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 series is defenseman and Minnesota native, Will Borgen.
Borgen, 24 years old, has spent parts of the last three seasons with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.
Back in 2018-19, Borgen made his professional debut with the Americans, recording zero points in just eight games.
Since then, Borgen’s stock has methodically rose and his prospect rank has followed suit.
Last season, in his second full season with the Americans, Borgen tallied 11 points (one goal, ten assists) in 61 games.
While those numbers do not necessarily jump off the page, Borgen’s consistency comes in other forms.
Borgen often flashes his on-ice vision and physicality to make up for the lack of offensive firepower.
By all accounts, Borgen appears ready for a shot at a full-time role with the Buffalo Sabres. As our own Chad DeDominicis pointed out back in October, a role might be hard to carve out for the prospect.
Curious what the plan with Will Borgen is if Montour is indeed back as it appears. He’s 23 and it’s basically now or never on the NHL. More AHL seasoning does nothing.— Chad DeDominicis (@CMDeDominicis) October 10, 2020
Jokiharju Ristolainen Montour Miller all ahead of him at RD. Even if Montour plays LD ( ) still 3 ahead.
Not only will Borgen find himself off this list by this time next year, one has to wonder if he will find himself out of the Sabres organization all together.
One year remains on Borgen’s entry-level contract before he becomes a restricted free agent for the first time in his professional career.
An unofficial power ranking of “first call-up from Rochester” should have Borgen at or near the top of the list. Not only has Borgen shown the capability of consistently playing the professional game, one would think the Sabres should at least be interested in finding out exactly what they have in the young defenseman.
Borgen’s ability should find him some sort of role with the Buffalo Sabres this season, but one has to presume that he has done enough to catch the eye of others around the world of professional hockey.