Checking in with the Sabres at the quarter mark of the inaugural WHL season (2015-16).
Current Record: 11-8-1
Current League position: 9th seed, 1 pt back of 8th seed (Rangers)
Kane, E. - O'Reilly - Voraceck
Reinhart - Girgensons - Eichel
Cogliano - Larsson - Sceviour
Deslauriers - Stoll - McGinn
Burns - Ristolainen
McCabe - Bogosian
Tinordi - Franson
Transactions: After dealing Ennis to Phoenix for a 1st rnd pick Voracek was moved up to his current 1st line RW spot. That move also prompted a promotion for Reinhart from 3rd line C to 2nd line LW. 2nd pair d-man Josh Gorges and a 2nd rnd pick was sent to Detroit for Jimmy Howard who will platoon with Lehner. Ryan Miller was subsequently dealt to SJ for a measly 3rd rnd pick as Miller joined his 3rd team this season in large part to his unwieldy contract.
Team Leaders (through 20 games):
Goals: O'Reilly (12), Voracek (12), Kane (11)
Assists: Ristolainen (14), Burns (12), Kane (12)
Points: Kane (23), Voracek (23), O'Reilly (21)
+/- : Voracek (+12), Kane (+11), Burns (+10)
PIM: Franson (21), Kane (18), Eichel (16)
AVR: Kane (7.9),Voracek (7.8), O'Reilly (7.7)
Lehner - 10 gp, 3 - 4 - 1, 3.00 GAA, .900 Sv %, 7.0 Avr
Notes: After a very slow start Buffalo rattled off 7 straight wins and 9 in 10 games to surge back into playoff contention. The team lacks quality depth at this point while the prospects mature a bit so injuries to top 6 players really put the team in a bind. We haven't gotten even league average goaltending from any of Miller, or Lehner to this point so the move to Howard was made though he hadn't received any starts as of this posting. Another glaring statistic is that anyone not on the first line has either an even or negative +/-, that's not good at all! Overall, the team still would benefit from adding another top young D via the draft as well as another strong winger to allow some of the youngsters to take their time developing rather than playing big minutes before they're ready.
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