The Buffalo Sabres have drafted and developed a number of youngsters currently playing in the NHL (Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power, Dylan Cozens), and the club under former GM Jason Botterill and current GM Kevyn Adams have been able to replenish the organization with young prospects. Throughout the month of August and leading into training camp next month, we will rank the club’s top prospects over the upcoming weeks based on their progress in either the NCAA, CHL, Europe, ECHL or AHL and their potential to make the Sabres roster and make a contribution in the future. Players are eligible for the list if they have not played more than 40 NHL games and are 25 years old or younger:
#37 Linus Sjodin
The Sabres had 11 picks at the 2022 NHL Draft in Montreal and late on Day 2 they selected Swedish prospects with their last three choices. At 211th overall, Buffalo selected winger Linus Sjodin from Rogle BK in the SHL. The 5’11”, 168 lb. winger had split time between the junior level and pros in Sweden, and went undrafted in his first draft eligible year before being selected as a 19-year-old.
Sjodin had averaged nearly a point-per-game in juniors in 2021 and 2022, but struggled when elevated to the SHL against more experienced competition. The Angleholm, SWE native made the 2022 World Junior squad for the summer tournament and scored one goal in seven games. In his first full year in the SHL, Sjodin once again had difficulty generating offense, scoring just seven points (1 goal, 6 assists) in 52 games and no points in nine playoff games.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) August 20, 2022
Sjödin “is more of a reliable playmaker who has the ability to make things happen on the power play.” The Hockey Prospect.com Black Book said. “He processes the game incredibly well and is able to anticipate what is happening with his surroundings. (At the junior level) that is all about unstructured skill and speed, Sjödin is a player that is too mature to fit in and stand out. In the SHL however, he showcased who he is within a structure and what he can bring to a pro team.”
With a long developmental road in front of him, the Sabres are hoping that Sjodin’s offensive game will begin to catch up to his defensive abilities over the next two or three seasons. They have the ability to see how things progress before committing to an NHL entry-level contract.