The Buffalo Sabres have a plethora of interesting storylines heading into preseason. Here are the top three to keep an eye on.
As one of the youngest teams with arguably the NHL’s brightest prospect pool, the Buffalo Sabres will garner far more attention this season than they did in September 2021. And while a youthful group like the Sabres will have their critics, nearly everyone agrees this team can transform into one of the NHL’s best if they continue sticking to the long-term plan.
It won’t happen this year, but that doesn’t mean the Sabres haven’t intrigued the NHL universe. The following three storylines will show us why the Sabres have put the NHL on notice.
Buffalo Sabres preseason storylines – Owen Power’s first full season
Owen Power is one player from the 2021 and 2022 draft classes who will have a guaranteed spot on the Sabres roster this season. There are others who will get a long look, but Power will be active for Opening Night on October 13th, barring injury.
Last year, we saw Power on the ice for eight games and he exceeded expectations. Now that we know what Power can do and what he is capable of, we get a chance to see his development in real time.
2 – Tage Thompson’s Contract
Tage Thompson signed a huge contract extension earlier in the summer, and now he gets a chance to live up to that contract. Per Lance Lysowski, Thompson is more than ready to take on that challenge. Here is what he Tweeted regarding the top line center.
Tage Thompson: “I want more. I want to score more. I want to do more to help our team win. … You never want to be comfortable or complacent with where you’re at in your game.”
— Lance Lysowski (@LLysowski) September 22, 2022
It will be interesting to see if Tage lives up to the deal that he signed following just one good season. However, general manager Kevyn Adams stated in a recent press conference that Tage’s breakout campaign was just one of a few factors in why they extended him this year.
When the Sabres signed Tage Thompson to his 7-year extension, a lot of people asked, “Why now?”
Kevyn Adams’ response: pic.twitter.com/O6r2IVMhez
— The Charging Buffalo (@TheChargingBUF) September 22, 2022
3 – Goaltending
Goaltending is most likely the biggest question mark heading into the 2022-23 Buffalo Sabres season. Eric Comrie, who signed during free agency, will take the top spot barring a poor performance in camp and in the preseason while Craig Anderson figures to snag the backup role.
Comrie, who played in just 19 games last year, will need to deal with preparing himself for, again barring a bad preseason performance, at least 40 starts this season. If he can handle the increased amount of ice time, it will be a massive boost for the Sabres in 2022-23.
While Comrie won’t be the long-term answer unless he pulls off a legendary season, he can at least prove to be a worth stopgap until the likes of Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen or Devon Levi are ready to take over full-time.