Sabres Report Cards: Cody Franson

Help us decide how to grade Cody Franson’s most recent season.

The season is over, and we’re going to rate every player who played more than 20 games this season on their performance the same way we were all graded back in the day - on a report card scale of A to F. We’re taking a look at everyone from Bailey to Rodrigues in our 2016-17 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards.

Age: 29

Contract: UFA (cap hit of $3,325,000 last year)

Introduction: Cody Franson became a hot commodity after a few seasons of high production with the Maple Leafs, but after getting traded to Nashville and then signed by the Sabres, he never quite found that scoring touch again. Still, Franson was the Sabres third-most productive defenseman this season, and at age 29 still has plenty of mileage left.

Key Stat: Franson’s Corsi number of 50.76 was the second-highest among Sabres defenseman who played in 20 or more games. The dude still can drive offense, just not quite the way he used to in his mid-20’s.

Thumbs Up: Franson was one of Buffalo’s only defenseman that could also help contribute on offense, both in points and with a good outlet pass. He’s still willing to do the things a defenseman is traditionally called upon to do - be physical, block shots, clear the crease - and he has decent upside for a team that can sign him at the right price and protect his minutes.

Thumbs Down: The biggest issue with Franson is that his skating just isn’t up to snuff. In a league that’s more and more becoming defined by speed and skill, a lumbering, 6’5’’ defenseman is going to be hard pressed to keep up, as evidenced by Franson’s 17 minor penalties this year, second highest among defensemen (I bet you can guess who was first!) Franson offers little help on the PK, and tends to give the puck away too much making the stretch pass, though that could have been affected by Bylsma’s system.

Memorable Moment: On November 17, Franson slapped a bouncing rebound past Ben Bishop (then of the Lightning) for his first and only power play goal of the season. Oh, and it was also the first goal scored a Sabres defenseman that season. Again, this was November 17.

Voting: Using the good old grade school system of A, B, C, D, F, with a grade of A representing a great season, a grade of C being the performance you expected, and F a very poor season, rate Cody Franson on his performance this year.

Grade Cody Franson on his 2016-17 season.