Alex Tuch a Welcome Addition to Buffalo Sabres

Alex Tuch

It’s been another long slog of a season for the Buffalo Sabres. However, there is a bright spot in the darkness. Alex Tuch has come over from the Vegas Golden Knights as part of the Jack Eichel deal and made an instant impression. Tuch is from just down the New York State Thruway in Baldwinsville, NY and is feeling at home with his new team.

The 25-year-old has averaged over a point a game with three goals and seven assists in nine games since coming off injured reserve. He’s bounced back quickly after shoulder surgery and has helped a Sabres team finding their way.

Alex Tuch Feeling at Home With Sabres

Sabres coach Don Granato instantly put Tuch on the top line with Tage Thompson and things have clicked. Tuch also got put on the top power play unit with Victor Olofsson. The former Golden Knight was an important part of the team, but is flourishing with the spotlight.

His ice time has hovered around 15-16 minutes since he had a full-time roster spot in 2017-18. However, his TOI as of January 20 is at 18:30. Vegas usually kept the 6′-4″ forward in different spots throughout the lineup. He’s now getting prime minutes and scoring opportunities with his increased role.

ESPN named Tuch as one of the forwards that fantasy hockey owners should snap up. He was only owned by 49.2-percent of players on ESPN fantasy hockey and could be a solid addition for a playoff push.

Tuch has a very good relative Corsi of 53.7-percent. Blogger Kent Wilson said that anywhere between 40-60 percent is good to have. His Relative Corsi is at 16.5, which is another checkmark in Tuch being a huge driver in play.

A Video Look

Let’s take a look at some instances on how Tuch has helped the Sabres become more effective. He made an immediate impact with the team in their first road game against the Boston Bruins on New Year’s Day.

Buffalo is on the power play late in the second period against Boston and looking to add to a 2-1 lead. Tuch bides his time in the slot and takes a pass from Peyton Krebs (who also came over in the Eichel trade) to score his first goal with Buffalo.

He’s also been handing out assists in his brief time with Buffalo. Tuch gets the puck at the blue line and throws a shot to the middle, where Thompson is there to redirect the puck past Mackenzie Blackwood for the goal.

In the previous Sabres-Bruins highlights, Jeff Skinner benefited from Tuch’s hard shot that yielded a rebound. It may have been Skinner just picking up the trash, but there are no style points for goals.

Tuch has been able to find ways to get his teammates involved and the Sabres have another scorer to depend on. The winner of the Eichel trade likely won’t be decided until former Sabres captain takes the ice and the other draft picks shake out. However, Tuch and Krebs are already hoping to hold up their end of the deal with Buffalo.

What it Means

The Central New Yorker grew up a Sabres fan and has plenty of love for the franchise. His next door neighbour growing up was former NHLer Tim Connolly. Tuch’s parents, Carl and Sharon, were just as excited as their son.

There’s always a worry that people don’t want to come to Buffalo, but that’s not a problem for Tuch. He wants to play close to home for his hometown team. Tuch has more seasons at $4.75 million per year left on the contract he signed with Vegas. That could be a great value for a team looking to become a contender soon.

He has all the earmarks of being a team captain for a team that will have a lot of young players coming through in the next few seasons. Tuch looks like he wants to stay with the team long-term, so it’s a smart choice.

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