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Sabres Draft Konsta Helenius 14th Overall

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Konsta Helenius Buffalo Sabres 2024 NHL Draft

The Buffalo Sabres selected forward Konsta Helenius out of Jukurit of Finland with the 14th overall pick of the 2024 NHL Draft. General Manager Kevyn Adams was reportedly pursuing a trade with the first-round selection but couldn’t land something. Instead, they find value amidst the chaos of the draft, as teams defied consensus and picked to preference.

Helenius is a 5’11”, 189-pound center and is considered one of the better playmakers in the draft. Primary shot assists are a big part of his game, setting up open teammates. He’s also good in his own end and can push play up the ice. His play-driving attributes can be useful either at center or on the wing, based on his development.

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

Konsta Helenius is a well-rounded, detailed play-driver who is always a step ahead of the opposition. He stays with his check, takes away passing and shooting options with a strong defensive stick and refuses to get outworked in puck battles and on retrievals. He regularly wins body positioning from a disadvantage against bigger and stronger opponents, seals the puck and moves the puck up the ice to start a counter-attack.

Helenius had 36 points in 51 games last season playing against men as an 18-year-old. It was the most points by a player 19 or under in Liiga. He also represented Finland at both the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2024 IIHF World Championship.

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NHL Draft Summary

To no one’s surprise, the San Jose Sharks selected center Macklin Celebrini first overall. He was the consensus top prospect in the draft. The Chicago Blackhawks followed with smooth-skating defenseman Artyom Levshunov second, as many had anticipated.

The consensus draft board was turned on its head early though, as Pat Verbeek and the Anaheim Ducks selected Beckett Sennecke third overall. Sennecke was the 13th-ranked North American Skater by NHL Central Scouting and anticipated to be selected in the latter half of the first round.

Forwards Cayden Lindstrom and Ivan Demidov went to the Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens at picks four and five, respectively. Tij Iginla, the son of former NHLer Jarome, was Utah Hockey Club’s first-ever draft pick at sixth overall. Carter Yakemchuk was the second defenseman off the board at seven to the Ottawa Senators, followed by center Berkly Catton to the Seattle Kraken.

A run on defensemen ensued, with Zayne Parekh, Anton Silayev, Sam Dickinson, and Zeev Buium going to the Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks, and Minnesota Wild consecutively.

The Philadelphia Flyers, who traded down one spot with the Wild, selected forward Jett Luchanko 13th overall, setting up the Sabres at pick 14.

As for any coming trade news, the Sabres hold two second-round draft picks and have loads of top prospect talent at forward. Despite Adams failing to find a suitor for their first-round pick, a lot can still happen over the next couple of days.