Player Report Cards: Brandon Montour

The Sabres acquired Brandon Montour at the trade deadline and he looks like a solid piece for the blue line moving forward

Total Season Stats: 82 GP | 8 G | 27 A | 35 PTS

Sabres Stats: 20 GP | 3 G | 7 A | 10 PTS

Age: 25

Contract Status: One-year, $3.378 million cap hit

The Buffalo Sabres acquired Brandon Montour from the Anaheim Ducks at the NHL trade deadline this season. They sent one of their later 2019 first-round picks and defenseman Brendan Guhle to the Ducks to acquire the smooth-skating defender.

In 20 games with the Sabres this season, Montour, showed some promise for what the future on the Sabres blue line may hold. He fit in well with his excellent skating and puck-moving ability.

The 25-year-old defenseman brought a skill set the to the Sabres that they desperately were in need of. He can quickly transition defense to offense with his passing or ability to carry the puck out of the defensive end and into the offensive end of the ice.

Using CJ Turtoro’s A3Z tool you can get an idea of how good of transition player he really is.

Montour is the perfect definition of that “fun” player you see on all of these analytics charts now. He may be on the ice for some quality chances against, but he makes up for that at the other end by generating offensive chances.

One of the best traits about the defender is his feet are always moving. In the offensive zone, he’s trying to create space for himself and get open to help create a scoring chance. He can get down low in the offensive zone and has the ability to get back on defense with his speed if there’s a turnover.

As he became more comfortable with the Sabres he started to pick up more ice time. Near the end of the season when Rasmus Ristolainen was out sick, Montour stepped up and played a lot of minutes for his team. He didn’t look overwhelmed by it and that should be an encouraging sign for the future.

He helped solidify the right side of the Sabres blue line now and in the future. It gives the Sabres some flexibility to explore a Ristolainen traded in the offseason if they desire.

Season Grade: B+

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