This is the second article of a five-part series, chronicling the good and bad of the past Buffalo Sabres’ season. Our writers at Sabres Hockey Central take a look back.
Who was the Rookie of the Year during the 2013-14 Sabres’ season?
Justin Banker – Zemgus Girgensons: Not much really to say here. Was almost always the hardest working guy on the ice for the Sabres.
Brayton Wilson – Zemgus Girgensons: Where could you go wrong here? Girgensons has developed into a leader for the Sabres on and off the ice. Girgensons has earned high praise all year for his work on and off the ice from Ted Nolan. Girgensons finished the year with eight goals and 14 assists in 70 games played. Look for Girgensons to have a pivotal role with the Sabres for many years to come.
Adam Lindsay – Zemgus Girgensons: Hands down. Outside of his work ethic, determination, and never give up attitude, he scored a few beauts this season that I am sure will make the Sabres highlight film for 2013-2014.
Kevin Freiheit – Zemgus Girgensons: We heard a lot about Mikhail Grigorenko last year and how good he is supposed to be, but Girgensons has shown signs of becoming possibly an even better player. Girgensons is still just 20 years old and played nearly a full season (70 GP). This is one player who will play a huge role as this rebuild continues.
Chris Downey – Zemgus Girgensons: His numbers may not be top caliber for rookies, but Girgensons definitely showed the potential he has the ability he currently has as an NHL player. His time when and play while on the first line was top notch and was very entertaining to watch. Watch out for Girgensons to be a key part of this team as the rebuild process continues then throughout the years after the build (hopefully).
Jeff Pawlak – Zemgus Girgensons: He may not have had an enormous impact on the team, but there’s few other guys who played harder than he did every night. The young Latvian was a hitting machine from start to finish, pressuring other players and fighting his way to the net every time the opportunity came. Eight goals and 22 points is solid for a first-year player with his skillset; he’ll only get better as his career goes on.
Ryan Wolfe – Zemgus Girgensons: In what should be a landslide decision among all Sabres fans, Zemgus Girgensons deserves this honor. Girgensons is developing at a rapid pace as a leader, and a professional player. While Girgensons only scored 8 goals in 72 games, he clearly has set the foundation for a future that is expected to blossom quickly. With the right development plan, Girgensons clearly could be the Sabres next big offensive star.