TSN just released their latest Trade Bait list, and Buffalo Sabres forward Victor Olofsson appears at number 38. Including Olofsson in trade chatter is nothing new. The once top-line scorer for the Sabres has fallen out of favor with the coaching staff. He appeared in only three of the team’s 11 January games, despite key injuries within the forward ranks.
Olofsson’s value on the trade market is uncertain at this time. Still, his value historically on the ice has been his shot on the powerplay. He has recorded at least seven powerplay goals in each of the previous four seasons. He also had two in six games in his first stint in the NHL.
This season, however, has been a different story. Olofsson’s usage on the powerplay has gone way down, and he has zero goals with the man-advantage to show for it. In a season where the Sabres have struggled to produce on the powerplay, they’ve still kept him out of the lineup.
Last season, Olofsson showed he could score at even-strength as well, recording 21 goals away from the man-advantage. His shooting ability is among the league’s elite. Due to this, a sheltered offensive role with a new club would suit him nicely.
Olofsson is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, so it makes sense for Buffalo to move him prior to the March 8th trade deadline. The major hurdle is his $4.75 million cap hit, so the Sabres may have to retain some salary in order to make a deal happen.
Olofsson has four goals and 12 points in 33 games for the Sabres this season.