Penner and Byfuglien- Both could dominate in front of the net and be 40 goal scorers, no idea why Buff is still on D, won't last.
Turris- Looks really talented when I see him play but doesn't know what he's doing out there.
Gaborik- This guy should be a lock for 50G/90PTS every year with good defense, amazing talent.
Varlamov- Very athletic and big, this guy should be an all-star every year, still time to prove it though.
Buff is on defense because he wants to be.
It will last because between his point totals last year, his overpaid contract, and the Norris buzz he was getting until January, he has the leverage to make sure that he stays on defense for as long as he wants.
Plus, no offense to the Jets, but lacking players like Toews and Kane, Buff wouldn't be as effective as a forward there anyway. Not that he was a very effective forward outside of the playoffs in the first place.
Nikita Filatov has the skills but hasn't shown yet that he's an NHL capable player but will get every chance in Ottawa. Same with guys like Regin and Foligno. Their point totals are unspectacular but both have shown glimpses of brilliance. I'm just using examples for the Sens but I agree with Kovalev, Semin, and Gaborik!