On the surface, the 2017-18 rookie class seemed to lack both depth and high-end talent. When all was said and done, we were left with a couple potential superstars (Mathew Barzal, Brock Boeser) and more than a dozen (Kyle Connor, Clayton Keller, Mikhail Sergachev, Charlie McAvoy, Yanni Gourde, Alex DeBrincat, Nico Hischier, Will Butcher, Pierre-Luc Dubois, etc.) players that made a legitimate fantasy impact in their freshman campaign. The top of the 2018-19 class is more clearly defined than last year, but there still figures to be plenty of depth to go around.
Rasmus Dahlin (D-BUF): Sabres fans have gone through a lot of suffering the past few years, but the arrival of Dahlin this fall will help ease some of that pain. The first overall pick is almost always thrust into a considerable role immediately, and this year will be no different. The shifty Swede is a brilliant skater, has above-average offensive ability and possesses elite hockey sense. Dahlin turned 18 years old in April and in an ideal world, the Sabres would prefer to shelter him a bit in his freshman season, but they don't have that luxury. Short of Connor McDavid's debut in 2015, Dahlin is as close to a sure-fire prospect as you will find.
THE NEXT TIER
Casey Mittelstadt (F-BUF): Mittelstadt got into six games with the Sabres at the end of last season, registering a goal and four