3 role forwards to watch in 2022-23

The Buffalo Sabers will see their top scorers return and exciting rookies move to the main roster next year. But do not forget these actors.

When you think of Buffalo Sabers forwards, names like Jeff Skinner, Victor Olofsson, Alex Tuch and Tage Thompson often come to mind. But there are three forwards on the roster who have carved out decent niche roles in the squad, or will in 2022-23.

You won’t see the following forwards scoring much. But there are situations or games themselves where their presence can become invaluable. Let’s meet these three strikers and discuss which role they will fit in well for the upcoming season.

October 28, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Buffalo Sabers right wing Rasmus Asplund (74) moves the puck against the Anaheim Ducks during overtime at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Three role play forwards who will help the Buffalo Sabers in 2022-23: Forward #1 – Rasmus Asplund (Defence)

When you look at Rasmus Asplund’s offensive stats, they’re among the least relevant of the Buffalo Sabers, considering his eight goals and 19 assists in 2021-22. The defensive forward, in his first full season with the Sabers – just 29 games in 2019-20 and 28 in 2020-21 – finished 19th for the Selke Trophy.

One reason stems from Asplund’s tendency to create chances for himself and his teammates after stellar defensive play. He also fits head coach Don Granato’s high-pressure philosophy when the Sabers aren’t in possession of the puck, and he’s particularly brilliant on the forecheck.

Defensively and offensively, Asplund displays both puck awareness and a high hockey IQ. Something you will see develop further in 2022-23. I expect him to slip into a third-line wing role, most likely with Dylan Cozens, who also completed his first full season with the Sabers.

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