Victor Olofsson makes the most sense on Buffalo Sabres second line

COLUMBUS, OHIO - OCTOBER 04: Victor Olofsson #71 of the Buffalo Sabres skates with the puck during the first period in a preseason game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on October 04, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OHIO - OCTOBER 04: Victor Olofsson #71 of the Buffalo Sabres skates with the puck during the first period in a preseason game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on October 04, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Getty Images) /
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As the Buffalo Sabres lines and pairings currently stand, you can expect to see Victor Olofsson manning the second line come Thursday night.

The Buffalo Sabres look like they’re rolling with Victor Olofsson on the second line for at least the first week of the season. Olofsson, who was a healthy scratch toward the end of last year, has a chance to redeem himself in the early going of 2023-24 by forging a line with JJ Peterka and Dylan Cozens.

And while fan favorite Zach Benson may be on the minds of many, it makes more sense to go with Olofsson at the moment. We know the winger can score and score often, evidenced by his 28 goals a year ago. While his streakiness over the past two seasons is a reason for concern, Olofsson is still the most proven winger on the roster for the moment to take over the position.

Buffalo Sabres right to put Olofsson on the second line to start the season

Of course, none of this is set in stone, and if we see the same, shaky Victor Olofsson to start things off, then you can expect someone else to eventually take his spot. Benson is one player who may warrant consideration if he continues to play well early and makes the most of this “extended look” – but he may not be here past the nine-game trial.

So if and/or when Benson is assigned to the WHL along with potentially Matt Savoie (who is on season-opening injured reserve), then look for the Blue and Gold to perhaps dip into their prospects pool and give someone a chance. Brandon Biro is the likeliest candidate if he stays healthy in such a scenario.

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Right now, anything is possible in the not-so-distant future. But for the moment, the Buffalo Sabres are correct to go with one of their better scorers in Olofsson, even if he’s struggled with consistency in the past.