Somehow, the time has arrived and we are just a few days away from players reporting to training camp for the 2018-19 National Hockey League season.
To cure your soon-to-be summer blues, there is a shiny new toy arriving in Buffalo this September.
Remember back to the draft? Remember the Rasmus Dahlin?
Rasmus Dahlin has been in Buffalo for a few weeks now and has actually already turned quite a few heads, thanks to his performance at the Buffalo Sabres prospect tournament.
It is very hard to watch Dahlin play and somehow temper your expectations to a “he-is-playing-in-a-tournament-with-other-young-prospects” level.
I am here to tell you that it is time to hop aboard the hype train (if you already have not). We are in for one heck of a ride this season.
Dahlin is by far the best defensive prospect the Sabres have ever had. It is incredible to sit here and watch him play, thinking that he might end up being one of the best this franchise has ever seen.
I am trying to pump the brakes here but my brake pads seem to be stuck. They are almost on fire at this point but I just can’t seem to stop myself.
In case you missed some of the highlights from the prospect tournament, let me guide you down the path a little.
We have a shot of Dahlin with a blistering hit.
We have a shot of Dahlin joining the rush.
Is it getting warm in here, or is that just me?
Wait, another goal?
See what I mean?
The hype train is hard to get off once you get on.
It is like when you get on a tilt-a-whirl at an amusement park. You think it is a good idea when you jump on and then you unfortunately get too hyped up because your dad tricked you into getting onto the ride but now you want to vomit.
That has only ever happened to me? Ok then.
Dahlin will most certainly have his fair share of highlights and definitely his lowlights as well.
We are talking about an 18 year old kid who has played professionally but arguably never against the level of talent that the National Hockey League provides.
While fans want to have pie-in-the-sky sized expectations, it is safe to start off slow. You see people anointing Dahlin as the next coming of a defensive hockey god but minor things like our NHL 19 simulation projecting 17 points for Dahlin really help keep things grounded a little.
A piece of advice for you, the reader, on a grander scale – as the season approaches, take everything for what is worth. Rinse yourself of the bad Sabres feels of the past. This team is the best team that the Sabres have put on paper in quite some time. Dahlin will play a big part in that but continue to keep expectations a little lower.
Judging by the last almost decade of Sabres hockey, it is hard to imagine things can get much worse than they have been. I bite my tongue as I write this but it really cannot get much worse than it already has been.
Sit back, enjoy the Dahlin, the Eichel, the Skinner, the Sheary and more. Hockey season is within arms reach, we made it.