Buffalo Sabres Top 25 Under 25: #3 Rasmus Dahlin

In spite of these rankings and with Jack all but off the team, Dahlin is the true number 1 of the franchise

The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. It was a combination of six staff writers and over 485 fans that ranked Buffalo Sabres players under the age of 25 as of August 10, 2021. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production to rank each player.

The disrespect is in, and I'm here to gripe for all of us not named the Staff who did not rank Dahlin at least second at Die By The Blade. Dahlin, after being saddled with what has to be one of the worst coaches in franchise and possible league history (an outlandish exaggerated and most definitely unresearched opinion of mine), has slipped to the third spot in our combined (sorry wolf) fan & staff ranking. The fans, likely fed up with Jack’s lingering hockey-unable playing body, voted Dahlin as our best under 25. Not only is he our best under the age of 25, I’m sure he’d top the all-age ranking, too.

I cannot allow this man to be disrespected! Dahlin, fresh off his large role and fat payday, is here to shine. Open to all contract options, Dahlin takes the 3 year deal that gives all of us in Sabreland the time to beg and plead to stick with us through the bad and stay with us when we’re good, likely because of him.

Can we talk more about the change from Krueger to Granato? I think so! Donnie’s system is going to help this team, let alone the fans and their viewing experience. We’re going to see movement, pressure and players taking space with confidence. Dahlin is our best to do this, and I'm ready for his big day come the 14th of October against the Canadiens, at home. This isn’t Jack’s team nor Ristolainen’s D corps, it is now Dahlin’s.

And if you don’t want to take my word for it, during Granato’s 28-game interim stint last season, Dahlin averaged almost a minute more per night than Ristolainen and led the team with 18:08 per game. In those minutes, the Sabres shot more than the opposing team, the Sabres scored more than the opposition and to make everyone happy, were “expected” to score more than get scored on while Dahlin was on the ice. In case someone somewhere forgot, those are Eichel-less numbers, too. Now, Dahlin is Sam-less and Ristolainen-less.

There’s going to be some growing pains, the man is going to have to play a lot of minutes based off the line up today. He’s going to play more heavy D-Zone & opposition than year’s past. He might even become a PK guy with the backend being so rough. But I’m betting on Dahlin, the kid the world said would be generational.

#25 Casey Fitzgerald
#24 Aaron Huglen
#23 Linus Weissbach
#22 Aleksandr Kisakov
#21 Albert Lyckåsen
#20 Erik Portillo
#19 Devon Levi
#18 Matej Pekar
#17 Oskari Laaksonen
#16 Isak Rosen
#15 Jacob Bryson
#14 Ryan Johnson
#13 Mattias Samuelsson
#12 Tage Thompson
#11 Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen
#10 JJ Peterka
#9 Jack Quinn
#8 Rasmus Asplund
#7 Arttu Ruotsalainen
#6 Henri Jokiharju
#5 Casey Mittelstadt
#4 Owen Power