How many Buffalo Sabres will score 20-plus goals in 2022-23?

It only took 26 games for the Buffalo Sabres to see their first player to score 20-plus goals in Tage Thompson. Now the question is: Who’s next?

As I write this, the Buffalo Sabres lead the NHL in scoring, once more showing off that they are a much-improved team over the past season. Sure, their 96 goals allowed rank 26th in the NHL, and it’s one major reason they aren’t better in the overall points column.

One major reason the Sabres have the sticks going stems from the fact they are forging an identity as a team with an all-out offensive approach. And this means it’s not just the Thompson line, but more than a few others racking up the goals.

Through 26 games this season, the Sabres have four players who have scored between 10 and 13 goals, and they are all within striking distance of joining Tage Thompson at the 20-plus goal mark. Let’s meet these players and decide if they will get there.

At least five Buffalo Sabres are in striking distance to score 20-plus

Alex Tuch/13 goals

Tuch leads the team in shooting percentage at 19.6%. But his game goes beyond scoring goals. He is effective on the forecheck and is exceptional at creating scoring chances for teammates. Given his propensity for scoring in roughly one out of every five shooting attempts, my projection is that Tuch hits 20 goals.

Jeff Skinner/12 goals

Skinner’s contract continues to draw criticism, but that should no longer be the case this season if he keeps up his high-octane approach. Skinner shoots the puck often, and is second in shots on goal with 82, behind only Tage. Given his propensity for taking shots, you can expect Skinner to score at least eight more times.

Victor Olofsson/11 goals

Olofsson started off hot, but he has since cooled down. It’s also important to keep in mind that three of his goals have been empty-netters, meaning he’s only gotten eight past the goaltender. He does, however, boast a higher shooting percentage, even minus the empty-netters. Overall, I will say Olofsson might hit 20 goals, but he needs to be more consistent on the ice.

Dylan Cozens/10 goals

Cozens has transformed into one of the better players on the Buffalo Sabres this season. Last year, he found the back of the net just 13 times, but he is on pace to shatter that career-high in 2022-23. Will he? Absolutely. Cozens seems to be getting better with time.

Rasmus Dahlin/9 goals

I also wanted to include the defenseman in this conversation. Dahlin started off hot, scoring five goals in five straight games, However, he has taken a step back in the goal-scoring realm and instead leads the team in assists with 23. If he hits another hot streak, Dahlin could strike the 20-goal mark this year.

Overall, I am expecting at least three more Buffalo Sabres to hit the 20-plus goal mark if they stay healthy. Victor Olofsson, if he gets back on track, and Rasmus Dahlin could also cross that same threshold.

(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)

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