Who's going to be a building block? Who's a fringe player? Who's almost certainly headed to Rochester or Cincinnati? Here's our first rundown of all 51 players invited to Sabres training camp:
The Goalies (6)
Carter Hutton: Signed three-year free agent deal to become first-time NHL starter. Was at 2.09/.931 last year at St. Louis.
Linus Ullmark: Ticketed for first full-time NHL duty after 21 wins, .922 mark last year in Rochester.
Scott Wedgewood: Likely starter in Rochester played 20 games for Arizona last season.
Adam Wilcox: Made NHL debut in season finale for Sabres after 29 games as Ullmark's backup in Rochester.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen: First NHL camp for 19-year-old goalie of the future, slated for first North American season at Sudbury of OHL.
Jonas Johansson: Big Swede expected to be No. 1 at Cincinnati for second straight year.
The Elite Skaters (6)
Jack Eichel: Will Year One of eight-year, $80-million deal start with the awarding of the "C"?
Rasmus Dahlin: The new Franchise. A young Karlsson or Lidstrom who is the Calder Trophy favorite.
Casey Mittelstadt: First-rounder from 2017 had points in five of six games last season and projects as second-line center in first full year in NHL.
Jeff Skinner: Three-time 30-goal scorer has 89 goals the last three years. How many does he get on Eichel's wing?
Rasmus Ristolainen: Finnish minutes muncher has been a summer Instagram star with wild workouts. Do they translate to more consistency?
Sam Reinhart: Need to get him signed, sealed and delivered and then see if he can become a consistent 30-goal man.
Steady Veterans (9)
Conor Sheary: Two-time Cup champion had 18 goals last year for Penguins and will look nice on Mittelstadt's wing.
Kyle Okposo: Now 30, looking for big bounce back after 15-goal season that followed major health scare.
Patrik Berglund: Veteran of 694 games with St. Louis needs to pick up some of the slack from loss of Ryan O'Reilly, especially in the faceoff circle.
Jason Pominville: Just 13 games away from 1,000 in career, this might be final year for 35-year-old former playoff hero.
Vladimir Sobotka: Czech winger acquired in O'Reilly trade best remembered for gnat role that drove Sabres crazy during 2010 playoff series with Boston.
Scott Wilson: Cup champion with Pens in 2017, he brought some sound bottom-six play last season.
Jake McCabe: Limited to 53 games last year after shoulder surgery, he should be at 16-18 minutes per game.
Marco Scandella: Played every game last year but was stunned and dismayed by the losing after five straight playoff years in Minnesota.
Matt Hunwick: Sabres are sixth team for blueliner who has 521 NHL games on his resume.
Intriguing prospects (12)
Tage Thompson: At 6-foot-5, former St. Louis prospect showed great bursts of speed during Prospects Challenge.
Rasmus Asplund: Was probably the MVP among prospect forwards, could force way out of Rochester and into NHL.
Sean Malone: WNY native had nice debut season in Rochester, could use more seasoning.
Danny O'Regan: Former Eichel linemate acquired in Evander Kane trade needs to find the net more in the AHL.
Andrew Oglevie: Notre Dame product with 39 points in 36 games is an intriguing college free-agent signee.
Victor Olofsson: Dahlin's Swedish teammate has his own rapidly rising credentials thanks to wicked wrist shot.
Evan Rodrigues: Versatile forward had 25 points for Sabres last year in part-time role. Should stick in NHL.
C.J. Smith: Speedy winger looking to make breakthrough after 17 goals, 44 points for Amerks.
Will Borgen: Rugged blueliner made AHL debut with eight games after St. Cloud State was upset in NCAAs. He's a full-time pro now.
Brendan Guhle: Top defense prospect can go through waivers, so might start in Rochester to get more seasoning.
Casey Nelson: Former college free agent cannot go through waivers, so will likely get another chance in Buffalo.
Lawrence Pilut: Skillful Swedish free agent could quickly push way into NHL after getting some time on North American ice in Rochester.
Destined for Rochester (8)
Taylor Fedun: Has served good organizational depth role on blue line last two years.
Brandon Hickey: Former Boston U. captain was a nice pickup in deal for Hudson Fasching.
Matt Tennyson: Overmatched last year in 15 NHL games but contributed more in 50 games for Amerks.
Kevin Porter: At 32, center should return as captain of Amerks.
Kyle Criscuolo: Pointless in nine games for Sabres but had 15 goals for Amerks.
Eric Cornel: At 22, former Sabres second-round pick headed to Rochester for third straight year.
Tyler Randell: Rugged 27-year-old has averaged 97 penalty minutes a season over last four AHL campaigns in Boston and Ottawa organizations.
Zach Redmond: Amerks leading scorer last year with 47 points (15-32) was fourth among AHL defensemen in scoring.
Time to show something (7)
Alexander Nylander: First-round pick in 2016 seems healthy, coming off strong Prospects Challenge.
Justin Bailey: WNY native has the speed, but will he ever be able to finish consistently?
Nick Baptiste: See Bailey. Like his up-and-down-to-Rochester teammate, a critical year in which waivers are needed to go to AHL.
Zach Bogosian: Veteran defenseman promises better results after hip surgery ended last season after just 18 games.
Zemgus Girgensons: Former first-round pick has had three straight seven-goal campaigns while playing at least 71 games in each. Not remotely good enough.
Johan Larsson: Just four goals in 80 games and minus-30 rating last year. Roster spot in jeopardy.
Nathan Beaulieu: Defenseman acquired from Montreal was major bust with one goal in 59 games and minus-19 rating.
Kids getting a look (3)
Vasily Glotov: Seventh-rounder in 2016 from Russia played six games last year between Cincinnati and Rochester. Always entertaining on social media (@Glotov97).
Matej Pekar: Fourth-rounder in June will play for former Sabre Dale Hawerchuk this year at Barrie of OHL.
Devante Stephens: Fifth-rounder in 2015 looking to get first regular shot on Rochester blue line.