Welcome to NHL.com, the official site of the National Hockey League
Bienvenue à LNH.com , le site officiel de la Ligue nationale de hockey
Tervetuloa NHL:n viralliselle nettisivustolle NHL.comiin
Välkommen till NHL.com, NHL:s officiella web-sida
Vítejte na NHL.com, oficiálních stránkách National Hockey League
Vitajte na NHL.com, oficiálnych stránkach National Hockey League
Willkommen auf NHL.com, der offiziellen Seite der National Hockey League
Bienvenido a NHL.com, el sitio oficial de la National Hockey League
WASHINGTON — Jack Quinn gave the Buffalo Sabres a glimpse of what they hope the forward will provide this season, and for many seasons to come, late in a 4-3 overtime win against the Washington Capitals in their preseason opener Sunday.
With Buffalo trailing by a goal and on a 6-on-4 advantage, Quinn drifted down from the left circle toward the net to take a pass from Brett Murray in front and calmly whipped the puck past goalie Hunter Shepard to tie the score 3-3 with 1:05 remaining.
“Clutch,” Sabres coach Don Granato said of Quinn. “He’s a clutch player. He’s one of those players that when games are on the line and the pressure mounts, he embraces that. He wants the puck on his stick.”
[RELATED: Buffalo Sabres season preview]
It was another promising sign for the rebuilding Sabres, who hope to take another step toward Stanley Cup Playoff contention this season with the arrival of their next generation of skilled young players, headed by Quinn, the No. 8 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, and defenseman Owen Power, the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
“That’s what I’m trying to be,” Quinn said. “I think there’s a lot of really good young players and kind of a really good core building. So I’ll do my best to try to be in it.”
Quinn, 21, got the chance to show what he can do Sunday along with forwards JJ Peterka, 20, and Matt Savoie, 18. Power, 19, could make his preseason debut against the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center on Tuesday.
The anticipation is building for Buffalo, which hasn’t qualified for the playoffs since 2011, about what those players can add to a youthful nucleus that already includes forwards Dylan Cozens, 21, and Peyton Krebs, 21, and defensemen Rasmus Dahlin, 22, and Mattias Samuelsson, 22.
“It’s really exciting,” Power said. “I think everyone in the organization knows we’ve got a real bright future, and everyone is excited about what is to come.”
Video: BUF@WSH: Quinn evens the score with a power-play goal
Power is a talented puck-moving defenseman with size (6-foot-6, 213 pounds) and skill that is reminiscent of Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (6-6, 241). Power had three points (two goals, one assist) in eight games with the Sabres at the end of last season after completing his sophomore season at the University of Michigan, where he had 32 points (three goals, 29 assists) in 33 games.
He also had five points (three goals, two assists) in two games for Canada at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship before the tournament was postponed in December, 2021, due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, and one assist in five games with Canada at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
“It was unbelievable experiences and something that I don’t think I’ll ever forget,” Power said of last season. “But I think for sure it will be nice this year just to kind of settle down and worry about one team.”
Quinn won the Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Award as American Hockey League rookie of the year last season after he had 61 points (26 goals, 35 assists) in 45 games with Rochester, despite missing time with a lower-body injury and mononucleosis. He also got a taste of the NHL in January, getting two points (one goal, one assist) in two games with the Sabres.
“The growth he’s had in his game, offensively and defensively, has been immense,” Rochester coach Sett Appert said. “It’s a credit to his work ethic. He doesn’t shy away from the hard work necessary to become a great player.”
Quinn said he’d like to continue to refine his skating, which he worked on during the offseason.
“My transition skating would be one aspect,” he said. “But just trying to keep getting better at that.”
Power is focused on improving his defending.
“I think for me that’s probably going to be the biggest jump,” he said. “In college you defended against younger guys who are good players, but not as good as some of the guys in the NHL. It’s definitely a big adjustment to go defend against top players in the world.”
Buffalo also has high hopes for Peterka, a second-round pick (No. 34) in the 2020 draft who led Rochester with 28 goals, 40 assists and 68 points in 70 games last season, and Savoie, who was selected with the No. 9 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft after he led Winnipeg of the Western Hockey League with 90 points (35 goals, 55 assists) in 65 games last season.
But Power and Quinn, who were roommates at Sabres development camp in July, could be the potential difference makers this season and future leaders for Buffalo.
“Owen comes in and just the way he carries himself, the older players, the more experienced players, have a lot of respect for him,” Granato said. “He puts the work in, he figures out what his role is and what he’s asked, and he does it, and that’s pretty neat, special for a young guy.
“With Jack, I think what he did going to the American Hockey League last year, with a real positive attitude, with a real strong mindset of, ‘OK, I’m going to use this and get better so when I do come up to the Sabres I’m a better hockey player as a result of this experience.'”
With the influx of more young talent, Power can sense the bar being raised after the Sabres (32-39-11) finished 25 points behind the Capitals for the second wild card into the playoffs in the Eastern Conference last season.
“We’ve got a really young core in Buffalo, and I think everyone is really excited,” Power said. “All of us have high hopes and high expectations for the team.”
Do those include qualifying for the playoffs?
“I think that would be the goal,” Quinn said. “I don’t know exactly, but I think it’s a realistic expectation.”
NHL.com staff writer Mike G. Morreale and NHL.com independent correspondent Heather Engel contributed to this story
NHL.com is the official web site of the National Hockey League. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup, Center Ice name and logo, NHL Conference logos, NHL Winter Classic name, and The Biggest Assist Happens Off The Ice are registered trademarks and the Stanley Cup Playoffs logo, Stanley Cup Final logo, Stanley Cup Qualifiers name and logo, NHL.TV, Vintage Hockey word mark and logo, The Game Lives Where You Do, NHL Winter Classic logo, NHL Heritage Classic name and logo, NHL Stadium Series name and logo, NHL All-Star logo, NHL Face-Off name and logo, NHL Premium, NHL After Dark, NHL GameCenter, NHL GameCenter LIVE, NHL Network name and logo, NHL Tonight name and logo, On The Fly, NHL Network Showdown name and logo, NHL Awards name and logo, NHL Draft name and logo, NHL Mascots, Hockey Fights Cancer, Because It’s The Cup, NHL Green name and logo, NHL Vault, Hockey Is For Everyone, NHL Thanksgiving Showdown name and logo, NHL Centennial Classic name and logo, NHL Centennial Season logo, NHL100 Classic name and logo, NHL Global Series name and logo, NHL China Games name and logo, NHL Power Players name and logo, NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe name and logo, NHL Street name and logo, and Don’t Miss A Moment are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. © NHL 2022. All Rights Reserved. All NHL team jerseys customized with NHL players’ names and numbers are officially licensed by the NHL and the NHLPA. The Zamboni word mark and configuration of the Zamboni ice resurfacing machine are registered trademarks of Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Inc.© Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Inc. 2022. All Rights Reserved. Any other third party trademarks or copyrights are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.