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:
#5 Isak Rosen
The Sabres have little doubt that they made the right choice with their top pick of Owen Power at the 2021 NHL Draft, but two years after the fact they should be pleased with the selection of winger Isak Rosen. Rosen was selected 14th overall after playing at two levels in Sweden in the Leksands system. After spending the following year playing at three levels at home and playing for Tre Kronor at the IIHF 2022 World Juniors, Buffalo opted to bring the 20-year-old to North America to play with the Rochester Americans.
The 5’11”, 156 lb. forward had the usual period of adjustment coming from Europe, but Rosen improved as the season went along (especially as a defensive player), and posted 37 points (14 goals, 23 assists) in 66 games. He made a significant impact in Rochester’s comeback first-round victory against Syracuse, scoring four points in two of their victories, and eight points in 14 playoff games.
— Buffalo Hockey Moments (@SabresPlays) September 16, 2023
Hockey Prospect’s Black Book says that Rosen “is a prospect who merges proper fundamental skating mechanics with a fantastic sense of how to deceive opponents with subtle skating, head and stick fakes. Rosen isn’t a big winger. He’s slight. When he had to play in the SHL, he relied on his deceptive speed switches. He combined it with his edgework to manipulate defensemen into giving him the necessary space required. He did this when attempting to generate zone entries or when attempting to maintain possession off of the cycle, deep in the offensive zone.”
Rosen will be given a long look at training camp over the next few weeks, but top picks Jiri Kulich and Matthew Savoie appear to be in line in front of him in the bid for making the NHL.