Sabres: 3 Players Poised to Break Out

1. Victor Olofsson

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The 7th round pick in 2014 has the potential to be one of the biggest steals in recent memory. He found his rhythm with Frolunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), by posting 27 goals along with 16 assists through 50 games played. The following season he reported to Buffalo’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Rochester Americans. In his season with Rochester, he finished tied for 5th in the AHL with 30 goals, and 14th in total points. During the last few weeks of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) regular season, Victor Olofsson flashed his skills with four points in six games for the Sabres. As of right now, Olofsson is projected to play in Buffalo’s top nine this coming season. With the way he has progressed so far there is a chance we could see Olofsson as one of the top rookies in the NHL.

2. Jimmy Vesey

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The newly acquired left-winger posted 17 goals and 18 assists with the New York Rangers last season. The 26-year-old offseason addition has a chance to make some noise this season. Jimmy Vesey has talked up his relationship with Sabres’ franchise centerman Jack Eichel, and that can give him the chance to play with some top-quality talent, and potentially become a much better player. The skill is there and there is no denying that, but if he can fit well in Buffalo he has the chance to become somewhat closer to the player we all thought he would be coming out of college.

3. Casey Mittelstadt

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The 2017 eighth overall pick had a disappointing rookie campaign, to say the least. In 77 games played he pitched in 12 goals and 13 assists. However, accounting some of these factors might give you a different perspective on his brief career thus far. Casey Mittelstadt was not placed in a very rookie friendly lineup last season. On multiple occasions, he was centering lines with players such as Vladimir Sobotka, and other non-NHL players. Throughout this off-season, the Sabres have made it a priority to acquire depth throughout the lineup. They added Marcus Johansson, and as I previously mentioned, Vesey. Therefore, life will only get easier for Mittelstadt, and it should be safe to say we will see those numbers inflated with much-needed help this off-season.

Ben Ressler is a Buffalo Sabres contributor at Overtime Heroics. Follow him @ressler_ben

Featured Image Courtesy of Dinur Blum (@rabbi_d) via Flickr

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