2013-14 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards: Johan Larsson
The Buffalo Sabres 2013-14 season was one of the worst in franchise history, and now it's time to take a look at who made it all possible. We're grading everybody who played at least 20(ish) games for the Sabres this year, from Concacher to Weber.
Contract: Signed through 2014-15 at $763,333
Report Card in 2013: N/A
Introduction: Johan Larsson suited up in a Sabres jersey for the first time this season after being acquired from the Wild in the Jason Pominville deal. Although he was up and down a bit, he managed to play in 28 games with Buffalo. He is one of the few young players to get time but not score their first career goal.
Key Stat: Only four forwards had a worse shots on net percentage than Larsson with the Sabres this season. Those players would be Ville Leino, Linus Omark, Patrick Kaleta, and Chris Stewart.
Thumbs Up: Advanced stats tend to be somewhat favorable for Larsson. 46.4 5-on-5 Corsi percentage is only behind three players with a far smaller sample size, Luke Adam, Phil Varone, and Linus Omark. His goals for percentage and relative Fenwick are top 5 as well in 5-on-5 situations. Larsson also had an impressive season in Rochester, scoring 41 points in his 51 games and showing signs of offensive light that he wasn't able to show in the NHL just yet.
Thumbs Down: Larsson simply couldn't score. He came close a few times, but just wasn't able to put it in the net. It's excusable, it's his first season, his ice time wasn't enormous, and his quality of teammates was middle of the road. But the Sabres did trade Pominville, and despite the fact that they received the pick that became Nikita Zadorov as well the Sabres would likely hope to get more production from Larsson as he further develops.
Memorable Moment: Larsson didn't exactly have a ton of highlight worthy moments, but he did fight Tyler Kennedy during the Sabres western road trip.
Voting: We're grading on a curve this year, adjusting for the Sabres organizational ineptitude. So, using the good old grade school system of A, B, C, D, F, with A representing a great season (for the Sabres) C an average season, and F a very poor season (again, for the worst team in the league) grade Johan Larsson on his performance this year.
What grade would you give Johan Larsson for his season?