The Buffalo Sabres have a number of players participating in the 2023 IIHF World Championships in Tampere, Finland and Riga, Latvia later this month.
Winger Alex Tuch was named to Team USA’s roster earlier this week, JJ Peterka is slated to play for Germany, and on Friday Sabres forwards Peyton Krebs, Jack Quinn, and goaltender Devon Levi were selected by Canada for the upcoming tournament.
Krebs, 22, who was acquired along with Tuch by the Sabres in the Jack Eichel trade with Vegas, had 26 points (9 goals, 17 assists) in his first full season with Buffalo. Quinn, 21, was Buffalo’s first-round pick in 2020 (8th overall) and had 37 points (14 goals, 23 assists) in 75 games as a rookie last season.
2⃣0⃣ players have been selected to wear the 🍁 at #IIHFWorlds.
2⃣0⃣ joueurs ont été choisis pour porter la 🍁 au #MondialIIHF.
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) May 5, 2023
Levi was acquired by the Sabres in July 2021 from Florida in the trade for Sam Reinhart. The 21-year-old won the Mike Richter Award (best goaltender in the NCAA) at Northeastern University for the second year in a row and impressed in seven starts late in the season, going 5-2-0 with a 2.94 GAA and .905 save percentage. GM Kevyn Adams and head coach Don Granato both indicated at their season-ending media availabilities last month that they have confidence in his ability to step in as the starting goalie next season.
“No stage is too big for him,” Adams said. “He thrives in this environment and by the way, he played pressure-packed games. It’s pretty impressive what he did. We would not have put him in a situation we didn’t think he could handle and learn and grow from. But to be honest, he earned it.”
Levi Could Be Canada’s Main Guy
The 21-year-old Montreal native has already established himself on the international stage after being named MVP at the 2019 World Junior A Challenge, the best goalie at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championships, and was selected by Hockey Canada as the third goalie for the 2022 Olympic squad in Beijing. The Sabres youngster could end up as Canada’s starting goaltender with Canadiens backup Samuel Montembeault as the other option.
Building an international portfolio is an excellent sign for the future of the Sabres prospect. Both Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck and Anaheim’s John Gibson followed their NCAA/Junior careers with stints at the World Championships before becoming starters for the Jets and Ducks.
Swedish outlet Aftonbladet reported earlier this month that Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin turned down the opportunity to play for Team Sweden due to injuries incurred during the season.
Former Sabres blueliner and 2010 Calder Trophy winner Tyler Myers was also selected by Canada.