23-Year-Old Defenseman – Buffalo Sabres
Jake McCabe Contract Information:
Signed a three-year, $4.8 million contract extension with the Sabres in June 2016.
McCabe leveled rookie sensation Patrick Laine of the Jets with a legal, open-ice hit on Saturday afternoon, forcing the youngster from the game.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
A co-winner of AHL Rochester's Rookie of the Year award, McCabe is a two-way defenseman with lots of upside, though he is probably a year or two away from permanently cracking the Buffalo roster. The former University of Wisconsin captain scored 29 points in 57 games in the AHL, and will be counted on to build on that production in his second year in the minors. He's a good skater who likes to hit and can jump in on offense, skills that will make him a valuable top-four defenseman one day. For now, McCabe will continue to hone his game in the AHL, but there's no doubt that he will be one of the Sabres' first call-ups should they need another body on defense.
McCabe, the Team USA captain at the 2013 World Junior Championships, will embark on his first full pro season in 2014-15. After concluding a three-year stint at the University of Wisconsin, McCabe appeared in seven games for the Sabres and notched an assist. The young defenseman has a chance to secure a spot with the Sabres, but his development may be better served in the AHL, where he will play a bigger role. McCabe will certainly serve as one of the teamís first options should an injury befall the Sabresí blue line.
McCabe had an outstanding sophomore season at the University of Wisconsin, playing a shut-down role and grabbing 21 points in 38 games. He also captained the United States to a gold medal at the World Junior Championships, solidifying his status as a top prospect. Much of the Sabresí prospect depth lies on the blue line, so thereís no need to rush McCabe, who will head back to Wisconsin for at least another season.
McCabe will return to the University of Wisconsin for his sophomore season after being drafted by the Sabres in the third-round of June's NHL Entry Draft. He'll see an increased role this season, but is likely several years away from contributing at the NHL level.