What Jeff Skinner will bring to Sabres offense

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By Brandon J. Koch

Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill made a total 180 this offseason in changing this franchise. Drafting Rasmus Dahlin, a cornerstone piece , was the number one acquisition this Summer.

But many aren’t bringing enough attention to an early August trade, one that instantly gives the Sabres a much needed offensive weapon.

Jeff Skinner.

You’re probably thinking the Sabres were historically bad in terms of puck possession and overall total offense, so there’s no where to go but up? Yes, but Skinner brings a totally different dimension to this hockey club.

These charts are from Hockeyviz.com

Shots taken 5v5 last season was a disaster. They had nothing, especially in front of the net.

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Skinner will provide shooting to exactly where the Sabres need it.

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It’s no secret that in today’s NHL, teams take the the puck to the net. Skinner is a straight shooter, something the Sabres didn’t have at all besides Eichel.

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The heat map shows Skinner is not afraid to shoot.

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Skinner should also be on the top powerplay unit. The Sabres struggled for the most part last season when having the man advantage.

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It’s no coincidence that with having Skinner last season, Carolina’s powerplay was filled with shots on the left side and in front of the net. In comparing the two, Skinner will be apart of the equation if Buffalo can get back to a successful PP.

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Skinner should be used in high percentage offensive zone starts throughout this season. Playing with Eichel, power play time, he could hit over 30 goals.

USA Today photo

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