Weight: 181 lbs.
2013-14 team: Rochester/Buffalo
Acquired: Signed as an undrafted free agent
Last year's ranking: 14
The Sabres have quite the collection of young defenseman. One that gets somewhat overlooked is Chad Ruhwedel, who will likely get a long look in Buffalo this season.
This season was Ruhwedel's first full year in the organization, as he signed with the team after the conclusion of his UMass-Lowell season. This season Ruhwedel was sent down to Rochester for the first time, and produced pretty well. In his 47 games with the Amerks he scored four goals and 24 assists, pretty solid for a defenseman who has a defense first reputation. He heated up in the AHL playoffs as well, scoring five points (2+3) in five games.
In his 21 games in Buffalo Ruhwedel was unable to score, but his advanced stats were very favorable. His +4.5 relative Corsi was tied with Christian Ehrhoff for best on the team and his relative Fenwick was only beaten by Ehrhoff.
Entering his third season with the organization, Ruhwedel will likely spend the majority of the year in the NHL. While there is an argument about other players like Rasmus Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov, and Jake McCabe needing more seasoning, it's time for Ruhwedel to prove that he has the ability to be an NHL regular. Buffalo signed Ruhwedel to a two-year extension this off-season.
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