5 Things We've Learned From the Buffalo Sabres' Early-Season Action

By Darrell Samuels

5 Things We've Learned From the Buffalo Sabres' Early-Season Action

Tim Murray, Buffalo Sabres
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The Buffalo Sabres were in a disastrous state last season as most veterans were shipped elsewhere. They were the embarrassment of the NHL, finishing 30th overall. There are a lot of interesting things that have occurred this season and the Sabres' rebuild has progressed. Here are the five most notable takeaways from their early-season action.

5. Connor McDavid Who?

Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres
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5. Connor McDavid Who?

Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres
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Connor McDavid was selected No. 1 overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. McDavid is now property of the Edmonton Oilers while the Buffalo Sabres responded by drafting another projected phenom, Jack Eichel, with the following pick. Eichel has been the NHL's bright light versus McDavid during the early portions of the season. Eichel has scored two goals in three games for the Sabres, while McDavid only has one goal in three games for the Oilers.

4. Robin Lehner's Injury Opens the Goaltending Door

Chad Johnson, Buffalo Sabres
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4. Robin Lehner's Injury Opens the Goaltending Door

Chad Johnson, Buffalo Sabres
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Lehner is out for6-10 weeks with a high ankle sprain, and the Sabres are throwing Chad Johnson into a starting role. The team will probably be in the market for a starting goalie via the trade route, but this is Johnson's time to show what value he has as a netminder.

3. Forward Ryan O'Reilly Is Adjusting Nicely

Ryan O'Reilly, Buffalo Sabres
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3. Forward Ryan O'Reilly Is Adjusting Nicely

Ryan O'Reilly, Buffalo Sabres
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Linemate Matt Moulson appears to be clicking well with O'Reilly. The Sabres took the league by surprise and completed a blockbuster June trade to bring O'Reilly to Western New York. O'Reilly and Moulson worked scoring magic together against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and that chemistry can only continue to improve as the season progresses.

2. Small Improvements Already Evident Over Last Year

Dan Bylsma, Buffalo Sabres
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2. Small Improvements Already Evident Over Last Year

Dan Bylsma, Buffalo Sabres
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It would appear that under new head coach Dan Bylsma small improvements have been made compared to last year under Ted Nolan. The Sabres probably won't be contending for a playoff spot this season, but there are definite signs of future success with this young core.

1. There Is Plenty Of Youth On the Roster

Sam Reinhart, Buffalo Sabres
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1. There Is Plenty Of Youth On the Roster

Sam Reinhart, Buffalo Sabres
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Last season was the campaign of accruing draft picks, and this year appears to be the opportunity for some of those young guys to play. The Sabres have a plethora of youth consisting of Sam Reinhart, Zemgus Girgensons, Tyler Ennis and now adding Jack Eichel to the mix, which ensures that there is a bright future in Buffalo.

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