After splitting time between two different organizations and their respective affiliates during the 2018-19 campaign, Jean-Sebastian Dea found a home with the Rochester Americans this past season. The Amerks newcomer easily became a familiar face on the ice as he broke open his season with a four-point effort back on Oct. 26, tied for the team team with 15 goals and even got three games under his belt in Buffalo. Being a seventh-year pro, it’s hard to narrow down what exactly Dea’s top five moments from this season were, but let’s take a look at what he brought to the table during his first season in the Flower City.
1. SIGNING WITH THE SABRES
Dea spent his first five years as a pro in the Pittsburgh Penguins minor league circuit and then went on to split his time between the New Jersey Devils and Penguins organizations during the 2018-19 season, posting six points (4+2) in a career-high 23 NHL games. He also appeared in 46 AHL games during that same year, recording 44 points (17+27) in those contests.
After he finished out the 2018-19 campaign with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, Dea went on to sign a two-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres on July 1, 2019, officially beginning his career with the blue and gold.
2. SILENCING SYRACUSE
Through the first seven games of the 2019-20 season, Dea tallied just three points over that span.
It would take until that eighth contest of the Amerks 64th season in the AHL for Dea to break out of his shell and provide the offense that everyone knew he was capable of. With a four-point performance back on Oct. 26 against the Syracuse Crunch, this would end up being the highest scoring game of the year with a 7-6 score line thanks to the Amerks forward.
Just eight games in to the 2019-20 campaign, Dea would be the inevitable factor that forced this Saturday night contest into another extra frame of hockey. After tying up the game for the first time on the night just 10 seconds into the third period, Dea came back to light the lamp once more with just 13 seconds to go in regulation for Rochester’s fourth overtime tilt on the year.
3. SUITING UP WITH THE BLUE AND GOLD
After appearing in every game through the first 18 matchups of the season, Dea finally got his call-up to the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 25, the very same day head coach Chris Taylor rejoined the Amerks after beginning the season with the Sabres.
Prior to his first of two recalls of the year, Dea recorded seven goals and 13 points through those first 18 games of the season with the Amerks. On Nov. 27, the seventh-year pro made his Sabres debut against the Calgary Flame, logging 5:53 of time on ice.
The next time Dea would be back in Buffalo, it would be early February when he’d see time in two more contests with the Sabres. Dea suited up for the Sabres against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche, seeing time on 23 shifts between both tilts and a combined 17:01 of ice time.
4. LEADING THE WAY
Up until the abrupt ending of the 2019-20 season, Dea paced the team with 39 points and tied for first in goals in 57 games. He also ranked second among all Amerks forwards with 113 shots on goal.
Dea notched 18 points (5+13) in his last 26 games of the season, including seven points (1+6) over his last 10 outings. He’s now reached the 15-goal mark in each of the last five seasons dating back to the 2015-16 campaign when he scored a career-high 20 as a member of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
5. SCORING CHAMPION
With the ending of the 2019-20 season, come the usual year-end team awards.
This year it should come as no surprise that Dea was named the Amerks scoring champion while also notching a team-best six multi-point games, including the only four-point outing by an Amerk this past season.