Rasmus Dahlin and sharing the puck

Rasmus Dahlin led the Sabres in assists this season and was a leader.
Buffalo Sabres v Edmonton Oilers
Buffalo Sabres v Edmonton Oilers / Lawrence Scott/GettyImages

As the Buffalo Sabres look to turn a corner with bringing back Lindy Ruff as head coach, they have a strong leader both on and off the ice that Ruff needs to work with next season. Rasmus Dahlin was the Sabres leader in assists last season and is a clear favorite for captain next season.

This season, Dahlin had 39 assists. He also demonstrated strong leadership after former captain Kyle Okposo was traded in March. After the Okposo trade, general manager Kevyn Adams commented on Dahlin's leadership. He stated that the defenseman, who was an alternate captain all season, elevated his play physically and his confidence grew throughout the year.

During a game in November against the Chicago Blackhawks, as Buffalo was struggling to find its footing, and Dahlin led the charge. In a 3-2 win, he played 31 shifts with over 28 minutes of ice time for the game. He also added a goal and two assists in the victory.

On defense, he had career highs in blocks (154) and hits (195). Dahlin also represented the Sabres in the last three seasons as an all-star.

The 2018 first overall draft pick by Buffalo should feature prominently in Lindy Ruff and company plans. He was signed to an 8-year contract extension during the 2023/2024 season, worth $88 million. Ramsus is currently under the longest term contract for the Sabres. In addition, he does have the fourth highest cap hit behind Jeff Skinner, Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens.

Dahlin has come into his own and has continued to improve each season on the ice. His leadership proved invaluable as the Sabres were fighting for a playoff spot this season. In the Sabres final three game winning streak of the season in March, Dahlin had two assists and saw more than 20 minutes of ice time in each of the three games.

As they look to the future, they shouldn't have to look far for one of the young leaders of the organization.