Rasmus Dahlin is calling his shot.
The 19-year-old phenom believes his Buffalo Sabres are going to snap the NHL's longest active playoff drought.
"I'm putting more pressure on myself. We're going to be a winning team and be in the playoffs," Dahlin told John Wawrow of the Associated Press. "I think everyone is putting more pressure on ourselves now, and we're ready to go."
The last time the Sabres were in the postseason was 2011 - when Dahlin had just turned 11 years old.
Buffalo was the league's fifth-worst team last year despite starting with a 17-6-2 record after a flawless month of November.
"We played so well in the beginning of the season, so that made you frustrated because we know how good we can play," he said. "Yeah, we're going to get something good going on here."
While the year ended in disappointing fashion, the silver lining was the development of Dahlin, the first overall pick in 2018. He was a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the league's top rookie, and his 44 points were the second-most ever by an 18-year-old defenseman in the history of the NHL.
"I feel more prepared. I feel more mature," said Dahlin. "Like that one year of experience, I know what’s coming this season. I feel more comfortable in my position."
The Sabres made multiple offseason additions to support the young core led by Dahlin and captain Jack Eichel. Ralph Krueger will replace Phil Housley behind the bench, Marcus Johansson and Jimmy Vesey were brought in to provide more scoring depth up front, and Colin Miller and Henri Jokiharju were acquired to bolster the blue line.
Making the postseason won't be an easy task for the Sabres in the stacked Atlantic Division. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Boston Bruins are perennial powerhouses, while the Florida Panthers are a preseason favorite after adding goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky in the offseason.