The Top 20 Under 24 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. It was a combination of five staff writers and over 300 readers that ranked prospects under the age of 24 and have played less than 125 NHL games.
Next up in our Top 20 Under 24 prospect rankings is defenseman Jacob Bryson. At 23, Bryson is the fourth-oldest player on this list, but certainly deserving of a spot. He made his AHL debut last season and was second on the team among defensemen in scoring. With 27 points, including 23 assists, only Zach Redmond had more points (30) from the blue line.
Bryson was also a mainstay on the team, one of a small handful of players to appear in 61 games over the course of the season. The London, Ontario native joined the Amerks following three seasons at Providence, during which he put up 73 points. He was also named an alternate captain for his last two seasons with the Friars before electing to forego his senior season.
Dobber Prospects calls Bryson “a quick, puck-carrying defenseman who makes smart, quick decisions with the puck and quarterbacks his team’s offense.”
Bryson has two years left on his entry-level contract, during which he’s earning $889,166. He’s currently waivers-exempt, and it’s reasonable to assume that he’ll be on the Amerks roster once again when the AHL (hopefully!) starts up in February. Rasmus Dahlin and Jake McCabe are the lone left-handed defensemen on the Sabres roster at this point (save for Lawrence Pilut), so if there’s a need in a pinch there, Bryson could be a good piece to look upon.
For a deeper dive into Bryson and his game, check out Aaron’s piece on him from March.