The Buffalo Sabres sent several players to the minor leagues today, and have now also announced that Scott Wilson won’t be with them when they open the season this week. That’s because Wilson has undergone surgery to repair a fracture in his ankle, and will be out eight to ten weeks.
Wilson, 26, wasn’t expected to make a huge impact on the Sabres this season but was penciled into their opening night roster as a bottom-six forward. The energy forward played for three teams last season, eventually finding a home in Buffalo and registering 14 points in 49 games. His absence, combined with the recent injuries to Conor Sheary and Johan Larsson which could still put them at risk for the opener, make the Sabres a very interesting team to watch tomorrow afternoon. Buffalo still holds the top waiver priority given there finish last season, and could potentially grab one of the forwards that were waived today by teams around the league. Sam Gagner, Remi Elie, Darren Archibald, Dmitrij Jaskin and others all stand out as NHL-caliber forwards that could be snagged, though they all come with their various baggage as well.
There is a lot of hope in Buffalo right now that the Sabres can follow the Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche in going from last place to the playoffs this season, but they’ll need to stay healthy to do it. Rasmus Dahlin, Jack Eichel and others certainly give them a nice core to rely on every night, but depth players like Wilson are still important. We’ll have to wait and see if he can jump back into the lineup down the road and contribute this season, or if his spot has been taken by another player by then. Wilson is signed for $1.05MM this year and next.