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NHL Draft Order, Start Time, and Potential Sabres Moves

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2024 NHL Draft Buffalo Sabres order start time trade

The 2024 NHL Draft begins tonight, and the Buffalo Sabres are primed to be one of the most active teams on draft day. General Manager Kevyn Adams already made one move, trading Buffalo’s 11th overall selection to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for 14th overall (originally from the Pittsburgh Penguins) and the 42nd overall selection (originally from the New Jersey Devils). The trade sets the Sabres up to package assets to acquire top-end NHL talent.

How to Watch the NHL Draft

The first round of the NHL Draft begins Friday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+ in the United States and Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada. Rounds two through seven are held on Saturday, beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET. NHL Network will carry the Saturday broadcast, as will ESPN+, Sportsnet, and Sportsnet 1.

Sphere will host the entire draft in Las Vegas, Nevada, and it will be the last time each team’s executives will be on the floor live at the draft.

NHL Draft Order

The first round is set as follows, pending any draft day trades:

1. San Jose Sharks

2. Chicago Blackhawks

3. Anaheim Ducks

4. Columbus Blue Jackets

5. Montreal Canadiens

6. Utah

7. Ottawa Senators

8. Seattle Kraken

9. Calgary Flames

10. New Jersey Devils

11. San Jose Sharks (from Buffalo Sabres)

12. Philadelphia Flyers

13. Minnesota Wild

14. Buffalo Sabres (from Pittsburgh Penguins via San Jose Sharks)

15. Detroit Red Wings

16. St. Louis Blues

17. Washington Capitals

18. Chicago Blackhawks (from New York Islanders)

19. Vegas Golden Knights

20. New York Islanders (from Tampa Bay Lightning via Chicago Blackhawks)

21. Montreal Canadiens (from Los Angeles Kings)

22. Nashville Predators

23. Toronto Maple Leafs

24. Colorado Avalanche

25. Boston Bruins (from Boston Bruins via Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators)

26. Los Angeles Kings (from Winnipeg Jets via Montreal Canadiens)

27. Carolina Hurricanes

28. Calgary Flames (from Vancouver Canucks)

29. Dallas Stars

30. New York Rangers

31. Anaheim Ducks (from Edmonton Oilers)

32. Philadelphia Flyers (from Florida Panthers)

What to Expect from the Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres can go in many different directions on draft day. The one move that can happen as early as Friday is the expected buyout of Jeff Skinner. Adams suggested that Skinner’s buyout news could be contingent on other moves in the works, presumably a trade.

Report: Sabres to Buyout Jeff Skinner

As for trade possibilities, the Sabres are in the mix on pretty much everything. Adams was not pleased with the trade talks with the Carolina Hurricanes concerning forward Martin Necas becoming public, although it sounds like it may have been more due diligence than anything definite.

Winnipeg Jets prospect Rutger McGroarty is in a dispute with the organization based on fundamental differences on his development path. The Sabres have reportedly checked in on the trade price for the young forward, according to Mike McIntyre of The Winnipeg Free Press. Buffalo is stacked with top forward prospects on the brink of being NHL-ready, so this is more an example of how active Adams is on these discussions than anything.

Will the Sabres Draft with Their Pick?

Sabres fans are wondering if the team will use the 14th overall pick in a trade or if they’ll draft a player. Based on Adams’ comments yesterday, it sounds like 11th overall wasn’t involved in any trade they were seriously exploring. Now that they traded back three spots, 14th overall isn’t likely to be in play either.

The second round, 42nd overall pick expands Buffalo’s trade options. They now have two second-round selections, making one of them easily expendable. If the Sabres circle back on a big trade, they could package their first and second-rounder or both seconds with a prospect to get a deal done.

Friday and Saturday could reveal the direction the Sabres go in for the rest of the offseason, based on the moves they make or don’t make. If Buffalo remains status quo and quiet, they may have to get aggressive in free agency.