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.
Twenty-four year old defenseman Jacob Bryson finishes this year’s T25U25 tied with newcomer Noah Ostlund at #20. This will be Bryson’s final year on the list, as he turns 25 in November.
Bryson has two years left on his current contract before hitting restricted free agency. He’s set to make $1.85 million each of the next two seasons.
Last season was a fine one - but not a spectacular one - for Bryson, who skated in 73 games with the Sabres. He averaged 18:20 ice time per night - sixth among Sabres defensemen, behind guys like Rasmus Dahlin & Owen Power, Henri Jokiharju, Mattias Samuelsson and Colin Miller - and recorded 73 blocks and 24 takeaways.
On the offensive side of things, he put up 10 points and more than 50 percent of his shot attempts made it on goal. He was also effective on the power play, with seven of his 10 points coming on the man advantage. Another interesting stat, courtesy of Hockey-Reference, is his defensive point share - “an estimate of the number of points contributed by a player due to his defense.” With 2.5, Bryson was fourth among Sabres blueliners. (Dahlin led the way at 3.0).
It’ll be interesting to see where on the depth chart Bryson lands this year. He’s not a top-pairing defenseman and may find himself fighting for that final spot alongside Lawrence Pilut - or else in the press box. While I think there’s definite potential for Bryson, the reintroduction of Pilut to the team brings an interesting challenge.