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:
#10 Aleksandr Kisakov
The Sabres have the luxury of not rushing their prospects and letting them gain experience in Europe or in the NCAA, but in some instances, the club chooses to be proactive and get them signed and playing in the pros in North America. The Sabres had 11 picks in the 2021 NHL Draft and with first-rounder Isak Rosen and second-rounder Aleksandr Kisakov, GM Kevyn Adams let them play another year at home before bringing them to North America and play with Rochester.
Kisakov was selected 53rd overall out of the Moscow Dynamo system after scoring 73 points (36 goals, 37 assists) in 61 games in the Russian junior-level MHL. The following year, it was expected that the 20-year-old would get a chance to play professionally in the second-level VHL or KHL, but after only four games with Dynamo, he was relegated to the MHL for another season, putting up good numbers (26 goals, 30 assists in 51 games).
After signing his entry-level deal with Buffalo, the 5’10”, 150 lb. forward played mostly a depth role with Rochester, scoring just six goals in 48 games.
Elite Prospects Draft Guide said in 2021 that Kisakov plays with “a lot of pace and creativity in his game. He attacks the neutral zone with crossovers, tracing weaving patterns that veil his intentions from defenders. As he closes the gap with them, he abruptly cuts one way, forcing them to cross their feet or pivot to match his turn, and then explodes in the opposite direction, gaining the zone to fire on net.”