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Sabres Mock Draft Roundup

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Berkly Catton Spokane Chiefs Carter Yakemchuk Calgary Hitmen Zayne Parekh Saginaw Spirit Buffalo Sabres mock draft

The NHL Draft is less than a week away, so it’s time to check the mock drafts of the draft gurus for their predictions for the Buffalo Sabres at pick 11. Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said he let teams know their selection is available via trade. Still, assistant general manager Jerry Forton confirmed they have a group of players in mind for the selection should they stay put.

Mock drafts from plugged-in, attentive media scouts are usually the best way to see who the Sabres could be targeting. Forton alluded to a consensus top five or six in the draft across the league, before a group of players that would be taken according to a team’s preference. This list includes Macklin Celebrini, Artyom Levshunov, Anton Silayev, Ivan Demidov, and Cayden Lindstrom.

The Sabres are left with the next tier to choose from, once picks six through 10 are off the board. If Buffalo stays put and selects at 11, Forton mentioned the hope is that their seventh or eighth-best prospect would fall to that spot. Since it will come down to preference, it’s possible the Sabres could walk away from the draft addressing a need while also taking the best player available.

Here are some players appearing in mock drafts for the Sabres at pick 11:

Berkly Catton

Both Corey Pronman of The Athletic and Sam Cosentino of Sportsnet project Berkly Catton to the Sabres in their latest mock drafts. The center out of Spokane of the WHL is a playmaker who draws comparisons to Zach Benson for his size and competitiveness.

Catton would be an example of choosing the best player available regardless of need. The Sabres selected forwards with their last five first-round picks and seven of their previous nine. NHL Central Scouting has him ranked as the eighth-best North American skater in the draft.

Unlike Benson, Catton would likely remain in junior hockey for 2024-2025 to refine his defensive skills and add weight. He’s coming off a massive season with 54 goals and 116 points in 68 games, but how that will translate to the pro game remains to be seen.

Here’s an excerpt from the EliteProspects 2024 NHL Draft Guide:

Whether it’s a well-timed charge into space to present himself as a shooting option off the pass or baiting a defender into a pokecheck before curling the puck around their stick and beating the goaltender cleanly at range – Catton’s always got the tool for the job. He’s blessed with a full arsenal of releases in his toolkit and has the intelligence to use them to their most effective ends.

Check out Corey Pronman’s latest mock draft at ‘The Athletic’ here.

Check out Sam Cosentino’s latest mock draft at ‘Sportsnet’ here.

New: Updated Sabres Organizational Depth Chart

Carter Yakemchuk

The Sabres have their star young defensemen locked up long-term, but the blueline prospect pool is pretty bare. Carter Yakemchuk out of Calgary in the WHL is a right-handed defenseman who addresses a big void within the organization.

Using similar draft logic, Scott Wheeler of The Athletic and Craig Button of TSN mock Yakemchuk to the Sabres. He scored 30 goals last season in 66 games, proving to have a knack for finding open shot lanes in the offensive zone. He’s an impressive prospect who needs to round out his game, but, at 6’3″ and 202 pounds, he has the size to do so.

According to NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings, Yakemchuk is the 11th-best North American skater. EliteProspects also has great things to say in their draft guide:

Yakemchuk can manipulate opponents, make plays with perfect timing, and create looks for his teammates with the threat of his shot every now and then. Constant rush activations and weak side sprints from the offensive blue line kept him involved in the play, creating a higher volume and better quality of looks than most defencemen can access.

Check out Scott Wheeler’s latest mock draft at ‘The Athletic’ here.

Check out Craig Button’s latest mock draft at ‘TSN’ here.

Must Read: 3 Major Takeaways From Adams and Forton Presser

Zayne Parekh

Zayne Parekh is another right-shot defenseman who Chris Peters of FloHockey.tv has the Sabres selecting in his latest mock draft. Parekh is ranked much higher than Catton and Yakemchuk by NHL Central Scouting, as he’s listed as the fifth-best North American skater.

Parekh is smaller than Yakemchuk at 6′ even and 178 pounds. His offensive numbers trump the Calgary product though, as he registered 33 goals and 96 points in 66 games for Saginaw of the OHL.

Peters compares Parekh’s skills to Bowen Byram and Rasmus Dahlin, as he’s a deceptive and crafty offensive talent. Here’s what EliteProspects has to say about the Spirit defenseman:

Parekh is a legitimate manipulator. He doesn’t wait for holes to open up in the defensive coverage to make a play; he bends opponents to his will and makes those openings for himself. A combination of fakes, feints, look-offs, and handling skill sends would-be checkers into the spin cycle, and out of each cloud of dust emerges Parekh, activating into space to improve the condition of each play before making his decision with the puck.

Check out Chris Peters’ latest mock draft at ‘FloHockey.tv’ here.

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