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Buffalo Sabres

Sabres Hope To Promote From Within To Replace Quinn



The Buffalo Sabres received some bad news at the NHL Draft in Nashville when it was learned that forward Jack Quinn suffered an Achilles tendon injury in offseason training. The resulting surgery will have the 21-year-old out for the first half of the 2023-24 regular season, but the club appears confident that they can compensate for the loss of the 2020 first round pick internally until he is ready to return.

“I don’t think we have to replace Jack and I don’t think we have to replace anybody. That’s just a whole mentality. We have guys that are very capable,” Sabres head coach Don Granato said at the close of this week’s development camp. “We can shift guys around that are talented and they’ll fill spots (and) are very confident and comfortable with our personnel, but this is professional sports you’re continually looking for ways to get better, (either) advancing our guys or (looking) outside (of the organization).”

Who Can Step Up?

Two possibilities for taking up some of the slack for Quinn (who scored 14 goals in his first full NHL season) are winger J-J Peterka and 2022 first-rounder Jiri Kulich. Peterka posted 32 points (12 goals, 20 assists) as a rookie and stepped up for Germany at the 2023 IIHF World Championships, finishing second in scoring with 12 points (six goals, six assists), leading Germany to the gold medal game and being named the tournament’s top forward. Kulich scored 24 goals as an 18-year-old with AHL Rochester last season and showed even more upside in the Calder Cup Playoffs, scoring seven goals in a dozen postseason games.

“You know that Kevin’s going to try to improve our team every day. I’m going to try to improve our team every day.” Granato said. “Sometimes it’s within, sometimes it’s without, but in this case, specifically with Jack, we have players in our organization right now that will slide into slots that I am very comfortable with.”