Is Victor Olofsson’s future with the Buffalo Sabres null and void?

Feb 18, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Victor Olofsson (71) chases after the puck during the first period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 18, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Victor Olofsson (71) chases after the puck during the first period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Buffalo Sabres stunned the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night, and they did it without the struggling Victor Olofsson in the lineup. 

This time last season, Victor Olofsson was having a better stretch of games than any other player in the lineup. Between February 15th and April 17th, he scored 15 of his 20 goals, and his plus-minus was 0 as he and the rest of the Buffalo Sabres outplayed most of their opponents.

And while he has 24 goals this season, Olofsson has been arguably the worst forward in a blue and gold (occasionally red, silver, and black) uniform this season. Next to his number of goals, he has just nine assists, a (-22) rating, and he’s been, for the most part, a non-factor in recent games, with just one of those 24 goals coming in the previous 15 contests.

Want more fun? That one goal came in garbage time during last week’s 10-4 blowout loss to the Dallas Stars. Oh, and in that same span of games, he has a plus-minus of (-14), further indication he’s been the worst forward on the team during the most meaningful time of the season.

Will Victor Olofsson remain with the Buffalo Sabres?

What’s frustrating regarding Olofsson is that there have been numerous times when he has been one of the team’s better forwards. So much, that he even played on the first line in favor of Alex Tuch late last season.

While Tuch’s performance in last night’s win over the Toronto Maple Leafs shows us that he’s become one of the Team MVPs alongside Tage Thompson and Rasmus Dahlin, Olofsson should still have been good enough to land a permanent spot on the second line when you take his numbers from late last season into consideration. Unfortunately, there is now less room for him in the lineup.

Jordan Greenway and Tyson Jost haven’t been with the team long, especially Greenway, and they’ve passed him up. Or at least, they should have. Then you have a few prospects who will be looking to break into the lineup next season, with Matt Savoie and Jiri Kulich being the most notable.

There is a chance Kyle Okposo and Zemgus Girgensons will walk next season, which could open up a lane for Olofsson. But then again, when you consider the potential top six, plus a projected third line of, say Casey Mittelstadt – Tyson Jost – Jordan Greenway, and Peyton Krebs on the fourth line, Olofsson will face intense competition.

Tuch fuels Buffalo Sabres upset win over Toronto. light. Related Story

Not only will he have to compete with Savoie and Kulich, but it’s possible the likes of Brett Murray, Brandon Biro, and Lukas Rousek, could also find themselves in the mix. In short, unless Olofsson gets his act together fast, it’s hard to envision him as an integral part of the lineup in 2023-24, and he may find himself watching most games from the press box.

(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)

Source: Observations: Alex Tuch scores twice in return to propel Sabres’ comeback win by Lance Lysowski, BuffaloNews.com