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2022 Buffalo Sabres Top 25 Under 25, #4: Jack Quinn

The weight of expectation is riding on the young forward’s shoulders

Dallas Stars v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

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.

We’re getting closer and closer to the coveted #1 spot, and today at #4 in this ranking we have forward Jack Quinn. A stellar showing last season in the AHL for the Rochester Americans who he led in scoring with 1.36 points per game set the stage for a long run in the postseason, but the physical nature of playoff hockey seemed to grind down the young man and it showed in some underwhelming performances.

During the regular season he was excellent overall and deservedly won the AHL Rookie of the Year title (the Dudley ‘Red’ Garrett Memorial Award) along with a spot in the AHL All-Rookie Team. The scouting report on him was that he is an elite-level goalscorer, and he did not disappoint, finding a variety of ways to get on the scoreboard last season - he had ten power-play goals, one shorthanded marker and six game-winners during the regular season. Quinn was only held scoreless in 14 games while registering multi-point games 19 times.

Quinn’s shot is by far his biggest strength and in the games he’s played at the NHL level, there’s nothing there that says he can’t translate that ability in the lower leagues to becoming a consistent scorer against world class players.

Dobber Prospects called him one of the most improved NHL prospects last season, and also have him at not only a 95% certainty to become an NHLer, their PNHLe scoring model has him projecting eventually at a 90+ point per season level. It’s a heavy mantle to wear, and while he might be a virtual lock to make the opening night roster, it’ll be interesting to see how the Sabres manage the pressure on him to become a point-producing top six forward right from the get-go, and if he will indeed start as a bottom six forward instead.

Elite Prospects have him as the prospect to watch this season on the Sabres - Quinn’s all-around high-level skills, his rapidly improving playmaking game and his instinct for finding quiet areas in the offensive zone should shine next to the Sabres’ top playmakers in the preseason.

The organization believes in the forward however and that he can take last season’s playoff disappointment and use it as fuel to propel him further this season, and he’s started off the Sabres preseason as one of their best players on ice through the first few games, with the highest expected goals totals and the most scoring chances while getting plenty of time in the top six and power play as well.

Following his game-winner against the Caps in the preseason, coach Don Granato was excited by his potential - “Clutch. He’s a clutch player. He’s one of those players that when games are on the line and the pressure mounts, he embraces that. He wants the puck on his stick.”

Amerks coach Seth Appert added - “The growth he’s had in his game, offensively and defensively, has been immense. It’s a credit to his work ethic. He doesn’t shy away from the hard work necessary to become a great player.”

Quinn has shown so far that he has all the tools and the drive necessary to become the greatest Jack this franchise has ever drafted, he just has to step onto the ice and make it happen. No pressure, Jack, no pressure.