What to Expect From Buffalo Sabres New Addition Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall
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Former first overall pick Taylor Hall shocked the hockey world when he signed a one-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres. Hall, who won the Hart Trophy in 2018, was expected to sign a long-term deal with a contending team. His decision, which came as a shock to many fans, puts him squarely in the spotlight for the upcoming season. What can Sabres’ fans expect out of Hall this season? Will he re-emerge to the levels he showcased as a Hart-winner, or will he further regress from his top-six potential? Take a look at best case, worst case, and realistic scenarios today.

Taylor Hall’s Best Case Scenario

Taylor Hall’s best season came in the 2017-18 year, where he scored 93 points in 76 games, winning the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP. Hall has shown he’s a more than capable line-driver, pushing his team to the limits and getting a rebuilding New Jersey Devils team to the playoffs. Getting to a similar level should be fairly easy for Hall, who will be playing on the top line alongside Jack Eichel and Victor Olofsson. He should easily reach the 70-point mark, but if he’s able to return to form, it wouldn’t be ridiculous to assume he tops the 80 — or even 90-point mark.

Taylor Hall’s Worst Case Scenario

Having said that, Hall is coming off one of his worst years to date. He scored just 52 points across 65 games with the New Jersey Devils and Arizona Coyotes. When it comes to his expectations, 52 points in 65 games is not an ideal circumstance. Hall is expected to be a difference-maker in his role as a top-line winger. If Hall plays below expectations, the Sabres are in luck. With only one year on his contract, the Sabres can decide to cut ties if he plays below expectations. That situation wouldn’t be ideal, but it beats a 7-8 year contract. Worst case scenario, Hall eclipses the 60-point plateau — a perfectly fine result for a top-six forward.

Realistic Expectations for Taylor Hall

Hall’s contract is a win-win for both sides. While Hall gets a chance to prove himself, the Sabres get a safe deal for a short-term. If Hall excels, they can easily re-sign him. If he underperforms, they can cut ties as quickly as they forged them. The Sabres have lucked out with this scenario. Hall’s potential with Jack Eichel is a deadly one — and one that Sabres’ fans will come to like or love. It’s perfectly fine to expect at least 70 points for Hall this upcoming season. He’s a 29-year-old that’s only two years removed from a 90+ point season. It’s not unreasonable to assume he can approach something close to this again.

Where do you think Hall will land with his point production? Are you excited to see what he can do with the Sabres? Let us know in the comments!

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