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:
#29 Aaron Huglen
The Sabres have a few prospects in the hopper from the Jason Botterill administration that have yet to come to fruition and still have a few years before they need to make a decision. The 2019 Draft was quite successful for the Sabres. Top pick Dylan Cozens appears to be a quality center capable of playing on the top two lines in the NHL, late first-rounder Ryan Johnson signed an entry-level contract after four years at the University of Minnesota, third-rounder Erik Portillo was dealt to Los Angeles for a 2023 third-rounder (Gavin McCarthy), fifth-rounder Filip Cederqvist transitioned from the SHL to North America with Rochester last season and sixth-rounder Lukas Rousek busted out with a 56-point season with the Amerks and could be in the mix for an NHL depth role next season. The jury is still out on fourth-rounder Aaron Huglen.
Really impressed by Aaron Huglen the past few days. He’s come a long way since the Sabres took him in the fourth round in 2019.
Collects a pass from Wahlberg, then slid the puck past the goalie. pic.twitter.com/Mwye3N4JeD
— Lance Lysowski (@LLysowski) July 5, 2023
Injured Prior To The Draft
Huglen was a Minnesota high school scoring star and was selected 102nd overall at the 2019 Draft in Vancouver. Prior to the draft, the Roseau, MN native tweaked his back in workouts preparing for the NHL Scouting Combine in Buffalo. The issue got progressively worse after the draft and through the Sabres Development Camp that summer. The club and his doctors attempted to treat the issue (bulging discs) medically until the youngster underwent spinal surgery in May 2020.
It took another seven months before Huglen was able to return to the ice with the Fargo Force of the USHL, where he posted 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists) in 39 games. Progress has been slow for the 22-year-old at Minnesota, where he has posted 16 and 17 points in his freshman and sophomore years with the Golden Gophers, but it is likely that his role will increase as a junior with stars like Logan Cooley and Matthew Knies graduating to the NHL.
— Minnesota Men’s Hockey (@GopherHockey) April 6, 2023