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Buffalo Sabres Top 25 Under 25: #20 Marcus Davidsson

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The 20-year-old recently signed with the Vaxjo Lakers of the SHL for what could be his final season in Europe

United States v Sweden: Semifinals - 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Nicholas T. LoVerde/Getty Images

The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. It was a combination of six staff writers and over 500 readers that ranked players under the age of 25 by September 1st, 2019. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production to rank each player.

In 2017-18, Buffalo Sabres prospect, Marcus Davidsson was turning heads as an “under-the-radar” youngster working his way up the organizational depth chart. In 2018-19, the 20-year-old contributed as a steady, two-way presence for a Djurgårdens team that reached the SHL finals (where they fell in six games to Frölunda).

With 27 points in 52 games during the regular season, he certainly didn’t play poorly, but given the developmental leap he experienced the year prior, his production was mildly disappointing. Despite the statistical plateau of sorts on offense, Davidsson boasts outstanding positional awareness at both ends of the ice, which bodes well for his future in the organization.

After spending the past seven years developing in the Djurgårdens system, he recently signed a two-year deal with rival Vaxjo. His performance in 2019-20 will be critical, as his new contract carries an out-clause after the first year. If he hopes to graduate to the North American ranks by 2020-21, he’ll need to show marked progress with his new team.

Should he prevail in convincing the Sabres’ brass that he’s ready for the next step, he could serve as a nice replacement for a similar, defensively gifted centerman in Rasmus Asplund, who (barring something unforeseen), should graduate to a full-time role with the big club within the next year or so.