space, and I keep hearing the cap is only going to go up. I think we can afford him.

I suppose it comes down to semantics, because yes under the prism where we are assuming every winger that we’ve drafted is 1-2 years ETA from top 6 winger, yes, VO will be on the way out b/f he’s due for his extension.

Edited by Thorny
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8 hours ago, Thorny said:

The case of VO is perhaps the most noticeable microcosm of the overall optimism of the base, as in the minds of many, thoughts are already on the point at which he’ll, apparently inevitably, be replaced with better players (even though he is one of our best.)

We are nearing “there’s no room for VO”.

Adams has made it abundantly clear he wants to sign and keep his own guys and he's keeping his cap space powder dry for exactly that.

Maybe circumstances and development will line up in a way where he will be able to keep Vic.

But more likely he will eventually have to make some calls on who he signs long-term and who he trades.

The contract he gave Vic tells me which way he's leaning.

My own personal feelings on Vic is that he has a 30-goal, 60-point season in him and this year might be the year.

And, as you point out, those are guys you'd like to keep.

 

Edited by dudacek
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11 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

I like Olofsson but 30goals would be an amazing season, 40 seems like a bridge too far for a guy who has never eclipsed 20goals

 

On 9/13/2022 at 7:04 AM, dudacek said:

 

His per/82 over his career puts him at 29 goals and 56 points. He's only played 188 NHL games.

 

Correction: that's .29 goals/game, not 29 goals.

Goals over 82 is actually 24

Edited by dudacek
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VO gets traded at the deadline for 2 2nds and a medium prospect. KA use these assets to acquire a goaltender and a defenseman to help a team fighting for a playoff spot.  This trade happens because Quinn and JJP’s play demands more ice time coupled with breakout seasons by Cozens and Mitts.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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10 hours ago, Thorny said:

Younger and cheaper options for a top 3 F scorer on the team?

Sure, we're talking 2024 here so by then you're looking at Quinn, maybe Kulich, maybe somebody else. We have several candidates.  Also Cozens, Krebs, Mitts, I expect somebody to step up and be great. With all the prospects we have I expect the roster to be crowded and some tough decisions or trades will have to happen. That's a good thing. 

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The Krebs/Cozens/Olofsson combo did some damage on the PP last year and I’m curious to see what they might do 5-on-5.

I really think Krebs has the sort of game that would mesh very well with Victor’s particularly if the have a two-way guy with some jam to go get pucks and help defend. Girgs, Asplund, Tuch and Cozens all fit the bill.

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