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2015-16 Buffalo Sabres Grades: Cody Franson

The Buffalo Sabres 2015-16 season featured plenty of new faces that helped the team finally dig their way out of the league basement. We're grading everybody who played at least 20 games for the Sabres this year, from Bogosian to Ullmark.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 28

Contract: $3,325,000, under contract through 2016-17

Introduction:

The defenseman was brought in to quarterback the powerplay, a role he had previously performed on the Nashville Predators and Toronto Maple Leafs. At best a third pair dman on the Sabres, he failed to establish himself on the lead powerplay unit, scoring 7pts (1G, 6A) in 59 games of special teams action, before a neck injury curtailed his season.

Franson is signed with the Sabres for one more season. Unfortunately for him he shoots right-handed and the Sabres are not lacking for rightie dmen. The player has size and can play the body, but evidently has not shown Dan Byslma enough to play him more. It remains to be seen if he elevates his game in his contract year.

Key Stat:

-7 - While +/- is not necessarily a very intuitive stat, it is very reflective of the rough start Franson got off to in Buffalo, -7 after 10 games. Things didn't necessarily get better for the player at the end of the season, finishing with a -5, middle of the pack on the Sabres.

Thumbs Up:

Franson was third among defensemen with 1.6 shots per game for Buffalo. There is little particularly outstanding that he does on the ice.

Thumbs Down:

His 28 power play shots in 59 games played yielded 7 points for the season. For someone who was supposed to marshal the power play, that's pretty woeful.

Memorable Moment:

Once again, it was difficult finding anything that stood out in Franson's year. There was this hit on Pascal Dupuis of the Penguins -

However, his shining moment had to be providing the assist for Jack Eichel's first road goal for the Sabres.

Voting: 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, grade Cody Franson on his performance this year.