Buffalo Sabres Changes Will Help Tyler Ennis Excel


Admit it.

Admit that with all the excitement of Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, Ryan O’Reilly, Evander Kane, Robin Lehner, and all the other additions to the Sabres, you forgot about Tyler Ennis just a little bit. Maybe you haven’t forgotten him, but you haven’t thought about him recently.

I even fell into that with the draft, development camp, and the start of free agency.

There is a lot of excitement about the changes that were made and the skilled players from the past couple seasons. People have been itching for the Buffalo Sabres to get back on the ice. I guarantee Tyler Ennis is one of the most excited to start the season.

Ennis was one of the only bright spots in the last two seasons in which the team finished dead last in the NHL. He amassed 89 points in 158 games for a team that only won 44 games. He was the only Sabre that put up consecutive 20 goal seasons during the last two seasons, which is incredibly difficult when your team is dominated night in and night out.

A product of the the Medicine Hat Tigers organization in the WHL, Ennis was the only player that would consistently create offense for the Sabres. His small stature usually results getting overlooked by the casual fan, but Ennis has serious game.

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Tyler Ennis has quick hands and feet that make him so shifty with the puck. He’s is lethal in close with quick hands and also on the rush to make moves on defensemen. Another skill Ennis possesses through his silky mitts is the ability to feather passes to his teammates. He has the that nice touch in places where that set up his line mates for scoring opportunities.

Along with be a playmaker, Ennis is able to bury the puck. He has a nice, quick shot that is accurate to complement his creativity

The Edmonton, Alberta native is reliable too. In the last 3 seasons, Ennis played in all but 7 games for the Sabres. He is undersized, but he doesn’t shy away from physical play. Ennis has already established himself in Buffalo and he’s only 25 years old.

Ennis can also play all three forward positions. He can even play right wing where the Sabres are weak compared to their left wingers. Having someone that can be productive at all three forward positions is never a bad thing for when the roster starts to change for various reasons. Injuries always seem to haunt the Sabres, so that would be my first thought about having to move Ennis around.

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  • Now, instead of essentially wasting the production and talent of Tyler Ennis, new head coach Dan Bylsma will be looking to maximize his abilities with the right line mates on the top 2 lines where he convert put his skills and contributions into wins.

    If you’re looking for speed to go with Ennis, Evander Kane is a for sure pick. Kane will play top line minutes and combines speed to go with his high caliber scoring ability. Ennis likes to possess the puck and be a quarterback, he could feed Kane with his creativity and this can all be done with their speed.

    How about some guys that can establish themselves inside the dots in the offensive zone? There is Matt Moulson and Ryan O’Reilly.

    Matt Moulson has made a career of picking up the dirty goals inside the dots and in front of the net. He has played with Tyler in years past and knows if he parks himself in front of the net, Ennis will get him the puck.

    O’Reilly is a bigger body and has the grit to get in between the dots and has proven he can finish when given the opportunity. While Ennis hasn’t played with O’Reilly much, he was part of the gold medal winning Canadian squad at the 2015 World Champions where he played with ROR.

    There are players like Zemgus Girgensons, Sam Reinhart, and Jack Eichel that all possess skills that can play with Ennis, but a dark horse player that meshed well with Ennis at the end of the season is the newly signed Johan Larsson.

    Larsson put up 13 points in the last 17 for the Sabres last season and looked to mesh well with Ennis. It may be the fact that playing with Tyler Ennis will make any player better, but it made Johan Larsson a consideration as a line mate.

    It is far too early to have a solid basis for a lineup, but there are some things that are undeniable. Tyler Ennis will be an effective top 6 forward that brings a unique skill set to the improved top lines. Don’t let two years of no support offensively persuade you into thinking otherwise.

    Sabres fans could be in store for a breakout year from Tyler Ennis. The fans are excited for the season and he must be as well.

    Next: Buffalo Sabres Top Prospects #6-10

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