Should the Sabres consider Anthony Duclair?

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 02: Anthony Duclair
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 02: Anthony Duclair /

The Buffalo Sabres have been struggling with offensive depth all season long. Talent on the offense should always be accepted, especially considering who might be out by the trade deadline.

Evander Kane looks more than likely to be traded away very soon. The Buffalo Sabres are in a really tough spot with the Vancouver native, with his contract set to expire this summer. Buffalo could either trade him away now for a return, or potentially lose him for nothing in free agency.

Recent reports have suggested the likes of Benoit Pouliot, Johan Larsson and Jacob Josefson could be joining Kane in the window too. The name that immediately jumps out is Pouliot, who recently has found form with the puck.

Consider the fact the Sabres already struggle offensively, and the news becomes that much more frightening. However, the season is already over for Buffalo, so now is the best time for Jason Botterill to re-evaluate and get ready for the future of the franchise.

One way the Sabres’ GM can get an early head start is by considering Anthony Duclair in February. Duclair is reportedly unhappy with the Arizona Coyotes, and took it a step further when handing in a trade request to management.

In 33 games played, Duclair has recorded nine goals and six assists with the last placed Coyotes. The 22-year-old’s advanced stats have remained pretty decent since his days with the New York Rangers. His Corsi For percentage has taken a dip (expected with Arizona), but Duclair’s number still remains close to a solid 50 percent.

Duclair is noted for being very fast both on and off the puck, and has an uncanny ability to transition the play of the game forward. The Quebec native’s two career hat tricks both came with the Coyotes, including one this season against the Ottawa Senators in a 3-2 victory.

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The benefit of acquiring Duclair seems pretty simple. He adds some youth to the Sabres’ movement going forward, and can provide some good depth on the third or fourth lines. Depending on the situation, Duclair can even gather top minutes if need be, as he did a lot with the Rangers.

The one big downside with Duclair is that he doesn’t seem commited to future projects. Arizona might be struggling now, but they have the firepower to contend for the Stanley Cup in the next five years.

The Buffalo Sabres are in the same re-building stage, and it would be very interesting to see how long Duclair would deal with a long-term project.

Plus, the winger will be in need of a new contract at the end of this season. However, Duclair’s cap hit is near 1.2 million, which suggests Buffalo won’t need to break the bank in order to sign. Buffalo could also wait until he hits the free agent market to sign him then.

It might not take much for the Sabres to get a deal done with Duclair. It’s a bit wrong to block a player from pursuing happiness in his career, and Duclair looks determined to escape the desert.

Whether or not he’d like to arrive at the frustrated KeyBank Center remains to be seen. However, Duclair seems to put in the work no matter where he ends up playing. Botterill and the rest of the Buffalo management should at least consider bringing him in soon.

Next: Which Sabres will be gone by the trade deadline?

Should the Buffalo Sabres consider acquiring Duclair? Or would it be best for them to wait until he becomes a free agent? Let us know in the comments section below.