Several Buffalo Sabres players can hit the 35-goal mark this season, even if they shouldn’t need to score as much in 2023-24.
At Bold Prediction #35, we are nearing the halfway point and have reached yet another milestone in the 75 In 75 Series. That said, you know this prediction is going to be bolder than most of the others.
You may recall that about three weeks ago, all the way back in Bold Prediction #15, I had seven Sabres scoring at least 20 goals. This time, four of those seven will go on to score at least 35, and you can probably name three of the four.
Tage Thompson put up 47 last season, and if an injury didn’t slow him down late, it’s realistic that he would have hit the 50-goal mark. That’s also possible this year, and he is the likeliest one of the group to find twine 35 times.
Alex Tuch took second, snagging 36 goals, nearly doubling his previous career high of 20. Tuch looks as though he’s entering the best stage of his career, and if he and his linemates continue their high-octane ways, there is no reason to believe he will score anything less than 35 this year.
Jeff Skinner clocked in at Number 3, putting up 35 goals, his highest since 2018-19, when he scored 40. While he’s older, Skinner also appears to have entered the best stretch of his NHL career.
Four Buffalo Sabres hit the 35-goal mark in 2023-24
We just named the Golden Trio, so who’s the fourth member of the group? None other than Dylan Cozens, who knocked down 31 goals, shattering his previous career high of 13. Cozens is also just 22 years old, and if he keeps up this pace – and the scoring – it’s likely that he ends up as the most productive player overall of the four listed in this article.
And that’s a scary thought, considering his age. But when you think about it, with JJ Peterka and Jack Quinn (when healthy again) lining up and building chemistry alongside him, this line will eventually be every bit as tough to stop as the Tage line.
Overall, the Buffalo Sabres will be a better team defensively in 2023-24, so it may not be necessary to have four players score at least 35 goals. But it doesn’t mean they won’t, especially as high-octane as this group has been.
(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)