Even with former General Manager Tim Murray out of the picture, the Buffalo Sabres are still expected to sign KHL defenseman Viktor Antipin this offseason, according to a report.
At just 24 years old, the left-handed defender may be ready to make the jump from the KHL to the NHL. Nothing is set in stone, but he could certainly help a defensive core in Buffalo that is well…lacking.
Antipin is coming off a season in which he put up 24 points (6 goals, 18 assists) in 59 games. He also added 11 points in 18 playoff games.
He is expected to sign with Buffalo, but maybe not right away. Still, he would already be a welcome addition to the blue line. Keep in mind that the Sabres could expose some defensemen such as Zach Bogosian or Josh Gorges, and may not see Cody Franson return.
Scouting report from Max Marko:
“While he does not have a giant stature, Antipin uses strong skating and offensive zone creativity to make plays, often pinching or controlling the puck down low in the offensive zone. Has a sense of what the do with the puck before it is on his stick. In his own zone, Antipin can push the opposition to the outside. Stays with his man, but can sometimes get caught behind his own net.”