Sabres news: Who is the most likely breakout star in Buffalo?

Mar 2, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens (24) celebrates after a goal by center Tobias Rieder (not pictured) against the New York Rangers during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett-POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens (24) celebrates after a goal by center Tobias Rieder (not pictured) against the New York Rangers during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett-POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Buffalo Sabres roster is going to be lacking on some serious top-tier talent this upcoming season. Buffalo has traded away a lot of familiar faces already this offseason. We have seen Sam Reinhart get traded to the Florida Panthers, Rasmus Ristolainen be sent to the Philadelphia Flyers, and Linus Ullmark move on from the Sabres in free agency and join a division rival in the Boston Bruins. And with rumors still floating around Jack Eichel and a potential trade, the Sabres roster could be lacking in the talent department.

With Buffalo’s top players either gone or hoping to be gone, the Sabres are going to have to rely on some other players on the roster to provide some quality production. But who is the most likely candidate to provide this in Buffalo?

If Eichel joins Reinhart and Ristolainen in leaving Buffalo, the most likely breakout star in Buffalo would probably be Dylan Cozens. Cozens had a productive rookie campaign in the NHL, although he did not stack the stat sheet. In 41 games played, Dylan tallied 13 points on four goals and nine assists last season. But he made a noticeable positive impact whenever he was on the ice.

Cozens handled himself very well in his rookie year. He was tasked with handling some first-line forward and center duties. Going against some of the best players in the league in his first season definitely helped Dylan’s development. He also acted as the team’s enforcer a few times. Although he may be on the smaller side in terms of NHL players, he was never afraid to drop the gloves in a game.

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Cozen’s showed that he can be a leader on this team, and Buffalo will certainly be in a position for someone new to step into that role. He seems to be the most likely to make a jump going into next season, and the Sabres could really use it.