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:
#7 Anton Wahlberg
The Sabres seemed to shift slightly from their high-skill and speed focus at the 2023 NHL Draft in Nashville after selecting Zach Benson in the first round. With a pair of second-round picks, they chose big Slovakian defenseman Maxim Strbak and Swedish center Anton Wahlberg at #39 overall.
Wahlberg split time between the Malmo Redhawks of the Swedish Hockey League and their junior-level club last season, as well as playing for Sweden in the Five Nations and Under-18 World Championships and played with Sabres 2022 first-rounder Noah Ostlund at the World Junior Summer Showcase, which is an indicator that the 18-year-old is on the shortlist for Team Sweden this December.
Anton Wahlberg (BUF, #39) had some of the best highlights of the season, mostly in the form of end-to-end rushes. A raw project, but he has size, hands, board skills, and straight-line speed. Performed really well when he got promoted to the SHL late in the season. pic.twitter.com/DvjUYDvvCP
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) June 29, 2023
The 6’3″, 194 lb forward can play both center and wing and return to Malmo this season, where he has a year remaining on his contract before he decides on what to do in consultation with the Sabres.
The Hockey Prospect Black Book has Wahlberg rated as a C+ prospect and describes him as “a big kid who moves really well on the ice. He was always a powerful skater, but over the course of the season, we saw some improvements in his agility and edgework. Now he can burn past players with his outside speed but also cut back inside effortlessly.”