Sabers organizational depth chart: how the 2022 draft revamped the pipeline

For the last two years, cavalry Attempting to rebuild through the drafting and development of players from within the organization. This required general manager Kevin Adams to conduct high-profile trades with the players. Jack Eichel, rasmus ristolainenAnd Sam Reinhart Players to collect and choose. A quick look at the pipeline shows that the results are starting to show. The coaching staff still needs to develop players, but there is more talent to work with in Buffalo, Rochester and beyond that a long time.

Not only does it give the Sabers reason to be optimistic about the future with high-profile prospects coming through their system, but it also gives Adams options as the team moves closer to becoming a legitimate contender. If you put faith in the players behind you in the organization the stress of re-signing each and every player is gone. Free agency reduces the need to spend aggressively for veterans when you can develop players internally. And the more lucrative prospects you have, the more attractive you are as a trading partner when you are a competitive team strong enough to be a buyer on the trading deadline.

Here’s an overview of where things stand with Sabers’ organizational depth chart. Training camps and potential tournaments should provide further clarity on the pecking order in each situation.

Suddenly, Sabers have a deep pipeline of centers in the organization. Buffalo used all three picks on players who played center in their careers, although the team acknowledged that the chances of all three sticking in the middle were slim. The organization has prioritized the flexibility of playing both center and wing in its youth prospects. The result is a team with lots of options down the road.

Feather NHL Level, tag thompsonIts breakout season was a boon for the depth charts. The 24-year-old looks like a legitimate top-line center after a 68-point season a year ago. The Sabers must pay Thompson, who becomes a banned free agent the following summer. But for now, he’s stealing away at the $1.4 million cap hit.

Behind Thompson, Sabers will benefit dylan cogens Taking another step in its development. The team had a promising second season in the NHL in the first round of 2019 and has already won over the organization with its leadership and ferocity. Casey Mittelstead has begun to develop a two-way game that relies on the development of the rest of the team’s chances to make a bottom-six center for a long time.

Saber will use the training camp to figure out what to do with the fourth row’s center spot. zemagus girgensen Has the ability to play in the middle, but can also move to the wing if one of the team’s youth centers makes a move and earns a spot. Sean Malone and Brandon Biro Both had their best season in the AHL last season and could play NHL minutes when needed. This is also a place Saber might want to add before the season begins.

The most exciting thing about this position is the long-term potential of the prospects. Matthew Savoie Looking at their game, speed and tenacity, a spark on the offense could be plugged. Noah Ostlund Impressed by his hockey spirit and ability to play at Vikas Camp. jiri kulicho Best shot of the bunch. With players like Jacob Konkenny and Tyson Kozak making up for those three prospects, the Sabers find plenty to be optimistic about down the road.

The Sabers have reinforcements coming on the wing as several young prospects prepare to break through to the NHL. Jack Quinn, Buffalo’s 2020 first-round pick, had a monster season in the AHL last year and should earn him a spot in the NHL next season. The 20-year-old had 61 points in 45 appearances for Rochester last season and called the NHL to get his feet wet.

“It was a great experience seeing what it was like and knowing mentally what to expect,” Quinn said. “It just takes confidence and training and knowing what you’re getting yourself into, knowing that you’re preparing yourself for September and October.”

Quinn should be cracking down on the lineup this season in some capacity. That’s part of the reason Sabers didn’t want to get too aggressive by adding more expensive free agents. They wanted players like Quinn, who has earned the chance to compete for minutes to make way for the lineup.

The top two spots of the left wing should be closed. Jeff Skinner Last season under Don Granato returned, and Viktor Olofsson just signed a two-year extension. If healthy, the two should be a top-six forward, until Quinn actually bursts onto the scene as a rookie.

Sabers will have to figure out the best combination on the fourth line and how Girgensen fits in. Does that wing or center offer the most value? It may depend on how the people around him play in those two positions during camp and preseason.

Buffalo has some potential NHL players who are also at the bottom of the organizational depth chart. Alexander Kisakov, a recent second-round draft choice, is in the process of making his way to the United States. Josh Bloom had 61 points in the OHL last season. Filip Cederquist has developed enough to earn an entry-level deal. And Russia’s 2022 third rounder Viktor Nyuchev is worth watching. Jerry Forton, Sabers director of amateur scouting, said the team’s analytics staff had first-round grades.

Sabers shouldn’t be much of a problem in the short or long term in the right wing. alex cloth Jack Eichel was the ideal addition to the business. He is a productive player, has been off for a long time and is really thrilled to have a few hours of play on the road from his hometown. Adams is looking for everything he can to make this team. The same can be said about Kyle Okposo, who is in the final year of his contract but is receiving rave reviews from the front office and coaching staff. He has a chance to become captain this season and he can still play at Buffalo after this season. bring back the saber Winnie Hinostroza After a 25-point season, so he has a lot of experience on this wing.

JJ Peterka is the most exciting prospect on this wing and he is also on the verge of breaking into the NHL. The development camp had a discussion with 2020 second-round pick Michael Pekka saying, “He doesn’t know how good he can be yet, which is scary.” It may take time for him to get used to NHL games, but once clicked he should see important NHL minutes.

“It’s a mix of power and speed and skill set, his hands and his shot and his ability to play in the physical game,” Peka said of Pieterka. “Like, he can play in any environment and he can dominate in any environment.”

rasmus asplund Also established himself in the NHL last season, so Peterka will have to compete for ice time. But it looks like he is ready to play a role.

Beyond those players, Arttu Ruotsalainen has recently signed to play in Switzerland, but the Sabers will retain their rights. He signed 2021 first-round pick Isaac Rosen to an entry-level contract, but there is a chance he will return to Sweden. He could also play in Rochester and still need to add shape before he is ready to compete for a spot in the NHL.

The team also has some interesting depth potential at this location. Linus Weisbach had 37 points in his first AHL season last year. Lukas Rousek received positive reviews from the coaches at the development camp. Prokhor Poltopov, Jake Richard and Steven Sardiyan all have long-term upside, but they will need time to develop. Meanwhile, this season is looking like a pivotal season for Aaron Hughlen, who has overcome a significant back injury to secure a bigger role at the University of Minnesota.

There’s nothing to complain about starting the organizational depth chart on defense with two No. 1 picks. rasmus dahlin Coming out of his most productive season as a pro with 53 points and it looks like he may be the player Buffalo was hoping for with that pick. In a small sample size, Owen Power Last season saw a great debut in the NHL. If they both get out, life will be easier for Adams as he builds up the rest of the defensive corps. Mattias Samuelsson is another left-shot defenseman on the verge of earning a major NHL role.

Adams kicks back and rounds up defensive depth jacob bryson and signature kale clags, Jeremy Davis And Lawrence Pilot, The biggest question among the team’s left-shot defenseman is whether the organization can take Ryan Johnson under contract. Johnson is likely going back to the University of Minnesota and could hit free agency next season. He was a first-round pick, so the Sabers would receive a compensatory selection if he left in free agency, but the better scenario is to get a promising defender under contract.

The right-shot defense was a sore spot entering the off-season, and Adams signed Ilya Lyubushkin To address it at the NHL level. The Sabers also drafted Vsevolod Komarov in the fifth round as a long-term development option. This group lacks the same potential pedigree as other team positions, but Casey Fitzgerald, Chase Priskey And Oskari Laaksonen all have the ability to provide depth at the NHL level and in Rochester.

From the sound of it, the sabers didn’t sign Eric Comrie having a backup. He came to Buffalo because he saw an opportunity to become a starter after years of grinding in the AHL, first and then as a backup goalkeeper. given Craig AndersonWith Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen still undefeated at NHL level, Comrie has every chance of commanding the net for the Sabers this season. He was looking forward to that opportunity at free agency, and he thinks he found it in Buffalo.

If Anderson remains healthy, he will be a valuable backup and leader in the locker room. Luukkonen is the wild card. He could spend another year in Rochester if the Sabers decide more patience is needed. Or he could have done enough to earn a role in Buffalo. that remains to be seen. He is still unsigned as a restricted free agent. Malcolm Subban Minutes will also be found in Rochester.

The position has become a force in the organizational pipeline with the games of Devon Levy and Eric Portillo in college and second-round selections for 2022. topius leinonen, WARNING It is not guaranteed that Sabers will receive Portillo under contract. Levi’s looks like a very strong bet in that regard. And Sabers plans to take the long road with developing Lennon.

(Photo by Andrew Lahodinskij/NHLI via Getty Images)

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