NASHVILLE – Following a 14-goal rookie season, Buffalo Sabres winger Jack Quinn was expected to become a significant contributor in the upcoming campaign.
But the start of his sophomore season will be delayed months after he tore his Achilles tendon while training earlier this week. He underwent successful surgery Wednesday.
Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams wouldn’t speculate on a timeline for Quinn’s return, only saying it was “significant” and he will make a full recovery. However, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported he will be sidelined four to six months.
Adams said Quinn, 21, was injured “working on his explosiveness.”
“These things happen,” he said Thursday after the NHL Draft ended in Bridgestone Arena. “It was tough news, obviously, for Jack, first of all, and us. He’s a really important guy in our lineup. What I told Jack on the phone is I know the character and person he is, and I’ve also been assured by our doctors this is something that he’ll make a full recovery, he’ll come back bigger, better and stronger than ever.
“It’s adversity, it’s a bump in the road for him. But the type of mindset he has, no worries about how he’ll come out the other side.”
He recovered quickly following hernia surgery in 2021, and he had a dynamic rookie season with the Amerks in 2021-22.
Quinn, Adams’ first draft pick as GM, eighth overall in 2020, often looked impressive as an NHL rookie. He compiled 37 points in 75 games while often skating at right win on the second line beside center Dylan Cozens and JJ Peterka, another rookie.
The injury could open a roster spot for Matt Savoie, the ninth overall pick in 2022, to make the Sabres out of training camp. Savoie, a natural center, played the wing during two playoff games with the Rochester Americans in the spring, his first pro appearances.
“If someone comes in and kicks the door open and just absolutely belongs on our team and is going to help us win hockey games, we’re going to find a way to make room,” Adams said. “So regardless of this situation or not, that’s what we will do. But I also wouldn’t say that we would now sit here and say, ‘We should fast track someone or we would change the timeline on any of our prospects based on this.’ But we’re open to it.
“And fortunately, we built that pipeline up where we feel that we have some exciting kids coming.”
The Sabres, of course, have also built up strong forward depth. While Adams acknowledged Tuesday he’s exploring the trade market for 28-goal winger Victor Olofsson, perhaps he now feels he must keep him.