Olofsson locking up a top spot

In 2014, Buffalo Sabres’ GM, Tim Murray, selected Swedish winger Victor Olofsson with the 181st overall pick of the 7th round in the NHL Entry Draft. At the time, no one thought much of it as most 7th round draft picks never see time in the NHL. However, Olofsson had other things in mind.

Although Olofsson had played professionally in the SHL since the 2013-14 season, he hadn’t found much success until his breakout season with Frölunda HC in 2017-18, when he led the league in goals with 27 in 50 games. He would also tack on 16 assists for 43 points.

That season put Olofsson on the map for many Sabres fans as well as the organization itself. The following year, Olofsson would find himself in North America playing for the Rochester Americans of the AHL. Although many people weren’t sure what to expect from the 5’11, 181lb winger, he exceeded any and all expectations when he recorded a staggering 30 goals and 33 assists in just 66 games. This would earn him a six game call-up to the big club at the end of the season where he kept things rolling with two goals and four points.

With such a great first season with the Amerks, Olofsson would earn himself a look at cracking the Buffalo Sabres’ roster for the upcoming 2019-20 season. In just three preseason games, Olofsson recorded three goals on an insane 60% shooting percentage. While playing alongside Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart for much of preseason and practice, he was able to not only make the opening day roster, but it appears as though he may have earned a spot on the top line.

Although his offensive skills have been evident to where head coach Ralph Krueger called him, “permanently dangerous”, Krueger also had this to say about his overall game:

“His confidence is very high. His mindset is healthy and strong. I think the world outside of the Sabres family is excited about his offense, but we’re excited with what he’s doing without the puck and how hard he works to get it back, and also to check and to play the game we want defensively. It’s a good way to ice-time here in our lineup.” – Krueger

Olofsson’s complete two-way game has been noticed by the coaching staff to the point where he has been getting looks on both special team units and has been reliable on both so far. He does have a very responsible defensive game, but it’s the electric shot he has that really excites people.

As far as expectations go, no one can really say with certainty how many goals or points Victor will notch this season. However, if he does ride shotgun with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart for an extended period of time, he could put himself in the conversation for the Calder Trophy as the league’s best rookie as there will be plenty of opportunities playing alongside two of Buffalo’s top offensive players.

One thing is for sure, Victor Olofsson is one of the most exciting goal-scoring prospects the Sabres have had come up through the system since Thomas Vanek. It will be fun watching him continue to grow his game and contribute on a nightly basis.


John Krieger
John Krieger
A Buffalo sports fan from birth who has stayed loyal through many tough years. Now living in Buffalo, NY. Producer of the BHC Podcast and would love to be able to report on future Sabres success. Let’s go Buffalo!
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