The Buffalo Sabres made what could be their final round of cuts for the 2023-24 season, and it was a mixed bag to say the least.
The Buffalo Sabres opening-night roster could be set with the Blue and Gold waiving the likes of Brandon Biro, Kale Clague, and Riley Stillman. They also assigned Ryan Johnson and Lukas Rousek to Rochester, where they will join what could be a dangerous Amerks team this season and one that will be fun to watch.
Therefore, the Sabres currently have 15 forwards counting Matt Savoie and Jack Quinn, the latter of whom won’t play for at least a few months. Savoie will most likely return to Wenatchee, so that would leave Zach Benson as the 13th forward. And wow, did he enjoy a remarkable preseason that started back at the 2023 Prospects Challenge?
Analyzing the Buffalo Sabres Saturday cutdown
The Good – Keeping Zach Benson
When I wrote this article a few months back, I was purely being my bold, speculative self to pass time in the offseason by trying to create a scenario that would land Zach Benson a role on the Buffalo Sabres. Fast-forward two-and-a-half months, and the Blue and Gold’s 13th overall pick this season made the cut, barring something unforeseen.
And while I don’t like the idea of potentially rushing 18-year-olds, Benson earned the spot, and there’s no denying it. Therefore, he will get nine games to continue showing us that he belongs, and if Benson passes the test, then he’s a Sabre for the entire 2023-24 season.
Benson also has a perfect mentor in Jeff Skinner, who knows a thing or two about playing an entire NHL season at such a young age. Skinner ended up with 63 points in his rookie year, and while no one’s expecting Benson to repeat that, it does mean that 18-year-olds not drafted in the Top 5 can play solid hockey.