Weight: 180 lbs.
2013-14 team: MODO (SHL)
Acquired: Taken in the fifth round (130th overall) in the 2013 draft
Last year's ranking: Not ranked
Possler had a season that left many wondering if the Sabres had found the steal of the draft in the fifth round, despite the fact that he missed a good portion of the year with a knee injury. The injury kept him out of the World Junior tournament, but his production in the SHL earned him a spot in the top 25 rankings.
At the time of his injury Possler led MODO, who plays in the top tier of Swedish hockey, in points. The high point of his season was a seven game goalscoring steak in the fall before his injury. Here's a look at the goals from the first six games courtesy of Sabres Prospects.
Possler hit a road block when he suffered a knee injury on November 3rd against HV71. After missing two weeks, he returned to action only to have pain return right before the World Juniors. In his 22 SHL games he scored 8 goals and 7 assists.
Sabres fans were unfortunately unable to get a good look at Possler this off-season as the lingering knee injury kept him from participating in the team's development camp. Possler will be back for another season with MODO, and will likely be staying over in Europe for a few more years due to being under contract until 2016. At only 19-years-old that's nothing to worry about, as he'll only be 21 when his SHL contract expires. With the current progression rate of the Sabres they will likely want Possler to get as much development in Europe as possible.
This season Possler gets a chance to prove that he wasn't simply a flash in the pan and obviously hopes to stay healthy this go around. He's also a near lock to make the Swedish World Junior roster barring another injury.
Here's what some people are saying about Possler:
- good speed, knack for finding open space
- quick wrist shot, finishes off the rush
- creative on power play, good penalty killer
- needs to bulk up, prove recovered from 2013 knee injury
Possler is a scoring winger with good skating and stickhandling ability. He prefers to shoot rather than pass, and combined with his explosive first step, Possler can be a very opportunistic goal scorer. He has good hockey sense and uses his speed to create turnovers.
Possler clearly isn't a player that will be lighting up the lamp in the NHL this season or the next, but he's a promising project in a pool that isn't super deep at wing.
Want to check out the latest in this year's 25 Under 25? You can find all the updates right here.