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Sabres 2024 NHL Draft Summary

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2024 NHL Draft Buffalo Sabres Helenius Kleber, Ziemer Osburn Brunet Geary Zelenov Leenders

The Buffalo Sabres completed the 2024 NHL Draft with various picks and trades, adding to their highly-regarded prospect pool. After trading down three spots with the San Jose Sharks before the start of the draft, General Manager Kevyn Adams continued to work the phones to jockey for draft positioning and even acquiring an NHL player.

Here’s a round-by-round breakdown of Buffalo’s draft, and a complete listing of all the selections at the end.

First Round

Selection: Konsta Helenius, C, Jukurit (Liiga)

Adams traded Buffalo’s original first-round pick, 11th overall, to the Sharks in exchange for pick 14 and a second-round pick (42nd overall). After seeing coveted Finnish center Konsta Helenius fall to 14, Adams denied all ensuing trade-down calls from other teams.

Helenius is the definition of a two-way center, whose offensive production as an 18-year-old in the Finnish Elite League was among the best ever for a player his age. He’s a shot-assist machine, highlighting his offensive skill by his playmaking.

More: Sabres Draft Konsta Helenius 14th Overall

Second Round

Selection: Adam Kleber, D, Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA)

The second day of the draft started with a bang, as the Sabres set off a chain reaction of trades after sending their 43rd overall selection to the Washington Capitals for bottom-six forward Beck Malenstyn. Malenstyn is a physical player who is defensively responsible and was a key penalty-killer for the Caps.

Beck Malenstyn Buffalo Sabres player comps trade Washington Capitals

Trade Analysis: Sabres Trade 2nd Round Pick for Capitals Forward

The trade-down with San Jose made the pick traded for Malenstyn a luxury. The Sabres used the 42nd overall selection acquired from the Sharks to select defenseman Adam Kleber. Kleber is a mobile, right-shot who is 6’6″ and 214 pounds.

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

With agility, reach, and details, Kleber’s a formidable defender. He angles opponents to the outside and times his pokes just as they expose the puck. He has the range to switch between high, low, and off-puck coverage with ease. He’s physical, yet rarely chases or ends up in the box.

Third Round

Selection: Brodie Ziemer, RW, USNTDP

The Sabres traded up in the third round, acquiring the 71st overall pick from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for the 76th overall selection and their fifth round, 161st overall pick. They used the pick to take Brodie Ziemer out of the U.S. National Team Development Program. Ziemer is a hard-working shooter who was captain of his team.

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

With Ziemer, puck touches are short, but numerous. He plays the short-range, give-and-go passing game, but also finds the cross-slot threats. Inside space, he deceives defenders. Without it, he deftly redirects passes through opponents into space.

Fourth Round

Selections: Luke Osburn, D, Youngstown (USHL) & Simon-Pier Brunet, D, Drummondville (QMJHL)

The Sabres held two fourth-round selections heading into the draft and used the first one to select Luke Osburn out of Youngstown of the USHL. Osburn is a left-shot, puck-moving defenseman and his selection spurred a run of defensemen taken by Buffalo.

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

For Osburn, activation looks instinctive; he instantly joins the play at the right moments and stays inside passing lanes. From the point, he uses stop-starts and heel-to-heel skating to pull in defenders before slipping down the boards. In the rush, he manipulates defenders with crossovers, weight shifts, and fakes, then walks inside for a scoring chance.

The Sabres traded out of the 109th pick, acquiring the 123rd and 219th overall picks in the draft. The 219th pick gave Buffalo a second seventh-rounder in the draft. With the 123rd pick, the Sabres took Simon-Pier Brunet, another right-shot defenseman.

Brunet was teammates with Sabres prospect Vsevolod Komarov in Drummondville, although he was a much more stay-at-home type of defenseman than Komarov.

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

Brunet motors up and down the ice with a sound skating posture for a player of his 6-foot-2 size. With his skating and reach, he denies space from the opposition, closes on them in transition, and guards the front of the net. Attackers can’t go through him. He walls them off from high-danger areas.

Fifth Round

Since the Sabres traded the 161st selection in the deal to move up in the third round, they were dormant in the fifth.

Sixth Round

Selection: Patrick Geary, D, Michigan St. (NCAA)

Hometown product Patrick Geary was selected by the Sabres in the sixth round, adding another defenseman to the 2024 draftees. Geary played for the Jr. Sabres and was coached by Sabres development coach Tim Kennedy. He’s a defensively responsible player with high compete.

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

The Hamburg, New York-born defenceman closes on opponents early, sets up a tight gap, surfs inside-out, takes away the centre lane with his stick, and then closes on the puck carrier with force. Geary scans dutifully off the puck, makes the right read more often than not, and when you need someone to step up and get a stop on the cycle, he’s your guy.

Seventh Round

Selections: Vasily Zelenov, RW, RB Hockey Juniors (AlpsHL) & Ryerson Leenders, G, Mississauga (OHL)

Vasily Zelenov scored 37 points in 40 games in AlpsHL, which consists of teams from Austria, Croatia, Italy, and Slovenia. Ryerson Leenders is a positional goalie prospect out of the OHL, who will work in tandem for Mississauga this season.

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

For a goaltender with an average-sized frame, Leenders surprisingly takes up a lot of net. His stance is balanced and narrow when the puck is worked around the zone, which gives him excellent access to his edges and keeps him patient on odd-man rush attempts. He rarely makes the first move, and can make last-second adjustments with his edgework.

Must Read: Mock Offseason: Sabres Use Trade Market; Kane Comes Home

List of 2024 Sabres Draft Picks

Round 1, 14th overall: Konsta Helenius, C, Jukurit (Liiga)

Round 2, 42nd overall: Adam Kleber, D, Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA)

Round 3, 71st overall: Brodie Ziemer, RW, USNTDP

Round 4, 108th overall: Luke Osburn, D, Youngstown (USHL)

Round 4, 123rd overall: Simon-Pier Brunet, D, Drummondville (QMJHL)

Round 6, 172nd overall: Patrick Geary, D, Michigan St. (NCAA)

Round 7, 204th overall: Vasily Zelenov, RW, RB Hockey Juniors (AlpsHL)

Round 7, 219th overall: Ryerson Leenders, G, Mississauga (OHL)