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:
#22 Filip Cederqvist
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), 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. Fifth-rounder Filip Cederqvist showed some encouraging first steps after making his North American debut last season, but the jury is still out on the Swedish winger.
Cederqvist was selected 143rd overall at the NHL Draft in Vancouver out of the Vaxjo Lakers system after scoring 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) at the junior level. The following season, the 6’2″, 207 lb. winger was loaned out to two clubs in the secondary professional-level Allsvenskan division but played mostly for Vaxjo, scoring just one goal in 30 SHL games. In 2020-21, Vaxjo was making a run at an SHL title and opted to give the young forward more ice time in the Allsvenskan (where he scored 36 points in 51 games) than limited play at a higher level.
Two goals nine seconds apart to complete the natural hat trick for Filip Cederqvist last night 🔥👏 pic.twitter.com/Iljd9wezE8
— Rochester Americans (@AmerksHockey) April 16, 2023
In 2021-22, Cederqvist moved to Djurgardens and posted good numbers playing full-time at the highest level in Sweden (14 goals, 18 assists in 49 games), but after the season he agreed to an NHL entry-level contract. Last season, the 23-year-old had challenges adjusting to the AHL, scoring 20 points (9 goals, 11 assists) in 55 games with Rochester.
“I was a little bit nervous, but I know my abilities, too,” Cederqvist said after the season. “(The AHL is) a hard league, for sure. Very different compared to home. “I had a lot of injuries, so it’s been a bit of a battle, (but) it’s been a really great experience.”
Based on his size, age, and being waiver-exempt for next season, Cederqvist will likely be a full-time AHLer and on the short-list to get call-ups to the Sabres.