The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. six writers and 718 readers ranked players under the age of 25 as of September 1, 2018 in the Buffalo Sabres organization. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked.
Continuing our series on the Buffalo Sabres’ top 25 under 25, today we discuss #15 Zemgus Girgensons. Girgensons was drafted 14th overall by the team in 2012 and, at the time, had many people very excited about his potential. To date, he hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations.
After the draft, Girgensons spent one season in the AHL but has consistently found himself in the NHL since then. His best career season to date was 2014-15, when he put up 30 points in 61 games.
For comparison’s sake, last season, he only managed half of that - 15 points in 71 games. Obviously you have to take into stock where the team was last season as a whole, as well as how Girgensons was used, but 15 points just won’t cut it for a guy who was previously hailed as an impressive prospect.
Girgensons has not proven himself to be a reliable producer and is likely to find himself on the fourth line or in the bottom six this season. His play as of late has been downright disappointing.
The good news, perhaps: Girgensons has just one year remaining on his contract. He’s set to earn $1.6 million this season before becoming an RFA in summer 2019. If he wants another deal with the Sabres, he’ll have to seriously step up and produce this season - or else he may find himself without a qualifying offer come July.