The Buffalo Sabers miss out on the NHL playoffs for the 11th straight season, but unlike many of those years, the future looks very bright for the Sabres.
The team has a legitimate leading scorer in Tage Thompson, who broke with 38 goals in 2021-22. Veteran winger Jeff Skinner finally came to his senses with 33 goals and 63 points, and defenseman Rasmus Dahlin had his best season in the NHL with 13 goals and 53 points.
The team currently has two big prospects with the Rochester Amerks: forwards JJ Peterka and Jack Quinn. They also have defensemen Casey Fitzgerald and Mattias Samuelsson, as well as first overall pick Owen Power.
Sabers fans are about to have more good news this summer, as that prospect pool is about to get even bigger.
Buffalo will have a very busy 2022 NHL Draft, as general manager Kevyn Adams has three first-round picks.
We know of two such picks: 9th and 16th overall. The 16th overall pick comes from the Vegas Golden Knights, which they received in the trade with Jack Eichel.
The Sabers will also have a pick near the end of the first round, such as 28th overall. This is from the Florida Panthers, as part of the Sam Reinhart trade.
Buffalo has four of the top 41 picks in the 2022 NHL Draft — the most of any team this early.
Adams recently signed 2021 draft picks Aleksander Kisakov (forward, 2nd round) and Olivier Nadeau (forward, 4th round).
Buffalo will have the best pool of prospects (at least the most in quantity) after the 2022 NHL Draft. Goaltenders are the Sabres’ biggest weakness, but they have Devon Levi (Northeastern) and Erik Portillo (Michigan) in college. The two are two of the NHL’s top goalie prospects.
2023 might be a year too early for a playoff push, but by 2024 the Sabers are expected to be a playoff contender.
Buffalo Sabers Goalie Masks
Buffalo Sabers captains since 2000
WATCH: 50 images of winning moments in sports history
Sometimes pictures are the best way to honor the characters we’ve lost. When tragedy quickly reminds us that sport is far from the most important thing in life, we can always recall the moment of victory of an athlete who seemed larger than life, remaining grateful for his sacrifice on the ground and bringing joy to millions of people.
Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images compiled by Stacker featuring various iconic moments of victory in sports history. Covering the achievements of a multitude of sports, these images depict stunning personal achievements, team championships and athletic perseverance.