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 485 fans that ranked players under the age of 25 as of August 10, 2021. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production to rank each player.
Jacob Bryson jumps in at the fifteen spot after making his first professional debut with the Sabres. Bryson, while being significantly defensively limited in my estimation, was a sign of the changes to come when he first debuted under Ralph Krueger’s conservative system.
Not yet defeated by the coach that would ultimately signal the death of the Jack and Sam core, Bryson’s speed and confidence through the neutral zone must’ve made ‘ol Donny Granato so happy deep down inside.
Bryson has made the stellar jumps and shown his ability now at three levels, the NCAA, the American league and now the NHL. Even though there is a transition to the smaller & mobile defenseman, concerns for the pessimists say that Bryson may never be a full time guy, even though he looks to be better than a career AHL’er. I sure hope Bryson proves us all right and tries to beat out Hagg and Butcher for that third pairing role. A steady counterpart like a Mark Pysyk or Mattias Samuelsson look to be a solid compliment and an effective pairing in a reduced role, especially on a Sabres team that is going to need offense to survive.