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Buffalo Sabres Top 10 Game Changers for this Season

Eichel is the Sabres Number 1 Game Changer Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Eichel is the Sabres Number 1 Game Changer
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Sabres are going to need some production out of a lot of players this year, but not just normal production.  They are going to need game-changing ability.  By that I mean the ability to take command of the game and change the momentum from against the Sabres to for the Sabres.

10. Matt Moulson- One of the best at hanging around the crease and getting those "garbage" goals. His positioning is tremendous and now the chance to play with rookie phenom Jack Eichel will give Moulson even more of an opportunity to change games.

9. Zach Bogosian- A big, powerful defenseman that can turn the tide of a game with monstrous hits and a rocket shot.  Bogosian can make plays on the power play or short handed.  He'll get the crowd excited in a variety of ways.

8. Zemgus Girgensons- A beloved player and fan favorite.  This 2015 All-Star via fan vote has all the skills.  He is a great skater, has pretty good moves, a high hockey IQ and a big frame.  He will probably be Eichel's other wing or he will center the checking line.  Either way Girgensons will be critical to Sabres success.

7. Sam Reinhart- If Reinhart makes the team, which I think he will, his impact can be immediate.  He dominated the Sabres prospect game, the WHL and the AHL for the brief time he was there.  Reinhart grew a lot over the offseason and will be able to hold his own.  His role will be interesting to see, but Reinhart may have a huge importance to the Sabres this year.

6. Rasmus Ristolainen-  Ristolainen's potential is sky high.  His development will be a major factor for Sabres success.  They need to sure up the blue line and Ristolainen will play a huge role in that.  With Zadorov gone, Ristolainen will get the chance to play with a veteran.  This will allow him to learn even more rather than playing with a rookie who was still learning himself.

5. Ryan O'Reilly- A tumultuous offseason made O'Reilly's start in Buffalo all the more interesting.  He is finally the number one center, albeit until Eichel takes over.  He will be a powerplay guy, a penalty kill guy, and a late game situation guy.  O'Reilly is a tremendous two way forward who will make an impact in all three zones.

4. Robin Lehner- This is his crease in Buffalo.  Chad Johnson, Andrei Makarov and company are definitely not starting NHL caliber yet and Lehner will probably play around 60 games this season.  Needless to say his performance will decide whether or not the Sabres play postseason hockey.

3. Evander Kane- Huge potential.  Kane can be a 30 goal scorer, maybe even a 40 goal scorer.  He will have the center and the minutes to make it happen.  With his shot and speed, Kane can become a star in the NHL.  He will have the opportunity to have a fresh start after his rough time in Winnipeg.

2. Tyler Ennis- Small, shifty, and talented Ennis made a name for himself with incredible moves and a great work ethic.  His goal against Montreal was one of the best plays of the NHL last season.  The Sabres will need even more out of Ennis as he will play with O'Reilly and Kane.  He may be able to get 60-70 points this season.

1. Jack Eichel- This guy is the franchise.  Two years of tanking has given the Sabres exactly what they needed...a superstar.  Jack Eichel can be the franchise cornerstone and will need to learn the ways of the NHL quickly.  He has all the tools to be one of the best players in the league.  It's time to show what you can do, Jack.


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