Buffalo Sabers 2024 Player Report Card: Alex Tuch

Forward’s second-best career season numbers are still lower than 2022-23.

Total season stats: 22-37-59 in 75 games played.

Age: 28

Contract status: Signed until 2026, UFA at end of 2025-26 season

Alex Tuch is a player who, as general manager Kevyn Adams would say, “wants to be here.” Tuch showed strength when traded to Las Vegas during the 2021-22 season, taking the puck from Jack Eichel to help beat the Knights in Buffalo in March. Number 89 endeared himself to fans thanks to his tenacity on the ice, his work ethic and his discipline.

Despite his efforts, the Sabers winger experienced ups and downs in offensive production while playing for the Blue and Gold. In his first season in Buffalo, Tuch had a record of 12-26-38. Observers might excuse that by saying he spent part of the year with Vegas, had shoulder surgery and didn’t play for the Sabers until late December.

Tuch saw a dramatic improvement the following season, scoring a career-high 36 goals, 43 assists and 79 total points. Unfortunately, in 2023-24 his numbers fell to 22-37-59, a second career best but still a regression. However, Tuch wasn’t the only player to suffer a loss in production, as previous forwards Tage Thompson and Jeff Skinner also had more difficulty finding the back of the net.

It remains to be seen if Don Granto’s coaching has had an impact on No. 89’s stats and if they will bounce back this coming year under new head coach Lindy Ruff. When Granato was fired shortly after the final game of the 2023-24 season, Tuch thanked Granato for his development efforts, but implied that Ruff would demand the best from his players or else bench them, which which Granato did not do. Tuch also said he was looking forward to a “brutal” training camp over the summer.

Tuch is not only a hard worker, he is very good at getting scoring opportunities late in games, just when the Sabers need them. One of his best from last year came on November 24, 2023 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. With everything tied late in the third period, Tuch grabbed the puck from Skinner and fired it into the Pens net to give Buffalo a 3-2 lead.

Fans would like to see more goals and assists from Tuch this coming season. Although he is a solid striker with a strong level of discipline, his statistics have dropped compared to 2022-23. Hopefully these numbers are an anomaly and he returns to scoring at a high level.

Season rating: B+