Realistic expectations for the Buffalo Sabres heading into 2023-24

Buffalo Sabres v New Jersey Devils
Tage Thompson #72 of the Buffalo Sabres against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on April 11, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Buffalo Sabres had an impressive 2022-23 season, surpassing expectations and showing significant progress. Led by emerging talents such as Rasmus Dahlin, Dylan Cozens, and Tage Thompson, the Sabres demonstrated promise and competitiveness.

As Sabres entered the free agency period, the team aimed to strengthen their roster further. While they missed out on top free agents, they made some notable additions.


Continued development of the Buffalo Sabres' Young Core

One realistic expectation for the Sabres is the continued development of their young core. Rasmus Dahlin has already established himself as a future top defenseman in the league, showcasing his skills and hockey IQ.

Meanwhile, Dylan Cozens and Tage Thompson emerged as elite scorers and offensive threats for the team. Their growth and improvement will be crucial for the Sabres' success in the upcoming season. With another year of experience under their belts, these young players should take further strides and contribute significantly to the team's offensive production.


Solid Goaltending

The Buffalo Sabres addressed their goaltending situation by acquiring newcomer Devon Levi and the developing Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. While they may not have signed a high-profile goalie, there is potential for strong performances from this tandem.

Levi, with his impressive collegiate career, and Luukkonen, who has shown promise, provide a solid foundation between the pipes. Although they may experience growing pains, the Sabres can reasonably expect consistent and reliable goaltending as their young netminders gain NHL experience.


Compete for Playoff Spot

Given the progress made in the previous season and the additions made during free agency, a realistic expectation for the Buffalo Sabres is to compete for a playoff spot. While they missed out on top free-agent defensemen, there are still possibilities for trades or signings that could strengthen their blue line.

The team's core of young players, combined with the new additions of Connor Clifton, Erik Johnson, and Tyson Jost, should elevate their overall performance. If the Sabres can maintain their upward trajectory, they have a legitimate chance to contend for a playoff berth.

After an encouraging 2022-23 season, the Buffalo Sabres faced the challenge of further improving their roster during the free agency period. While they missed out on top free agents, the team made notable additions and focused on the development of their young core.

Realistic expectations for the Sabres include the continued growth of players like Rasmus Dahlin, Dylan Cozens, and Tage Thompson, as well as solid performances from their goaltenders. With these factors in mind, the Sabres should set their sights on competing for a playoff spot.

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Edited by Tejas Rathi