Rookie Midterms: Jack Quinn and JJ Peterka finding their stride together in Buffalo
There's an aura of hope around the Buffalo Sabres this season. For the first time in 11 years, the playoffs seem within their grasp. All they need is to get hot as their opponents go cold and the stars could align.
That's a welcomed change of pace for an organization that's usually looking to offload pieces for futures at this time of year, all in the pursuit of better standing in the NHL Draft Lottery.
There's more to the general optimism about the Sabres than their on-ice performance, too. Their future seems brighter than ever. Franchise building blocks like Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin, and Owen Power are coming into their own, and the prospect pool is flush as ever. Even if they fall short of the postseason, it feels like just a matter of time before the organization is delivered of perpetual lottery status.
There are two more players waiting in the wings, growing into everyday contributor status, that we haven't covered yet: Jack Quinn and JJ Peterka. They've a part to play in getting this team back to the promised land, too.
The Sabres have taken a patient, step-by-step approach to the development of their two top forward prospects. So far, that approach has paid off.
Paired on the same line, and centred by Dylan Cozens, Peterka and Quinn have received enough minutes this season to test their talents versus top competition without getting overwhelmed by it. They have contributed to the team’s offence, putting up 19 and 20 points respectively, and scored well on their first analytics report card (Patrick Bacon’s data illustrated by JFresh).
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