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:
#33 Gustav Karlsson
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. The first of the trio was center Gustav Karlsson, selected 187th overall near the end of the sixth round, followed by a pair of forwards in the seventh round; Joel Ratkovic-Berndtsson and Linus Sjodin.
Karlsson was selected out of the Orebro HK organization after scoring 31 goals in 41 games for their junior-level club and got a brief two-game stint in the SHL as an 18-year-old. His second season in junior saw a decline in production (14 goals, 19 assists in 43 games), and only one assist in nine SHL games. He saw action for Sweden’s entry in the Spengler Cup and it is expected that next season he will begin his pro career in the second-level Allsvenskan.
Gustav Karlsson slaps at one on the PP for his ninth goal of the season to cap of Örebro J20's 4-0 win over Rögle. pic.twitter.com/D83AdpRTDb
— Kris Baker (@SabresProspects) December 2, 2022
Hockey Prospect’s Black Book says that Karlsson’s shot is his strongest asset and he has a quick release and hard shot, but what limits his chances at reaching the NHL “is his low efforts when it comes to physical play and his level of competitiveness. He doesn’t engage in puck battles hard enough and often goes in with the intent of letting someone else bring the physicality. He has to learn how to win puck battles and grind when things aren’t going his way. This could work just fine for him even in the SHL, but it will limit his chances of reaching the NHL.”