Our annual Top 25 Under 25 series serves to find the best young players in the Buffalo Sabres organization, be it NHL, AHL, European or junior leagues. We voted on everyone from Asplund to Willman, and the best 25 players get profiled throughout the month of September. Today's subject: Hudson Fasching.
Hudson Fasching, RW
Age: 21 Height: 6'2'' Weight: 216 lbs.
This last season also saw him make his first appearance in the Blue & Gold in the NHL regular season, marking his debut with a goal for the ages. After that start though was a bit of a letdown as he finished his seven game stint with 1G, 1A and a +2 on 9 shots and 4 PIM.
Fasching had an outstanding college career, playing three years with the University of Minnesota Gophers. While his freshman season was the most outstanding of them all, he was named alternate captain in his junior year and ended up with 20G and 18A. He went on to sign an entry-level deal with the Sabres in March after the Gophers failed to make the NCAA tournament.
The 21-year-old is still growing and his continued development as a power forward will be watched with great interest. He didn’t quite impress in last weekend’s Prospects Tournament where the Sabres lost both their games, to the Devils and the Bruins respectively.
With a statline of 2 SOG, 4 PIM and a -3, he knows he has some work to do to make an impression this season.
“You have a long summer of playing shinny hockey. You build summer habits. So for me, it’s to get rid of those summer habits that are not good, that are just bad habits in general and getting back into the flow of full contact and making sure I’m playing with a lot of detail to my game.
“It’s a different feel. You’re out there and you’re a little shell shocked at first in your first real game. It’s nice … just getting into the physical contact of things. Just feeling bodies against you, feeling slashes on your arm. Guys aren’t doing that in summer hockey so it’s just feeling contact and playing under contact. That’s one of the things I’m really taking away from this and getting ready to play. The next level is going to be a lot more physical and this is going to help.”
Rochester Americans coach Dan Lambert thinks very highly of the young forward -
“There’s not much I don’t like about his game. He’s really good at protecting pucks down low. He plays hard. He plays his position. He’s not worried about impressing anyone, it seems like. He just does his job every shift. Whenever you see that, you know good things are in store for him in the future.
“He’s a special person, to be honest with you. He’s a really, really likable young man.”
It’s that efficiency and consistency that will be important for Fasching as he tries to get regular minutes with the Sabres this season, even though it’ll likely be as a bottom six forward.
(Stay tuned for a special feature article we’ll have in the coming weeks about the player and how he’s inspired a local Buffalo family. )