Overview of Buffalo Sabres’ 2023-24 prospect pool

The Buffalo Sabres’ prospect pipeline, which combines youthful talent and promising rookies, is one of the most interesting in the NHL. Led by players like Owen Power, J.J. Peterka, Jack Quinn, Dylan Cozens, and Peyton Krebs, the Sabres have a roster filled with dynamic players under the age of 23.

The Buffalo Sabres have emerged as an NHL team to watch because of their interesting young squad and solid prospect pipeline. There is a tonne of talent in the Sabres’ pipeline, including recent picks who might have a big effect in the upcoming seasons. Matthew Savoie and Zach Benson, who were chosen in the first round of the 2022 and 2023 draughts, respectively, are two of these prospects. Both players possess exceptional skill sets and could soon contribute to the Sabres’ top six forward group.

2023 NHL Draft Class

The Buffalo Sabres made several notable selections in the 2023 NHL Draft, further enhancing their prospect pool with depth and talent. With their first-round pick (13th overall), they chose Zach Benson, a skilled forward known for his playmaking abilities. Benson, hailing from Chilliwack, British Columbia, recorded impressive numbers in the WHL, tallying 36 goals and 98 points in 60 regular-season games for the Winnipeg Ice. His chemistry with fellow Sabres prospect Matt Savoie, who also played for the Ice, adds an exciting dynamic to the team’s future.

In the second round, the Sabres secured Anton Wahlberg, a 6-foot-3 center from IF Malmo Redhawks in Sweden. Wahlberg is a strong two-way forward who effectively utilizes his size on the ice. He displayed his skills in both the J20 league and the SHL, making a significant impact for Malmo. His physical presence and offensive capabilities make him a promising addition to the Sabres’ forward prospect pool.

Maxim Štrbák, a 6-foot-2 defenseman from the Sioux Falls Stampede, was the Sabres’ second selection in the second round. Štrbák is known for his physical style of play and his ability to contribute in both defensive and offensive situations. With five goals and 18 points in 46 games for Sioux Falls, he showcased his versatility and potential as a two-way defenseman. Štrbák’s presence adds depth to the Sabres’ defensive prospect pool and provides another strong option for the future.

The Sabres’ draft strategy reflected a focus on adding size and skill to their prospect pool. Notably, all seven of their selections on Day 2 of the draft were at least 6 feet tall. This focus on size fits with the team’s overall strategy and is consistent with their long-term objectives of assembling a diverse lineup.

Overall, the 2023 NHL Draft Class of the Buffalo Sabres showcases a combination of skill, playmaking ability, and physicality. The additions of Zach Benson, Anton Wahlberg, and Maxim Štrbák contribute to the team’s growing prospect pool, strengthening their future outlook. With these talented young players, the Sabres continue to establish the groundwork for success and arouse anticipation among fans for upcoming seasons.


Strengths of the Buffalo Sabres’ Prospect Pool:

  • Skilled and Dynamic Players: The Sabres have prioritized acquiring players with exceptional skill sets and dynamic playing styles. Prospects like Matthew Savoie, Zach Benson, and Jiri Kulich bring a combination of speed, creativity, and scoring ability to the team’s future lineup.
  • High Hockey IQ and Playmaking Abilities: The team has placed emphasis on drafting players with high hockey intelligence and exceptional playmaking skills. These prospects possess the vision and creativity to create scoring opportunities and contribute effectively on the ice.
  • Depth at Every Position: The Sabres’ prospect pool boasts talent and potential at every position. From defensemen like Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power, and Ryan Johnson to forwards such as Peyton Krebs, Dylan Cozens, and Tage Thompson, the team has cultivated young talent throughout their lineup.
  • Goaltending Pipeline: The Sabres have developed a deep and promising goaltending pipeline. Prospects like Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Topias Leinonen, Erik Portillo, and Devon Levi demonstrate NHL upside and provide a strong foundation in the net for the team’s future.
  • Improved Drafting and Development: The Sabres’ management, under General Manager Kevyn Adams, has shown significant improvement in drafting and developing prospects. Their sound approach to identifying and nurturing young talent has contributed to the strength and depth of their prospect pool.
  • Star Power and Depth: The Sabres’ prospect pool is not only filled with star power but also exhibits impressive depth. A bright future for the squad is guaranteed thanks to a multitude of excellent players throughout the organisation and top-tier possibilities.
  • Youngest and Most Entertaining Team: With a wave of talented prospects ready to make their mark in the NHL, the Sabres project to be one of the youngest and most exciting teams in the league. Their youthful roster promises thrilling performances and sets the stage for an entertaining brand of hockey.


Weaknesses of the Buffalo Sabres’ Prospect Pool:

  • Lack of Big, Power Forwards: One notable weakness in the Sabres’ prospect pool is the absence of big, power forwards. These physically imposing players can provide a strong presence on the ice, but the Sabres’ focus has been more on acquiring skilled and versatile players who compensate for this deficiency.
  • Need for Defensive Depth: While the Sabres have made strides in improving their defensive prospects, there is still a need for further depth in this area. Enhancing the defensive pipeline would strengthen the overall makeup of the prospect pool and provide more options for the future.

Despite these weaknesses, the Sabres’ prospect pool remains impressive and filled with promising talent. The organization has done a commendable job in building a strong foundation for the future, focusing on acquiring skilled players and addressing key areas of development. By continuing to address these weaknesses and nurture their prospects, the Sabres can further strengthen their prospect pool and position themselves for long-term success.

Next Man Up: Devon Levi, G

Devon Levi, born on December 27, 2001, is a highly talented and promising goaltending prospect in the Buffalo Sabres’ system. Hailing from Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec, Levi has already made waves in the hockey world with his impressive skills and achievements.

Levi’s journey to becoming a top goaltending prospect has been remarkable. He was selected the Most Valuable Player and Top Goaltender for the 2019–20 Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) season. He was also named the Most Valuable Player and Top Goaltender at the 2019 World Junior A Challenge. His exceptional play drew the eye of NHL scouts, and the Florida Panthers chose him in the seventh round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draught. In 2021, Levi’s rights were traded to the Buffalo Sabres, solidifying his future with the organization.

One of Levi’s most notable achievements came during the 2021 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, where he represented Team Canada. Levi played a crucial role in Canada’s silver medal-winning campaign, showcasing his incredible talent and setting a new tournament record with a .964 save percentage (SV%). He was selected to the All-Star team by the coach after being named the best custodian in the competition as a result of his exceptional performance.

At 6 feet tall and with exceptional athleticism, Levi possesses the necessary physical attributes to excel in the goaltender position. He exhibits impressive reflexes, quick lateral movement, and great positioning, which enable him to make remarkable saves even in high-pressure situations.

Levi has already demonstrated tremendous potential, despite the fact that his professional career is still in its early stages. He played in seven games for the Sabres in 2022–2023, making a 2.94 goals-against average (GAA) start and a.905 save percentage (SV%). These statistics, coupled with his remarkable performances in the junior leagues, indicate that Levi has the skills and composure needed to thrive at the NHL level.

As the goalie of the future for the Buffalo Sabres, Levi adds stability and promise to their goaltending pipeline. He has the ability to make a large contribution and be an important part of the Sabres’ future success with more training and direction. Sabres fans eagerly await his continued growth and are excited to see him make an impact in the NHL.

Prospect Depth Chart Notables

The Buffalo Sabres feature a number of promising young players who could have a big NHL impact. Some of these prospects include Matthew Savoie, Zach Benson, and Jiri Kulic:

Zach Benson, picked 13th overall in the 2023 NHL Draught, and Matthew Savoie, selected ninth overall in the 2022 NHL Draught, have developed into a potent tandem for the Winnipeg Ice of the Western Hockey League (WHL). Their chemistry and flair on the ice make them intriguing candidates for the Sabres’ future top-six forward group. Savoie is known for his high-paced game, skill, and creativity, while Benson’s cerebral playmaking abilities and intelligent on-ice decision-making have garnered attention from scouts and analysts. The Sabres envision these two young talents playing a significant role in their future success, potentially filling out a third of the team’s top-six forward positions. As Scott Wheeler from The Athletic puts it,

“Zach Benson and Matthew Savoie have the potential to become game-changers for the Buffalo Sabres, bringing excitement and dynamic play to the team’s forward lines.”

Jiri Kulich, who just finished his rookie season in the American Hockey League (AHL), offers to the Sabres’ prospect pool a blend of offensive talent and defensive strength. He has showcased his skills and potential, providing scoring punch and skill that the Sabres could utilize in their top-nine forward group. Kulich possesses an excellent shot and displays high-end skill, while also contributing defensively with his responsible play. With further development and opportunities, Kulich could become a valuable asset for the Sabres at the NHL level. According to Tony Ferrari from The Hockey News,

“Jiri Kulich’s offensive abilities and defensive awareness make him a well-rounded prospect who could make a significant impact for the Buffalo Sabres in the near future.”

These prospects highlight the depth and talent within the Sabres’ prospect pool. These guys, along with others in the system, give Sabres fans hope and excitement as the team continues to develop for the future. The company is dedicated to nurturing these prospects and giving them the tools they need to realise their full potential.

Games and their outcomes for the Buffalo Sabres squad in 2023

Oct 12, 2023N.Y. RangersWin
Oct 14, 2023N.Y. IslandersLoss
Oct 17, 2023Tampa BayWin
Oct 19, 2023CalgaryWin
Oct 21, 2023N.Y. IslandersWin
Oct 23, 2023MontrealWin
Oct 24, 2023OttawaLoss
Oct 27, 2023New JerseyLoss
Oct 29, 2023ColoradoWin
Nov 1, 2023PhiladelphiaLoss
Nov 3, 2023PhiladelphiaWin
Nov 4, 2023TorontoLoss
Nov 7, 2023CarolinaLoss
Nov 10, 2023MinnesotaWin
Nov 11, 2023PittsburghLoss
Nov 14, 2023BostonWin
Nov 17, 2023WinnipegLoss
Nov 19, 2023ChicagoLoss
Nov 22, 2023WashingtonLoss
Nov 24, 2023PittsburghTo be played

What are the future prospects for the Buffalo Sabres’ commanders?

The Buffalo Sabres have a promising future ahead with their strong prospect pool. General Manager Kevyn Adams has been focused on building a talented and youthful team that can compete in the NHL. The Sabres have made notable draft picks, such as Owen Power and Jack Quinn, who have already shown their value as first-round selections. Additionally, players like Mattias Samuelsson and Jacob Bryson have demonstrated the growth and potential of non-first-round picks.

The Sabres have a strong pipeline of prospects, and several of them have the potential to contribute in the years to come. Among the notable prospects are Mats Lindgren and Ryan Johnson, both promising defensemen with unique strengths. With his quickness and creative ingenuity, Lindgren—a fourth-round pick in 2022—could emerge as a top-four defenseman and power-play leader. Johnson, on the other hand, is a defensive player with a strong offensive instinct and playmaking skills. He has shown responsibility in his own end and could provide valuable depth to the Sabres’ defensive lineup.

In addition to defensemen, the Sabres have talented forwards in their prospect pool. Alexander Kisakov, a left-wing prospect, possesses impressive speed and contributes to the team’s offensive firepower. There are also other prospects, such as Isak Rosen and Jiri Kulich, who have shown scoring ability and skill and could provide valuable reinforcements to the Sabres’ forward group.

Hockey Expert
reviewed by: Jeremy Karamen (Hockey Expert)

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