Bowen Byram and the future

The defenseman needs to be apart of the Sabres long term plans if they wish to end their playoff drought.
Buffalo Sabres v Seattle Kraken
Buffalo Sabres v Seattle Kraken / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Despite the setbacks the Buffalo Sabres have encountered, one of the bright spots on the team over the last few weeks is the play of defenseman Bowen Byram.  Since being acquired via trade earlier this month, he has demonstrated why they made the move and why he should be a part of their future moving forward. 

Byram has three goals and three assists in just eight games for Buffalo since joining the team on March 6th. He’s also had 17 blocks being a stable presence on defense. Byram's first game was on March 7th against Nashville where he had both a goal and an assist in a 4-2 loss.

His strongest game since joining Buffalo was on March 13th against the Detroit Red Wings as he scored two goals in a 7-3 win. After the game, he commented on how important it was to play to do whatever he could to help the team win. It brought the Sabres to within five points of a wild-card spot.

Unfortunately, the Sabres are now seven points back of a wild-card spot but it appears the 22-year-old is becoming an important part of their lineup and will need to be for 2024 and beyond. 

His cap hit for next season is at $3.8 million. For the 2024-2025 season, it will go up to $4,620,000 and Buffalo could look to sign him to long-term deal if he continues to prove his worth in the home stretch of the season.

He was traded from the Colorado Avalanche for forward Casey Mittelstadt and was a Stanley Cup champion when the Avalanche won it in 2022. The championship pedigree is exactly what Buffalo needs. During the Avalanche's Stanley Cup run, Bowen contributed with nine assists.

Bowen’s leadership will be on display again when the Sabres will be in Calgary on Sunday night. It is the final game in a five-game away stretch for Buffalo.