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Sabres Grades: Victor Olofsson

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Victor Olofsson Buffalo Sabres grades

Swedish forward Victor Olofsson comes in at number 22 on the Sabres Grades countdown. A healthy scratch for much of the season, Olofsson appeared in 48 games for Buffalo in 2023-2024. The decline in his goalscoring from 28 to seven was a big letdown for the sniper in the last year of his contract.

After Casey Mittelstadt and Kyle Okposo were traded away around the trade deadline, Olofsson received a 15-game stretch to show he could rebound and couldn’t capitalize. This is why he’s the third-lowest graded Sabres regular and leaves concerning questions about his NHL future.

The Grading System

If you missed the introduction to the grading system, I’ve assigned letter grades to each Buffalo player based on game performance. The letter grades are assigned based on statistical computation, taking into account the following factors:

  • Production
  • Quality of offense
  • Quality of defense
  • Volume of offense
  • Volume of defense
  • Powerplay performance
  • Penalty kill performance
  • Penalties drawn and taken
  • Role
  • Minutes played

It’s important to understand that these player performance grades are solely based on the algorithm created, with the one exception being a game shortened by injury. A player who missed significant ice time due to injury was not docked for fewer minutes played. This eliminates the confusion of how well a player performs when available.

I went back and graded all 82 games this season for every player. This way, we fully understand the progression of each player’s performance on a game-by-game basis.

Also, a big thanks to Evolving-Hockey for the individual game data. They’re among the best in the business.

Here’s the grading scale in table form, for reference:

GradeLower LimitUpper Limit
A+92%100%
A85%92%
A-77%85%
B+69%77%
B62%69%
B-54%62%
C+46%54%
C38%46%
C-31%38%
D+23%31%
D15%23%
D-8%15%
F0%8%

Previous Sabres Grades: Tyson Jost

Victor Olofsson

Season Grade: D+

Average: C-

Consistency: A-

Boom %: F [0%]

Bust %: D [20.83%]

The run of Olofsson early on in the season was questionable by the Sabres coaching staff, using him sparingly when the team needed scoring on the wing. Jack Quinn was out with an Achilles injury, and his role was handed to an 18-year-old rookie instead.

Olofsson also saw his bread-and-butter role on the powerplay taken away from him, despite the Sabres’ struggles with the man advantage.

Victor Olofsson Buffalo Sabres 2023-2024 season grades

Question his usage all you want, but he didn’t perform up to standard in the games he did get an opportunity in. The downtrend of game grades shows that Olofsson didn’t fit what the Sabres wanted to do, and his premier shooting ability couldn’t overcome lackluster even-strength play.

Grade Distribution

Victor Olofsson Buffalo Sabres grade distribution

Olofsson’s “C-” grade quantity is the major reason he outranked Tyson Jost. You can count the number of good performances he had on one hand, which is not what you’d like to see from a three-time 20-goal scorer.

Victor Olofsson Buffalo Sabres 1st half grade distributionVictor Olofsson Buffalo Sabres 2nd half grade distribution

Olofsson’s second-half regression could have been a byproduct of his linemates, as he’s a dependent player. His separation from Casey Mittelstadt this past season could also be a huge cause of his rough season, as Mittelstadt is a top-graded playmaker in the league.

Finding time and space for his quick release is the primary focus of his game. The fact that Olofsson couldn’t ever develop a play-driving element hinders his ability to sustain success in the NHL.

Player Comps

Victor Olofsson player comps

To play like Victor Olofsson your name must be “Alex”, according to the PuckLuck player similarity model. Alex Texier, Alex Nylander, Alex Barre-Boulet, and Alex Holtz are four of his five closest comps.

Joking aside, what all of these players have in common, along with Mike Hoffman, is a dangerous shot. Scoring above expected and powerplay success are the makeup of this group’s attributes, which makes them susceptible to spotty performance and unreliable efforts night in and night out.

Holtz is struggling to find a role in the NHL, as is Barre-Boulet and Nylander – who are older. Hoffman’s fall from prominence is also notable, leaving little hope for Olofsson to challenge for a 30-goal season again.

Olofsson has to find a spot with a playmaking center at even strength in a limited role to thrive. He’ll also need to regain trust on someone’s top powerplay unit to boost his numbers and maximize his talent.

2024-2025 Early Outlook

As an unrestricted free agent, Olofsson will have the open market to test this summer. Based on locker room interactions and recent rumblings, he is not likely to return to the Sabres organization.

He’ll have to lean on his past scoring success and reputation in free agency. Teams could always use scoring depth and Olofsson could latch on somewhere in a supporting role.

A return to Sweden is always in the cards if the market dries up. Given his shooting talent, the Swedish forward could fare well on the bigger ice surface.

 

Previous Sabres Season Grades

Prospects and Depth

Casey Mittelstadt, Kyle Okposo, and Erik Johnson

24. Jacob Bryson

23. Tyson Jost

22. Victor Olofsson

21. Eric Robinson

20. Ryan Johnson

19. TBD

18. TBD

17. TBD

16. TBD

15. TBD

14. TBD

13. TBD

12. TBD

11. TBD

10. TBD

9. TBD

8. TBD

7. TBD

6. TBD

5. TBD

4. TBD

3. TBD

2. TBD

1. TBD

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