Jeff Skinner Steal
Skinner is another addition to the Buffalo Sabres this Offseason. We traded away Cliff Pu, a 2019 2nd round pick, 2020 3rd and 6th round pick for the guy. I'm sad to see Pu leave, because he does have potential. He has not played an NHL game yet so his talent is ambiguous. For Jeff Skinner though, I am totally okay with this. We got an established elite goal scorer, in his prime, and we traded away a bunch of maybes. It's very hard to argue that this trade isn't a steal for the Sabres.
The Sabres have turned things around immediately. The forward depth, at the end of this past season, deserved to finish last in the NHL. The top six was weak due to a lack of good scorers. Okposo was recovering from his surgery the summer before, and It impacted his level of play. On the left wing we had Rodriguez playing in the top 6. He's not a bad forward in any way, but he doesn't have the skill to be a big-time goal scorer in the NHL. Now that we have added Skinner, Sheary, Berglund, Sobotka, and Thompson, the Sabres have an offense that can carry them to a playoff appearance.
Jeff Skinner Is the goal scoring sniper that Buffalo needs. The Sabres offense has a surplus of playmakers. Eichel, Reinhart, and Mittlestadt can move the puck and make plays happen out of thin air. We just lacked that goal scoring sniper that can shoot the puck from anywhere on the Ice. Jeff Skinner should have a field day in Buffalo. Playing with Eichel he could easily amass over 60 points this season. Two seasons ago Skinner had a career high year of 63 point, playing with Jordan Staal. Playing with talent like Jack Eichel, having a change of environment, and getting a fresh start in Buffalo could help Skinner realize his full potential. He is in his prime and has the potential of reaching the 40 goal mark. Jeff Skinner is really that talented.
The man is exactly what you look for in a forward. He is a consistent goal scorer. This is good for Buffalo, he is not streaky. He doesn't have a week without a goal and then follows it up with a hat trick. Every two or three games Skinner will get a goal. Alongside everyone else on the team, Skinner will add a lot of goal scoring in a timely manner. He is very fast, and has incredible hands. Seriously go watch a highlight film of this guy. His shot is quick, accurate, and he can adjust it to find his angle. Jeff Skinner is going to love playing for buffalo. With the addition of Skinner, and everyone else we picked up this offseason, the Sabres could have a really good turn around season.
Sadly, all that glitters is not gold. There aren't many issues with Skinner, but there are a few things worth addressing. Jeff Skinner has had a few injuries in his career. Including two concussions, and upper body injuries. However, looking at his stats shows that he hasn't missed too much time. His two lowest played seasons were 42 and 64 games. Even though he had injuries in the past, he doesn't miss a whole lot of games. On the other hand, he has only played three 82 game seasons. Based on this we should expect him to play about 65-80 games this year. The other problem with Skinner is that he is an RFA next summer. He didn't want to sign with Carolina which mean he's looking for a new team to play with. I don't see why the Sabres can't resign him next summer.
I think the Sabres absolutely stole Jeff Skinner from the Hurricanes. We will have a fantastic impact in buffalo, and I am looking very forward to watching him play for the Sabres this year. Michael Shoemaker and I always said he would be a great addition to the squad. I think we will have no problem re-signing him next year. Especially considering Pominville and Moulson's contracts will expire. And I also don't think any injury problems will cause too much of an impact for the team. I don't think that we will make the playoffs this year, but we can build around the core we have. In a few years I can see the Sabres being Cup contenders. I predict the Sabres will finish 5th in the atlantic division. If Dahlin can play well at the NHL level, and we cure our goaltending issues, the Sabres can finish in a wildcard position.