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:
#14 Linus Weissbach
The Sabres have a pipeline filled with top-end prospects selected in the higher rounds of recent NHL Drafts but like his teammate Lukas Rousek, Buffalo may have found a gem in winger Linus Weissbach late in the draft. The 25-year-old Swede was picked in the seventh round (192nd overall) in GM Jason Botterill’s first draft with the Sabres in 2017 as a 19-year-old after scoring nearly a point per game for the Tri-City Storm of the USHL.
The Gothenburg, SW native came out of the Frolunda junior system before coming to North America in 2016 and played four seasons at the University of Wisconsin under former NHLer Tony (brother of Sabres coach Don) Granato, finishing second in scoring behind Cole Caufield with the Badgers as a senior (12 goals, 29 assists in 31 games). Weissbach signed a two-year entry-level deal in 2021 and unlike many players coming out of US college hockey has made the transition to the pros seamlessly.
Linus Weissbach gets his 10th of the year to give Rochester a 1-0 lead in Charlotte. pic.twitter.com/Z2A1l9979S
— Kris Baker (@SabresProspects) December 18, 2022
As a rookie, Weissbach scored 37 points (16 goals, 21 assists) in 67 games with Rochester. Last season, he was one of three Amerks forwards to score 20 goals or more and scored 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) in their run to the Calder Cup Eastern Conference Final. In spite of being small in stature (5’10”, 178 lb.), Weissbach displays the traits that might find him a home as a depth forward sometime this season, using his speed and tenacity to get under the skin of the opposition, and serving a role on special teams.
“(Weissbach is) a pest, a puck hound, a guy that goes to the front of the net, wins puck battles, forechecks, is physically engaged, is really good defensively,” Amerks head coach Seth Appert said during the playoffs. “Linus’ transformation this year is one of the biggest transformations I’ve seen in my 27 years of coaching.”
The 25-year-old is waiver-exempt unless he plays 60 NHL games this season, which could make him a candidate for being a frequent traveler between Rochester and Buffalo if the Sabres choose to not risk sending down players who have to clear, but with a good performance at training camp, Weissbach could earn a spot.