Over the summer, the Buffalo Sabres traded Derek Roy to the Dallas Stars and got Steve Ott back in exchange. While sending one of their highest scoring players in recent history away, it might have seemed at first like they didn’t get much in return. Ott has proven to be a great addition for the Sabres this season, and in addition to adding toughness and a blue-collar style of play, has been a surprising force on the offensive end as well.
It’s not the biggest surprise that Ott leads the Sabres in penalty minutes (59), but it’s unlikely anyone expected him to be fifth on the team in scoring at this point in the season. He has five goals and 12 assists, including two goals and three assists on the power play and two shorthanded points. Being a force on special teams is nothing new for Ott, but having a player who can have that kind of impact is something new for the Sabres. Not only is Ott performing at a high level, he is also helping linemates Jason Pominville and Cody Hodgson elevate their game as well. Pominville is fourth on the team with 10 goals and 23 points, while Hodgson has 12 goals and 28 points to trail only Thomas Vanek for the team scoring lead.
This season started out in disappointing fashion for the Sabres, but a recent run of good play has them back in the hunt to make a run at the postseason. Ott has proven to be a great addition, and when his contract runs out at the end of next season the Sabres should consider trying to keep him around.