Rasmus Dahlin will be one of the top defensemen in the league in 2023-24 and beyond, and the Buffalo Sabres should be beyond excited.
Previously, we boldly predicted Rasmus Dahlin would score 85 points for the Buffalo Sabres in 2023-24. But we were rather vague on just how many goals the 23-year-old would score, simply stating he would hit the “20-goal mark.”
That could mean 20 goals and 65 assists, which for a defenseman like Dahlin, is a rather realistic take. But if we want to go bold, then let’s assume Dahlin hits a higher mark than just 20. Last season, he scored one in five straight games, telling us Dahlin can get hot any time he wants.
In 2023-24, he enjoys several hot streaks, scoring at least one goal in three straight games on three different occasions, and one goal in nearly every three games on average, giving him a total of, you guessed it, 26 goals.
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin snags 26 goals, 59 assists this year
Yep, it’s Bold Prediction #26, Dahlin wears #26, and he’s more than capable of scoring 26 goals in a season. So how is Dahlin getting there? Simple: He will get more shots on goal, superseding the 204 he had last season.
Over the past two years, Dahlin converted at least 7.4% of his shots on goal for a score. But that number will increase to 8.6%, good for 300 shots on goal, and a full 1.0% higher than his career high of a 7.6% shooting percentage that we saw in 2021-22.
Getting to 300 shots on goal makes for quite the challenge, but here is another stat to remember: Dahlin attempted 378 total shots in 2022-23, meaning he got close just 53.9% of the time. That number will rise substantially this season, and coupled with an increased number of total shots, Dahlin should have no trouble hitting the 300 mark.
All of this will convert into 26 scores on the season, and yes, it will inch the Buffalo Sabres star defenseman closer to winning the Norris Trophy. But overall, Dahlin will also be one of the most entertaining players to watch in all of hockey.
(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)