The Buffalo Sabres agreed to terms with a key RFA today by re-signing Swedish winger Victor Olofsson (2 years – $3.05M AAV). Perhaps overshadowed by another excellent group of Calder candidates, the 25-year-old quietly had an outstanding rookie season for the Sabres. He’ll still be an RFA at the end of the term.
In what would have been his first full season (Covid shortened) with Sabres in 19/20, Olofsson tallied 20 goals and 22 assists. The native of Ornskoldsvik is another example of a later round pick that took the time to develop back home before making the North American leap.
Olofsson Has Properly Developed
After being drafted by the Sabres in the 7th round of the 2014 NHL draft, Olofsson played four full seasons in the Swedish Hockey League (SweHL). After starting with his hometown MODO team, Olofsson moved to Frölunda HC in 2016. It was during his second year with Frölunda that his game seemed to flourish. In that second year with Frölunda (17/18), Olofsson had his best season with 27 goals and 16 assists (43) over 50 games.
The jump in productivity prompted the Sabres into signing Olofsson to a two-year NHL entry level contract ($925k AAV). The rest as they say is history. Olofsson spent the majority of his first North American season with the Rochester Americans. In Rochester he nearly held a point per game pace with 33 goals and 30 assists in his first 66 AHL games. That is an impressive transition into North America. Credit it the Sabres and Olofsson for taking the time to properly develop. That patient approach has now paid off for both parties.
Olofsson’s RFA Season
Could the Olofsson signing get the RFA kicked into high gear? Hopefully!
The fact is there is still some good young names still on the RFA board including: both Ryan and Dylan Strome, Matt Barzal, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Jake Debrusk, Mackenzie Weegar, Mikhail Sergachev and Ryan Pulock. All promising young players that are all under age 26.
Stay tuned for a further look into the RFA market and what teams still have the cash to step in on these great young players.
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