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Buffalo Sabres Top 25 Under 25, T-#5: Peyton Krebs

A welcome addition: Krebs shined during first season in Buffalo and shows great potential for the future

NHL: Nashville Predators at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. It was a combination of staff writers and over 600 readers that ranked Buffalo Sabres players under the age of 25 as of August 1, 2022. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production to rank each player.

There is much to be said about Peyton Krebs following his first full NHL season this past year. What likely felt like a rocky start to his rookie year - recovering and rehabbing from an Achilles injury, starting the season with Vegas, and then being traded to Buffalo - Krebs has shown incredible potential as a smooth skater and essential playmaker.

His vision and versatility on the ice make him an ideal linemate to play with. Of course, he made plenty of mistakes in his debut year with the Sabres, but he has such a bright future ahead of him. Additionally, the kid has a noticeably positive presence both on and off the ice that is certainly welcome here in the “City of Good Neighbors” and, of course, has playoffs on the brain as a near-future goal.

Prior to his time in the NHL, Krebs was the captain of his WHL teams the Kootenay Ice and Winnipeg Ice, respectively. He also captained Team Canada during the 2019 IIHF World U18 Championships in Sweden where he led his team with six goals and four assists. During his 2020-2021 season with Winnepeg, he was given the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy as he was recognized for WHL’s “Player of the Year.” Past players of the year have included Joe Sakic, Jarome Iginla, and Jordan Eberle, to name a few.

The following season, Krebs also helped Canada win the silver medal in the World Junior Championship with three goals and five assists.

As the 2021-2022 NHL season progressed, Krebs became more comfortable with his role on his new team, be it as a winger or center, and handled being juggled around on those ever-changing lines with poise. At just 21, the left-handed forward was one of the youngest members of the team last season but showed great maturity and fearlessness with the puck.

More recently, the drafted center played 10 games in the playoffs with the Rochester Americans - during which, he tallied an impressive 11 assists. What sets him apart from some of his other teammates is his experience in championships and playoff games. This will certainly be valuable once the Sabres’ playoff drought has ended.

Buddy Tage Thompson has referred to him as “one of the smartest hockey players” he’s ever seen. Fans should look forward to seeing more of Krebs’ smarts at the home opener in just under two weeks.