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DUFFER: OKPOSO'S PRODUCTION HAS BEEN IMPRESSIVE

by Brian Duff / Buffalo Sabres
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Kyle Okposo’s third NHL contract – by all accounts – puts him into the top 60 as far as highest paid players in the league.

And for good reason.

Okposo’s last three seasons saw him produce 67 goals and 117 assists for 184 points – good for 26th in the NHL, but perhaps more impressive is his points per game at 0.88, good for 17th.

Points per 60 minutes (5-on-5) also sees Okposo land easily into the top 25 at 2.14, and another critical measure for this playmaking right winger is his points at even strength.

In each of the past two seasons, 64 percent of Okposo’s offense has come sans specials teams. Three seasons ago that number was at 78 percent. It adds up to 128 of his 184 points coming at 5-on-5 or 4-on-4, 25th best League-wide. And, he’s 25th in primary assists at 5-on-5 over that time as well.

And when it comes down to 1-on-1, Okposo is pretty good there, too. In 2015-16, he went 5-for-10 in shootouts. Those five goals were tied for second League-wide, while his three game-deciding goals were tied for first.

For his career, Okposo is 13-for-35 (37.1 percent) with nine game-deciding goals – tied for 10th best in the NHL over that time.

Speaking of time, it’s been 10 years since he was drafted seventh overall out of the Golden Gophers program in his home state of Minnesota. Hockey’s Future had this projection for him back then.

He’s no stranger to playing with great players (see Jonathan Toews at Shattuck St. Mary’s, and John Tavares with the Islanders) and obviously will play on the Sabres top two lines this fall.

So that begs the question: What do you want the Sabres lines to look like come opening night?

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