Ranking the Sabres defenseman from worst to first for the 2024-25 season

The Sabres will, without a doubt, boast a young defensive rotation for the 2024-25 season, but where do they currently rank a few months out from the season?
Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks
Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages
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The Buffalo Sabres defensive rotation may concern some fans since there won’t be a player on it over age 29, while the bulk of them are in their early-to-mid-20s. It’s not only fueled with high potential, but also a lot of talent, starting with who is arguably the best player on the entire team. 

So, how does the Sabres rotation rank overall? I’m taking the top eight players in the system and finding out for myself, starting with a fringe NHL talent who I thought would be elsewhere at the moment. 

8 - Jacob Bryson

Jacob Bryson was one player I was surprised to see get another year in the system, but I’ll also admit that he didn’t look half-bad last season. As organizational depth, Bryson only saw time in 36 contests, but he also put up eight points, just one shy of what he finished the 2022-23 season with, but in 59 games. 

While Bryson recorded a less-than-stellar 14:41 of average total ice time, something that was similar to what he saw in 2022-23, he still wound up blocking over one shot per game, and his possession metrics at even strength were encouraging - 14 on-ice goals against and a 93.8 on-ice save percentage. 

7 - Henri Jokiharju

I was less surprised to see Henri Jokiharju return, and part of me wanted to rank him over the No. 6 and No. 5 players on the list. But one figured things out relatively quickly and put together a solid campaign, while the other improved as the season wore on. 

Jokiharju finished the season with a career-best 74 games, and he also logged 20 points for the first time. Add in his hitting the century mark in blocked shots and nearing it in body checks, and we can understand why Kevyn Adams didn’t hesitate to bring him back to Buffalo.