The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. It was a combination of seven staff writers and over 250 fans that ranked players under the age of 25 as of July 15th, 2020. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production to rank each player. This is our 2020 pre-draft rankings.
After an impressive six game cameo late last season, Victor Olofsson impressed during his first full year in the National Hockey League.
The 25 year-old added a much needed scoring capability for the Sabres, as he netted 20 goals in 54 games and added 22 assists to his resume.
Despite being crowned rookie of the month twice, Olofsson did not make it as a finalist for the Calder Trophy. He got beaten out by the two smooth skating defensemen, in Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes, and by Blackhawks forward Dominik Kubalik.
Olofsson scored eleven times on the power play, tied with Eichel for most on the team, often with a rocket of a one timer.
Nine of his goals were scored in even strength, which ranked fifth on the team.
Most of his assists did not come on the powerplay though, as he only had six assists on the man advantage, compared to 16 at equal strength.
On the power play, it’s no question where he thrived – the right circle was his home.
So, what’s next for Olofsson?
His contract runs out now and he’ll be an restricted free agent this offseason.
The Sabres would be wise to get him locked down to a contract longer than a two year bridge deal.
Ralph Kruger had Olofsson playing mostly on the top line with Eichel and Reinhart, but also tried him with Marcus Johansson at center and late acquisition Dominik Kahun on the right side.
It´s no surprise that Olofsson was most successful with Eichel and Reinhart as his partners, but there were glimpses of chemistry with Kahun.
Pairing Olofsson with a more creative center than Johansson could really give the Sabres a solid second line.