I’ve been a big cheerleader for Kassian since he was drafted. I definitely agree with the Sabres’ brass to slowly develop Kassian, despite the obvious need for his mix of size, strength and offensive ability; however, Kassian has gotten the chance to show his abilities the past 2 games and has proven he can play in the NHL.
Kassian currently has 14 points in 18 games with the Rochester Americans, putting him at 3rd best on the team. This is certainly a respectable output from the AHL rookie and with his 2 games with the Buffalo Sabres he has a goal and assist. I know the major concern with Kassian is if he can control his emotions. Kassian has found himself in trouble both on and off the ice, but with that emotion harnessed, he can be a feared power forward in the NHL.
So far this season, Kassian has been able to control his “over-active” emotions whilst keeping up his energy. Kassian may have trouble adapting to the strict regulations that have been put in place by the miser Brendan Shanahan, but if he can do this, I truly believe Kassian can develop into a premier power forward that many believed Drew Stafford should have been. Sure, the jury is still out and Kassian is still young, but he has impressed in the 2 games thus far this season. Hopefully the Sabres will continue to develop him in the AHL instead of rushing him into the NHL, despite the need for his size.