The Buffalo Sabers may not be the expected playoff team just yet, but general manager Kevyn Adams continues to outdo the NHL.
I will make a bold statement: Kevin Adams is turning into one of the best executives in the NHL and the Buffalo Sabers are lucky to have him. This is the man who put the finishing touches on what many believe is the best odds pool in the league.
Adams had his first draft in October 2020, the year COVID-19 changed nearly everything in terms of the way all 31 teams at the time handled the draft. Not the easiest job for a new general manager with only five picks, three of which happened in later rounds.
However, Adams found Jack Quinn and JJ Peterka eighth and 34th, respectively. Both numbers will be part of Cypress’ main roster this season. He drafted Owen Power first overall in 2021, and the power will also be a pivotal part of the Cypress. Seventh-round pick Tyson Cusack appears to be on his way to earning NHL playing time based on his recent performance.
And we’re not quite into 2022 yet, with 28th overall pick, Jerry Kulich, looking like a steal in terms of his early returns. These are just a handful of the impressive draft picks during the Kevin Adams era, and we still have to get to his other accomplishments so far as general manager of the Buffalo Sabers.
Kevin Adams Builds Buffalo Sabers Into Rival
Some in the NHL fields laughed at the center of re-signing Kevyn Adams Tage Thompson for seven years after just one good season. Adams utterly poorly explained his reasoning for re-signing Tage, citing adversity and the ability to overcome them as key factors. You can listen to the full explanation in the video below.
When the Saber signed Thompson’s crown for a 7-year extension, many people asked, “Why now?”
Kevin Adams response: pic.twitter.com/O6r2IVMhez
– Charging Buffalo (TheChargingBUF) September 22 2022
While the jury is still out on the Thompson deal, Adams seems like a pure genius regarding his three trades over the past 15 months which have included Rasmus Restaulainen, Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel. Once again, Jack Eichel Trade was heavily criticized by the media, claiming that the Vegas Golden Knights won it on their own.
It’s a pity that the Knights have been in a mess since Aichel’s ice skating. Meanwhile, Alex Tuch could become a captain, likely co-captain, this season, while Peyton Crips transitioned from the AHL to the NHL regular. The trade also embraced Noah Ostlund, who was tearing it up with his Swedish club, Djurgårdens.
Ristolainen’s trade brought in Isak Rosen’s 14th overall pick while Reinhart’s trade allowed Adams to get a first-round pick who turned out to be Jiri Kulich, as well as a potential goalkeeper in Devon Levi, the latter considered by many to be one of the best in the NCAA.
Adams built the set of possibilities with a non-intuitive advantage
With Adams’ strong crafting and trading, he built what might be the best probability pool in the league. He avoids mistakes made by people like his predecessor, Jason Putrell. Botterill tried to expedite the process rather than trust the process, doing something eerily similar to what the Detroit Red Wings did this past season.
That’s why Sabes, at least in the long run, will be better than Detroit. Adams takes the slow and steady process. He has allowed prospects to evolve and is signing low-cost free agents to keep them as temporary slots until those prospects are ready for the NHL level.
He also expands his own talent, which is another genius move because the current talent already has chemistry built in. That’s why extending Tage was a smarter move than trading for Matthew Tkachuk, who eventually went to Buffalo Sabers Atlantic Division competitor, Florida Panthers.
Expect to see more extensions in the near future in regards to players like Rasmus Dahlin, Dylan Cousins, Matthias Samuelsson, Peyton Krebs, etc. Adams, who recently got an extension himself, has Cypress on the right track. He did this through traditional and unconventional methods.
The final product? Formidable prospects and young talent gathered all over the roster. He also set the Sabers salary cap to keep those young talents long-term. The result will be the Stanley Cup. Maybe not this season or even next season. For the year 2024-25? This could be the first of many seasons that the Sabers will develop into one of the most talented teams in the league, thanks to the genius of Kevyn Adams.