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:
#12 Vsevolod Komarov
The Sabres had 11 picks at the 2022 NHL Draft in Montreal. After selecting centers Matthew Savoie, Noah Ostlund, and Jiri Kulich with their three first-round picks, they chose goalie Topias Leinonen in the second round, five forwards, and two defensemen on Day 2. After selecting players from Europe with four straight picks and blueliner Mats Lindgren from the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, Buffalo selected their second straight defenseman in the fifth round in Vsevolod Komarov.
The native of Chelyabinsk, RU played his minor hockey in the Metallurg Magnitogorsk system but came to North America to play for the Quebec Remparts after being selected in the CHL Import Draft in 2021. Komarov had 19 points (2 goals, 17 assists) in 60 QMJHL games as a rookie, but his game is more defensive-centric and focused more on physicality. In both seasons with Quebec, Komarov had a gaudy +38 plus/minus rating, but last season his goal total jumped from two to 12 and his penalty minutes increased to 60.
Vsevolod Komarov (Sabres) gives the Remparts a 1-0 lead!
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) June 4, 2023
The Hockey Prospect.com Black Book says that Komarov “has good work habits, is solid in one-on-one confrontations, and has okay footwork (a tad heavy and his pivots are not always smooth but it doesn’t really affect him too much at this level). He has enough mobility to recover whenever he’s out of position, but he doesn’t have the great athletic ability.”
Buffalo locked up the 19-year-old defenseman to an entry-level contract in June, and it is expected that after training camp he will return for his third QMJHL season before turning pro, but it sounds as if he is more of a long-range prospect who will need to work on his game to take the next step.