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Sabres’ Larsson says he’s proven what he can in AHL

Aug 21, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

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The Buffalo Sabres might be in line for a long season, but Johan Larsson wants to be a big part of it.

Uffe Bodin of HockeySverige in Sweden (link in Swedish) interviewed the 22-year-old forward and found out he thinks he’s proven all he can in the AHL and is ready to make the jump to the NHL for good. Poorly translated quotes ahead:

“I’ve proven what I can in the AHL by playing well there,” Larsson said. “Now it’s time to take the next step.”

Larsson added that he feels he’s meant to play in the top-six and he’s worried he’ll start being thought of as a defensive forward rather than an offensive threat. He also said he’ll take any place on the big club if he’s earned it.

Last season in Rochester, he had 41 points in 51 games with 15 goals. In Buffalo, however, he played third and fourth line minutes and had no goals and four assists in 28 games.

If Larsson wants to be in the top six, there’s going to be a lot of competition.

Tyler Ennis, Cody Hodgson, Sam Reinhart, and Mikhail Grigorenko will all battle in camp for spots up the middle in training camp. While Hodgson is likely to wind up on the wing, Larsson’s performance could help force coach Ted Nolan’s hand with both Reinhart and Grigorenko.

Reinhart, the second overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, could be sent back to junior hockey while Grigorenko could wind up back in the AHL. Of course, Larsson could wind up back in the AHL as well. Long story short – training camp will be where the drama is at.

  1. shanekelleytx - Aug 21, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    He’s not the greatest defensive player and he only put up 41 points in 51 games at the AHL level, and he thinks he’s ready for top-six minutes in the NHL? No way it’s gonna happen for him this season, at least.

    • bullwinkle88 - Aug 21, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      I see him playing on the fourth line…third if he has a very good camp.

    • guitarhunterdude - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:29 AM

      Larsson’s kidding himself if he thinks his offensive play is going to be his ticket to the NHL. When he was with the Wild, I always considered him our third-line center of the future. He really shouldn’t be getting top-six minutes, no matter how good a camp he has.

  2. wutangwild - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    I was a little upset when we gave him up in the trade for Pominville, but now that Haula has become an NHL regular I’m happy with the decision. I don’t think Larsson will ever be top-6 material but should be a solid 3rd line player who can slide up the depth chart every now and then if needed.

  3. djshnooks - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    Dude is nasty, perfect 3rd line center.

    (Nasty as in he has a meanstreak to him.)

    I think he ends up being part of a trade honestly…Compher might take his spot within time, as he’s the 3C of the future.

  4. djshnooks - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    On a sidenote…You can have Matt Hackett back, let’s say for a couple pucks?

    Not picks, PUCKS! Lol.

  5. blomfeld - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    “Always be kindly to those who are less fortunate” … Psalm 27:4

    As an ardent, sexy and values-driven supporter of planet Earth’s greatest professional ice hockey team (LA Kings), I find myself ‘inclined’ to offer my best wishes to the Buffalo Sabres and their fans … take care friends and God speed, comrade Blomfeld

  6. mnwildandcaps8 - Aug 24, 2014 at 3:15 AM

    I don’t know what it is but I laugh super hard every time succulentnipples says either “Johnathon Football” or “The Johnathon Football” especially when it has nothing to do with the article.

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