Season Stats: 76 GP | 15G | 29A | 44P
Contract Status: Signed through 2022-23
It’s been a rollercoaster of a year for Kyle Okposo. After a terrifying hospitalization following a bad reaction to concussion treatments, the veteran of 10 seasons was just happy to be on the ice when the season started.
It was clear from the outset that the summer had taken its toll on the sturdy veteran. At times, Okposo looked awkward and uncomfortable, and though he didn’t shy away from contact, he certainly didn’t fly around the ice as he had throughout his career.
It’s difficult to be disappointed with Okposo’s season as a whole. He still managed to put up 44 points on a team that could barely produce more than two goals on a night-to-night basis, despite losing two minutes from his average time on ice. Over half of his points came at even strength, and he still managed to be third on the team in power play goals and power play points.
When former general manager Tim Murray brought Okposo to the team, he was the second-biggest name on the free agent market behind Steven Stamkos. His 64 points in his final campaign as a New York Islander was undoubtedly the expectation.
In his two years in the Queen City, Okposo hasn’t really met those expectations. With 45 and 44 points in his two years in Buffalo, Okposo has remained among the top scores on the Sabres’ roster, but that’s like being the best fisherman in the Sahara. It’s impressive until you think it all the way through.
The good news is that Okposo seemed to gain confidence as the season wore on. As his teammates began to flag, and it was clear that few players were giving 100 percent in ever shift of every game, Okposo began to find himself, and his game. The strong end to the year bodes well for the future.
So does the potential for Okposo to find new linemates. Casey Mittelstadt was a late-season addition, and GM Jason Botterill knows there are moves to be made this offseason. Okposo could find himself on a whole new line, refreshed and ready to show Buffalo fans that 60-point forward they’ve been waiting so desperately for.
Twitter Grade: B
Season Grade: B-
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