Saturday, May 26, 2018

Impressions of, and questions concerning--C, Jacob Josefson

Published by, 5-25-2018

Center--Jacob Josefson
DOB:  March 2, 1991 (Age, 27)
Draft:  2009, 1st round (20th-overall,) NJD
How acquired:  FA
Last contract signed:  July 1, 2017, 1yr./$700,000 
Final year of contract: 2017-18

2017-18 Stats:  39 games played | 2 goals | 2 assists | 4 points | -4 | 11:23 ATOI

Buffalo Career Stats:  39 games | 2 goals | 2 assists | 4 points | -4 | 11:23 ATOI

What we wrote preseasonA Reinhart move back to center will directly affect Jacob Josefson as it means he's probably in the pressbox.

Josefson was signed by the Sabres in the off season as a depth move by GM Jason Botterill and we're not sure what we have yet in him. The 26 yr. old center was labeled "an enigma" by Amanda Rosko of The Hockey Writers back in November, 2015. She also wrote that he "exhibits a solid skill-set" but lacks "physicality and finish" and Rosko goes on to perpetuate the curious case of Jacob Josefson when she writes, "the mystery continues when a person examines Josefson’s shootout record and ability. When number 16 takes the ice for the Devils, it is almost automatically assumed that he will beat the oppositional goaltender regardless of whom it is when the game goes beyond 65-minutes. He excels and stands out in the skills competition."

The past five seasons Josefson has gone 11/20 (55%) in the shootout and is tops in the league over that period for players with 20 or more shootout attempts. The Sabres were 25th in the league scoring at a 22% rate (6/27) last season.

What we wrote mid-season:  He was playing extremely well before being felled by an injury. Things haven't gone as expected for Josefson since being drafted by the New Jersey Devils 20th-overall in 2009 but it looks as if he'll manage to scrap out a long career in a journeyman's role, much like David Legwand did. Josefson was skating with the team last week and Housley listed him as week-to-week but liked what he saw. When he comes back, Josefson will more than likely be the team's fourth-line center.

Impressions on his play this year:  The "enigma" moniker stuck with Josefson this season. When he wasn't injured he played well, although not as well as Legwand did, which isn't saying a whole helluva lot. And, true to form, Josefson was on-point in the shootout going 2/3. In all, however, he was overpaid at $700K and his fourth-line/reserve center role will be taken up by a young player this season without losing anything, except in the shootout.

Questions moving forward:  None as the Stokholm, Sweden native is reported to be returning home on a four-year deal to play for Djurgarden of the Swedish Hockey League

Contract info via CapFriendly, stats via and hockey

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