The 6’4” goaltender from Winnipeg, Manitoba, currently plays NCAA hockey for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and is thus somewhat of an afterthought in the Kane deal.
Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the sixth round of the 2011 NHL entry draft, Kasdorf has already proved himself in college and could be a key factor for the Sabres’ depleted goaltender position.
Buffalo’s NCAA scout Jerry Forton had tremendous things to say about Kasdorf, explaining the reason for acquiring him. "Winnipeg did a good job identifying and drafting him out of junior hockey," he told Bleacher Report.
"Jason was one of the best goalies in all of college hockey his freshman year and won ECAC Rookie of the Year. His footwork and butterfly were both very good, and he had good size and presence in the net. I knew from several of his coaches over the years that his work ethic and character were both elite."
"Although he missed essentially all of last year with an injury that required surgery, we were impressed in several viewings early this season at how he came back from the injury. We're confident Jason will continue to progress his game next year at RPI and at that time be in a position to compete with several of our other young goalie prospects within our system/organization."
The key takeaway from Forton’s comments is Kasdorf's health. After posting a 14-5-2 record, .935 save percentage and 1.62 goals-against average in his freshman season, the future looked bright. However, shoulder surgery sidelined him for his entire sophomore season, and it has taken time for him to fully recover.
Kasdorf’s statistics were not reflective of his rookie season when he returned to the lineup, but he understands that it takes time.
“I think taking a full year off from being able to play definitely doesn’t help and makes things a little tougher to get back into your groove. I also had a minor knee injury right before Christmas which I think set me back a little bit as well. Injuries make it hard to find your groove and get into a rhythm,” said Kasdorf.
With little to no talk around Kasdorf, he could fly under the radar and be a diamond in the rough for the Sabres.
The Buffalo News' John Vogl briefly explained Kasdorf, writing, “Kasdorf fits the mold of big goaltenders that Sabres general manager Tim Murray covets.”
The Sabres’ goaltenders are incredibly young right now, and according to Hockey's Future, Kasdorf is the Sabres’ second-ranked goaltending prospect. Compared to his future teammates, Kasdorf's has been competitive statistically, even during an injury-plagued season.
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Kasdorf has been training with GDI for over 6 years through 1v1 lessons and the Total GDI Academy.