24-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 (shoulder) told reporters he was back to 100 percent and was ready for Thursday's matchup against Montreal, Paul Hamilton of WGR Sports Radio 550 reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
McCabe secured a regular role with Buffalo in just his second season in the pros, appearing in 77 games and scoring four goals and 14 assists. A two-way defenseman with a penchant for clutch goals and big hits, McCabe averaged 19 minutes per game, including 1:24 on the penalty kill, but he saw barely any power-play time. McCabe’s offensive production should be on the rise, if only because he’s one year wiser, but if he gets power-play time, there’s an opportunity for him to rack up points. However, with the addition of Dmitry Kulikov, McCabe's stuck on the third pairing and could actually see a reduced role this year.
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 team’s first options should an injury befall the Sabres’ 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 Sabres’ prospect depth lies on the blue line, so there’s 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.