Season Stats: 59 GP | 4 G | 10 A | 14 PTS
Contract Status: Restricted free agent
It was an up and down season for Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe. He started the season playing well with rookie defender Rasmus Dahlin. When the Sabres were winning a lot in the beginning of the season he was a big reason why with his play on the blue line.
Then the injury issues started and slowed down his season. He missed about a month in December with an upper body injury. When he eventually returned he struggled to find that consistency in his game.
In the beginning of March the shoulder injury popped up again and forced McCabe to miss five weeks. All of the injuries resulted in him playing only 59 games this season.
He’s the only defenseman on the roster from last season that his technically not under contract. He’s a restricted free agent, therefore, the Sabres maintain his rights. It’ll be interesting to see what Jason Botterill has planned for the left-shot defender.
He can be a solid bottom pair defender that can kill penalties and jump up in the lineup in a pinch if needed. They have a lot of depth on the left side with Lawrence Pilut, Marco Scandella, Matt Hunwick, and Dahlin all under contract for next season.
Jason Botterill could explore the trade market for McCabe, but it would probably make more sense for them to bring him back on a cheap deal to play on the bottom pair. He’s a more effective defenseman than Hunwick or Scandella on that left side.
Season Grade: C
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