The Buffalo Sabres have claimed forward Drake Caggiula off waivers from the Arizona Coyotes. The team will hope that the former Coyote adds forward depth to a team with several injuries. Buffalo sits dead last in the NHL, with a total of 24 points on the season. Elliotte Friedman reported the claim Friday morning.
BUF claims Caggiula
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 9, 2021
Sabres Claim Drake Caggiula
The 26-year-old Caggiula previously signed with Arizona for the league minimum during the off-season. He recorded just one goal and six assists in 27 contests. Caggiula’s point pace this season has been at its lowest rate in his career. Caggiula was providing a negative impact to the club, posting a -0.9 GAR (goals above replacement) and 0.2 OFF value (total offensive value). (Stats via Evolving-Hockey). Despite the rocky season, an increased role in Buffalo could provide Caggiula the opportunity he needs.
Caggiula was signed by the Edmonton Oilers after going un-drafted. Coming from University of North Dakota, he signed his two-year entry level contract, playing his first season in 2016-17. The Chicago Blackhawks would acquire Caggiula during the 2018-19 season, where he would spend an additional year with the club following the trade. Overall, Caggiula has recorded 42 goals and 41 assists and 83 points in 249 career games.
What This Means For The Future
It is safe to say Caggiula will find himself somewhere in Buffalo’s starting line-up to close out the season. The bottom-six of the Sabres are mostly taxi squad players for an injury-filled season. Defenceman Matt Irwin has been playing on Buffalo’s fourth line. Caggiula has an outside shot at rebounding to form, potentially seeking second or third-line minutes.
On the other side, this allows forward Michael Bunting to continue his hot pace for Arizona. As of right now, the Coyotes sit fourth in the Honda West Division, looking hopeful for the playoffs. Overall, the claim helps Buffalo’s depth chart and gives some Arizona forwards more opportunity.