Rasmus Dahlin is the unquestioned face of the Buffalo Sabres through 400 games

Rasmus Dahlin reached the 400-game milestone in the Buffalo Sabres loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and he has given the organization quite a few returns.

Jan 13, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (26) waits for the
Jan 13, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (26) waits for the / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
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It’s been 400 games, and Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin has become a pivotal part of the team’s rebuild. To be more accurate, he’s been part of a few attempted rebuilds, with the Kevyn Adams-Don Granato era being the latest, and hopefully, the successful one even if things aren’t looking great right now. 

But that doesn’t mean Dahlin hasn’t done his part every time the Sabres rolled with a new regime unless it included Ralph Krueger. Anyway, in his 400 games, Dahlin has put up a solid 270 points and 59 goals, good for 0.675 points per game. The latter number will continue to rise as his career in Buffalo progresses, but it’s not only the points that matter. 

Dahlin also has 471 blocked shots and 564 hits through the 400-game milestone, averaging to 1.17 and 1.41 per game, respectively. This season, he’s making his third-straight appearance in the NHL All-Star Game, and he’s also on pace for career-highs in goals, shooting percentage, blocks, and hits, indicating he’s only going to keep getting better as he reaches his mid-20s. 

Rasmus Dahlin has been a force on the Buffalo Sabres

It’s true, however, that points and awesome stats still aren’t everything, and neither are awards. Dahlin snagged a top-10 finish in the Norris Trophy voting last season, and you can expect more of that in his future. But what makes Dahlin the face of the franchise stems from his leadership ability and vocalness, something we didn’t see fully emerge until the 2021-22 season. 

The Buffalo Sabres rewarded him for developing those leadership skills in 2022-23 when they named him an alternate captain, and he can easily be wearing the captain patch when the Blue and Gold kick off their 2024-25 campaign. With the number of All-Star Game appearances, upper-echelon to even elite statistics, and sound leadership skills, it’s clear that Dahlin is the face of and a force on this still very young Sabres team. 

And when they ultimately return to the playoffs, whether it entails making an unprecedented run this year or in the future, Dahlin will be a major part of it. Now, let’s sit back and look forward to watching him represent the Sabres in Games 401 to 800 over the next few seasons. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)