Back in September, our friends over at SportsGamersOnline and helped us run a NHL 19 simulation that turned up some very interesting results.
Fast forward seven months to April and now we have the ability to see just how accurate the video game ended up being.
We will start off small, to make the comparisons a little more clear.
NHL 19 was just like most Buffalo Sabres fans - filled with high expectations for rookie forward Casey Mittelstadt.
While Mittelstadt certainly had his moments to shine on the ice this season, his struggles to develop into a number two center overnight most certainly held him back.
That lack of rapid development by no means is the fault of Mittelstadt.
When the final whistle blew on the season, Mittelstadt ended his first full NHL campaign with 12 goals, 13 assists (25 points) in 77 games.
The actual Rookie of the Year on the Buffalo Sabres was Rasmus Dahlin.
Projected by NHL 19 to only tally 17 points (10 goals, 7 assists) in 80 games and be the second-highest point collector on the Sabres’ blue-line.
Both of those projections were incorrect.
Dahlin tore the cover off any expectations and amassed 44 points (9 goals, 35 assists) in 82 games. He also led the team in points from a defenseman.
Note: Vancouver Canucks rookie forward Elias Pettersson is the favorite to win the Calder Memorial Trophy, after tallying 66 points (28 goals, 38 assists) in 71 games.
NHL 19 suggested that this might be the Buffalo Sabres year to break their now-NHL leading playoff-less streak.
Unfortunately, as we know, that was not the case.
Wishful thinking on the part of NHL 19 but it appears they bought the hype just as much as many Sabres fans did.
We now start to see some favorable forward comparisons from NHL 19!
Jack Eichel, projected to score 70 points (26 goals, 44 assists) in 80 games, was most certainly up to the task.
In 77 actual games, Eichel scored 82 points (28 goals, 54 assists).
Not bad at all - clearly, Eichel’s upward trend toward being considered one of the best players in the game continues.
Jeff Skinner was another Sabres forward who was clearly up to the NHL 19 task.
In 82 simulated games, Skinner tallied 64 points (31 goals, 33 assists).
Compared to 82 real-life games, Skinner scored 63 points (40 goals, 23 assists).
At the end of the day, goals are more important than assists - right?
Wrapping up the forwards is the oft-underrated Sam Reinhart, who was projected 62 points (14 goals, 48 assists) in 72 games.
Another almost spot-on prediction for NHL 19, as in 82 actual games - Reinhart collected 65 points (22 goals, 43 assists).