What will Olivier Nadeau bring to the organization?
On Sunday, the Buffalo Sabers announced they had signed forward and 2021 fourth-round pick Olivier Nadeau to an entry-level contract.
Olivier Nadeau has become the fourth Buffalo Sabers prospect in the 2021 NHL Draft to sign with the organization, following Owen Power, Alexandr Kisakov and Josh Bloom. Power has already made his major league debut and will start the season at the NHL level while the jury is still out on what the Sabers will do with Kisakov and Bloom in October.
Nadeau has spent the past three seasons playing for the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL, scoring 146 points (63 goals). The 19-year-old’s most productive season came in 2021-22, when he had 78 points (35 goals) in 65 games. In the playoffs, Nadeau’s productivity continued with six points in six games.
What will the Buffalo Sabers do with Olivier Nadeau?
Ethan Hetu from Pro Hockey Rumors said so first, saying signing Nadeau further strengthens the “Sabres’ prospect pool among the best in the league.” And at 6’2, 204lb, he’s already exceptionally tall to play at the pro level.
His productivity also went from a meager 28 points in 58 games during the 2019-20 season to 45 points in 34 games the following year. Of course, he has further increased his productivity in 2021-22.
Speed and skating ability are two aspects of his game that Nadeau needs to improve. For that reason, don’t expect him to join the NHL ranks anytime soon. However, his productivity speaks volumes, and you may see him gracing the ice in Rochester next season, especially with the potential roster turnover that could arise for the Sabers AHL affiliate.
Though young, the Sabers are also expected to come out of training camp next season on the main roster, with at least JJ Peterka and Jack Quinn expected to step up barring any type of setback. It will also be interesting to see if Bloom and Kisakov team up with Nadeau. If so, watch out for Rochester next season because this trio will be fun to watch.
If nothing else, watch for these intriguing prospects. Especially with high authority outlets like Pro Hockey Rumors praising the Sabers organization for building a strong power system. We can at least say this: Good times are coming for the organization.
(Stats provided by Hockey DB)