The Buffalo Sabres have a lot to look forward to in young defenseman Lawrence Pilut, but will have to wait a little bit longer to see his full potential. The team announced today that Pilut has undergone shoulder surgery and will be out for five to six months. That means Pilut will miss training camp and likely the start of the 2019-20 regular season.
Pilut, 23, showed extremely well in his first season in North America, splitting time between the Sabres and Rochester Americans of the AHL. During his time in the minor leagues the undrafted Swedish defenseman absolutely dominated the competition, recording 26 points in 30 games while finishing a +22 on one of the league’s best squads. His transition to the NHL didn’t result in as many points—just six in 33 games—but he showed that he was more than capable of performing at the top level.
Signed out of the SHL in 2018 but has just one year remaining on his entry-level contract. That year could very well be cut short, but there’s good reason to believe he will join the Sabres full-time when his recovery is over. Buffalo is also going to be without Zach Bogosian for the start of the season thanks to another hip surgery, leaving their current group shorthanded. Still, there may be changes coming for the Sabres blue line which simply hasn’t been good enough in recent years. While Rasmus Dahlin is obviously a star in the making, his supporting cast needs an upgrade if the team is really expecting to make the playoffs and contend for the Stanley Cup next season.