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Buffalo Sabres

Sabres Prospects Sixth In Athletic’s Prospect Rankings



The Buffalo Sabres were ranked the best prospect pool in the NHL in 2022 by The Athletic. In spite of the graduation of youngsters Jack Quinn, Peyton Krebs, JJ Peterka, and Owen Power last season, the Sabres prospects were still ranked sixth in the league in their rankings this year.

2022 first-rounders Matthew Savoie, Noah Ostlund, Jiri Kulich, goalie Devon Levi, 2021 first-rounder Isak Rosen, and 2019 first-rounder Ryan Johnson are on the list.


The Savoie Situation

In terms of their future prospects, Savoie posted another 90+ point season with the WHL’s Winnipeg Ice and led them in playoff scoring, but the Sabres face a dilemma similar to what Seattle faced with 2022 top pick Shane Wright next season. The 19-year-old center missed the cutoff to play in the American Hockey League by one day, which means that he can only play in the NHL or return to the WHL as an overager.

Wright played eight NHL games over the first two months of the regular season with the Kraken and was sent to AHL Coachella Valley on a conditioning stint before being sent to play for Team Canada at the 2023 World Junior in December, and eventually back to the Ontario Hockey League. Savoie will be given a long look at Sabres training camp, but his situation could complicate the roster opportunities for other prospects.


Tracking Other Prospects

Ostlund joined Rochester after the completion of his season with Djurgardens(SHL), but according to Lance Lysowski of the Buffalo News, the 19-year-old does not know whether he will be playing in Sweden or the Americans next season.

Kulich is taking advantage of invaluable experience with Rochester, posting 24 goals as a rookie and scoring six goals in six Calder Cup Playoff games, and also could have a chance at playing in the NHL next year.

Levi is expected to be a tandem partner with the Sabres next season, but there is some skepticism that a 21-year-old can be a primary starting goalie.

Rosen may be a longer-term project for Buffalo, but the young winger after a 37-point rookie campaign is scoring at a point-per-game pace for Rochester this postseason.

Johnson completed his senior season at the University of Minnesota and the 21-year-old blueliner can become an unrestricted free agent if the Sabres do not sign him before July 1. It is possible that GM Kevyn Adams will allow that to happen to recoup a compensatory second-round pick in the 2024 Draft.