The Buffalo Sabres finalized their roster on Monday, sending the last of their final cut back to Rochester and allowing the fans to see who will dress in the blue and gold to start the season.
If there was a theme to the defense of the Sabres, it would be that there are no two players that are alike.
The final roster lists the following defensemen:
The team's site also lists Nikita Zadorov, who is out for several weeks with an injury he picked up in the preseason.
The defense in Buffalo
has a wide variety of player types and experience levels. From 18 year-old rookies (Ristolainen) to 34 year-old veterans (Tallinder), this team is ready for anything.
Ehrhoff, who appears to be the unquestioned leader of the defense, provides the 'jack-of-all-trades' option for the Sabres as he possesses a strong shot from the point but can also get gritty in the defensive end.
Other defensemen who are capable of some grittiness include Tallinder, who is a solid man in the defensive zone and Mike Weber, who shows great potential to become great along the boards.
Myers has been a bit of a head case and could be the wild card in the group. When he's on, there's no stopping him. But if he gets in his own head, it's hard to predict if he'll be able to carry the load of a top defenseman.
Younger players like Pysyk and Ristolainen will hopefully be taking notes from the veterans on positioning and defending properly. The veteran core on this team could make the difference in front of the net and may help the team keep games close.
McBain, who came over in a trade on draft day from Carolina, came up in the United States development camp. His stay-at-home defense is his strength and he is roughly a 20-point man grabbing a few goals along the way.
The Sabres move into the season with goaltending as a clear strength and a ton of questions on offense. Defense could prove itself to be very vital in the early stages of rebuilding this team. The Sabres are relying on both youth and experience with their mixed bag of defensive player types. There are leaders, rookies, shooters, hitters, men who play the boards, guys who block shots, guys who jump in on the rush and guys who stay at home.
The diversity on defense could work in the team's favor as they could be ready for any situation.
The Buffalo Sabres
open their regular season Wednesday in Detroit to play their new division foe, the Red Wings.
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