The Buffalo Sabres, at 7-10-0, look like they are closer to contending for the Connor Bedard sweepstakes than a playoff spot in 2022-23.
If you gave me the choice between becoming a serious contender for the Connor Bedard sweepstakes or trying to improve as much as possible this season, I’m taking the latter. Sure, Bedard might be posting a legendary points total (46 in 21 games) for the Regina Pats, very nearly Sidney Crosby-like numbers, but the Sabres have a prospects pool that can already help them win the not-so-distant future.
Even if it means failing to improve upon their 75-point total this season, if the Sabres keep getting struck with injuries, it makes sense to play the youngsters and not worry so much about wins and losses. And if they end up winning the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery to snag Bedard, then that would just be a bonus, but the real intention should be seeing what their current top-level prospects can do.
The Buffalo Sabres need to see what they have in top-level prospects
As I write this, the Sabres have recently recalled Anders Bjork and Riley Sheahan. And it was a move I openly questioned. At the NHL level, the Sabres don’t know what they have in prospects like Linus Weissbach, Lukas Rousek, or Brandon Biro, their three top scorers. But they know Bjork is nothing more than an AHL-caliber player; they also know Sheahan is finished.
And given their now-seven game losing streak, it’s hurting nothing to see what these aforementioned players can do in the blue and gold. I’m not saying to give them even 15 minutes of ice time per game, but Biro definitely has enough experience to see an extended span of playing time in Buffalo; ditto for Weissbach.
I can see why they would keep Rousek in Rochester for the time being, since he still lacks experience, and they would logistically want him to keep logging reps in the minors. As for Weissbach and Biro, they are ready to face the trials that the NHL will bring, albeit in a limited capacity.
No, we don’t know if either one of them will be viable NHL players. But we know that the two players filling in for the injured Kyle Okposo and Zemgus Girgensons aren’t going to help the Buffalo Sabres reach the playoffs and ultimately a Stanley Cup when this team starts winning games in the not-so-distant future.
Article Source: Amerks Update | Subban, Pekar set to return to action tonight by Chris Ryndak
(Statistics provided by NHL.com)
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