3 reasons why trading Jeff Skinner would make sense for the Sabres

Jeff Skinner is one of the most notable forwards on the Sabres, but trading him in the offseason wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
Mar 30, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA;  Buffalo Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner (53) plays the puck
Mar 30, 2024; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner (53) plays the puck / Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
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A Jeff Skinner trade opens a spot in the lineup for younger talent

While the Sabres should be past acquiring all the younger talent they can get, they can still bring the best versions of themselves forward by trading Skinner and making room in the top-six for a prospect they believe is ready to take the next step. This doesn’t mean it would make sense for Jiri Kulich, Matt Savoie, or Isak Rosen to receive a promotion and immediately play on the first line, but there are young players who should be ready to succeed Skinner. 

JJ Peterka enjoyed a sensational age-22 season with 50 points and 28 goals, and while fans may like to see him stick to the ‘Kid Line,’ if the Sabres feel he better serves the team on the first line, trading Skinner helps make that happen. 

Ditto for Jack Quinn, who, despite playing in just 27 games, was on pace to score between 57 and 58 points, meaning there is a good chance he would have had an even better season if he were healthy all year. If Quinn stays healthy, he too could legitimately compete for a spot on the first line alongside presumably Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch. 

Zach Benson could move up into a second-line role as he will be poised for the same kind of breakout season in 2024-25, while another first-round pick could end up with his spot on the third line. Or, there’s always the possibility Adams adds more established and consistent talent to the first line or at least the top-six, so let’s talk about it in the next section.