Botterill may have a hidden gem in Linus Weissbach

Everyone knows Victor Olofsson, the 2014 7th round draft pick has become one of the most polarizing prospects in the Sabres organization.

While the #Goalofsson hype is well-warranted, there is another 7th rounder in the Sabres prospect pool that could generate the same hype in a season or two.

Linus Weissbach, Wisconsin Badgers forward, was drafted by Botterill with the 192nd pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. In his draft year, Weissbach played for the Tri-City Storm (USHL) scoring 19 goals, 28 assists for 47 points in 49 games.

Weissbach is a speedy, undersized winger who has a lot of offensive talent. He has great hands, good vision, and a quality shot.

Here’s a highlight reel from his draft season in the USHL:

I’ve highlighted two plays in the highlight reel to breakdown:

Highlight Reel Goal

Weissbach Goal #1

This goal showcases Weissbach’s offensive skillset, he skates over the blueline with speed, toe-drags around the defenceman then puts on a great move on the goalie before putting the puck in the net.

While the toe-drag at full speed is uber impressive, Weissbach’s ability to stop his momentum from going right and shift his body weight back to the left before putting the puck past the goalie is amazing.

2-on-1 Assist

Weissbach assist

On this assist, Weissbach is able to freeze the goalie with a little head fake and stick handle before feeding a nice pass to his teammate for the easy tap-in goal.

These two plays stood out to me more than any because they showcase all the offensive tools that Weissbach has, and despite his size he is able to use these instincts to produce.

His production has continued throughout his NCAA career as well, in two seasons as a Badger, Weissbach has 14 goals and 28 assists for 42 points in 52 games, including 16 points in 18 games this season.

Weissbach’s Future

There’s no guarantee that the Sabres even bring Weissbach to the pro level, but if he continues to produce well at the College level he may be worth a shot.

Olofsson has had to adjust to North America but Weissbach has been playing in North America for three years and wouldn’t need to adjust to a new playing style, he would need to focus on his strength and conditioning as well as his development as a hockey player.

Weissbach could possibly be another diamond in the rough for the Sabres, with his offensive instincts he has the potential to be a possible top-9 scoring forward… if the Sabres do decide to invest further in Weissbach by plucking him out of college don’t be surprised if he plays in the NHL.

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