I do know we’ve heard this tune earlier than, however the future appears brilliant in Buffalo. After shifting on from the Jack Eichel rebuild period, it is a new group of high-end younger expertise Sabres followers hope would be the key to the playoffs once more. Led by No. 1 picks Rasmus Dahlin and Owen Power on protection, and a ton of extremely expert forwards, we’ll see if this group will get it carried out, however for my cash that is the most effective assortment of younger expertise within the league.

Key graduate: Casey Mittelstadt 

Key additions: Matthew Savoie, Noah Ostlund, Jiri Kulich, Topias Leionen, Viktor Neuchev, Mats Lindgren, Peyton Krebs

2021 rating: No. 1

2022 NHL Draft grade: A-

Full 2022-23 NHL Pipeline Rankings

Player Ranking

1. Rasmus Dahlin, D

22 years outdated | 6-foot-3 | 193 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 1 in 2018
Tier: NHL All-Star

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: Above NHL common
Hockey sense: Above NHL common
Compete: Below NHL common

Analysis: Four years into Rasmus Dahlin’s NHL profession, I believe everybody’s eyes are beginning to turn into broad open to what he’s and isn’t. He’s an offensive dynamo. There are few defenseman together with his body who can deal with the puck like him and make the sort of distinctive offensive performs he can. His mind operates at a excessive stage of creativity and imaginative and prescient. Dahlin was way more assured utilizing his ability to assault this season. He’s skater with good attain, however Dahlin’s not a powerful defender resulting from a scarcity of physicality and doesn’t seem like a participant you’ll be projecting to take powerful minutes. Even with that in thoughts he appears like a long-time impactful NHL defenseman who will typically be atop the scoring leaders for his place.

2. Dylan Cozens, C

21 years outdated | 6-foot-3 | 183 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 7 in 2019
Tier: Bubble NHL All-Star and prime of the lineup participant

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: It’s straightforward to love Dylan Cozens’ recreation. Even although he didn’t have an enormous NHL season, he was solely 20 years outdated, and the Cozens you noticed on the World Championships the place he was among the finest gamers is, I believe, the actual Cozens. He checks each field you search for in an NHL participant. Big facilities who can skate, make performs and rating targets are uncommon. You add his sturdy compete stage and somebody who needs to be an entire middle and I believe you’ve gotten all of the components of a future impactful middle.


Owen Power is a big, cell defenseman with puck-moving ability. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

3. Owen Power, D

19 years outdated | 6-foot-6 | 214 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 1 in 2021
Tier: Bubble NHL All-Star and prime of the lineup participant

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: Above NHL common
Compete: NHL common

Analysis: Power didn’t pop off in his second faculty season as I assumed he might do, however he was nonetheless among the finest defensemen within the NCAA. His greatest hockey was most likely within the cancelled World Juniors the place he took over video games. Power isn’t a participant who will land on lots of spotlight reels, however as an enormous, cell defenseman with puck-moving ability it’s straightforward to think about him enjoying excessive in an NHL lineup for a very long time. He’s not essentially the most bodily defender, however together with his attain and ft he’ll make loads of stops to go along with sturdy offense. He tasks as a legit prime of the lineup defenseman with some star potential.

4. Jack Quinn, RW

20 years outdated | 6 ft | 176 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 8 in 2020
Tier: Top of the lineup participant

Skating: Below NHL common
Puck abilities: Above NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: Quinn had a monster AHL season, scoring 61 factors in 45 video games and being named AHL rookie of the 12 months consequently. He’s very harmful with the puck on his stick. He has free, fast arms and might beat defenders one-on-one at a excessive frequency. He’s a inventive playmaker who can even end possibilities and accomplish that from vary. Quinn’s ft have by no means been his promoting level, however he’s so expert and such scorer that I believe he can turn into a real top-line winger.

5. Peyton Krebs, LW

21 years outdated | 5-foot-11 | 180 kilos | Shoots left

Acquired by way of commerce
Tier: Top of the lineup participant

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: Above NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common
Shot: Below NHL common

Analysis: Krebs had a stable first full professional season, and his greatest NHL stretches have been in Buffalo after he was a key a part of the Jack Eichel commerce. He’s a well-rounded hockey participant who can play a number of positions successfully and play at each ends of the rink. Krebs has NHL pace and ability, nevertheless it’s his playmaking and energy that outline his recreation. It’s why regardless of his dimension he has an excellent likelihood to be a top-six middle within the NHL. You’d wish to see him rating just a few extra targets, however even with out that I believe he generally is a prime quality ahead, whether or not at wing or middle.

6. Matthew Savoie, C/RW

18 years outdated | 5-foot-9 | 175 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 9 in 2022
Tier: Bubble prime and center of the lineup participant

Skating: Above NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: Above NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: Savoie is a really proficient scorer. He stands out with the puck on his stick and might assault in quite a lot of methods. Savoie is a superb passer who can run an influence play, hit seams at a excessive fee and make powerful performs below duress. He has superb arms to maneuver in visitors. He has good pace to beat opponents broad and he has a shot that may rating from vary. Savoie lacks superb NHL dimension, however he competes laborious and wins a stunning quantity of battles for his dimension. He doesn’t have unimaginable pace and ability for a 5-foot-9 participant so he could also be moved to the wing within the NHL, however regardless I see him as an excellent top-six ahead.

7. John-Jason Peterka, LW

20 years outdated | 5-foot-11 | 192 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 34 in 2020
Tier: Bubble prime and center of the lineup participant

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: Peterka had a superb season, scoring at a point-per-game tempo as a young person within the AHL. He has nice ability and might shoot the puck, however his potential to play with tempo and make expert performs at quick speeds is why he’s been so profitable as a professional. Peterka is a extremely inventive passer as effectively; he makes a constant effort on the ice, and total has all the pieces you search for in a top-six ahead aside from his body.

8. Jiri Kulich, C/LW

18 years outdated | 5-foot-11 | 178 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 28 in 2022
Tier: Middle of the lineup participant

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: Kulich is a well-rounded prospect. He has a fluid, highly effective skating stride that may generate clear entries and beat defenders broad. He has slick one-on-one abilities and mixed together with his pace is a menace off the push. He could make performs however is extra of a menace when he’s in movement than choosing aside defenses as a playmaker. Kulich has an awesome shot, displaying a one-timer and wrist shot menace from vary. Kulich doesn’t present worry from attacking the web or taking a success to make a play. He tasks as a top-six ahead whether or not at wing or middle, however possible on the wing.

9. Devon Levi, G

20 years outdated | 6 ft | 183 kilos | Catches left

Acquired by way of commerce
Tier: Starting Goaltender

Skating: Above NHL common
Hockey sense: Above NHL common

Analysis: Levi had an enormous season at Northeastern, posting a .952 SV% in 32 video games. Levi’s inventory shot up after being a seventh-round decide in 2020. He’s a really clever goaltender who tracks the play like a professional and infrequently appears out of place. I’ve been extra impressed by his athleticism and talent to make powerful saves as time has gone on. Levi could be very fast in web, challenges when wanted and might make lots of powerful saves. His dimension is and can proceed to be a difficulty as he advances ranges, however he not often allows delicate targets, has good managed aggression and is tremendous sensible, so I believe he figured it out even at his dimension and helps an NHL workforce win video games.

10. Noah Ostlund, C

18 years outdated | 5-foot-10 | 164 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 16 in 2022
Tier: Middle of the lineup participant

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: Above NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: NHL common
Shot: Below NHL common

Analysis: Ostlund possesses spectacular pace and ability. He’s capable of be an asset in transition resulting from his potential to create managed entries and make defenders miss. He has a pass-first mentality however could make tough performs at a excessive fee. Ostlund has the poise to run a power-play unit and discover seams however he’s not a lot of a shot menace. Ostlund isn’t the most important, however he works laborious sufficient and has proven as a junior that he can dependable defensively. He appears like a possible third-line middle within the NHL.

11. Ryan Johnson, D

20 years outdated | 6 ft | 170 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 31 in 2019
Tier: Middle of the lineup participant

Skating: Above NHL common
Puck abilities: Below NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: NHL common

Analysis: Johnson didn’t take a step ahead as a junior this season, however he’s what he’s. He’s a gentle two-way defenseman who lacks offensive flash. Due to his glorious skating potential, I nonetheless fee him extremely even when some scouts across the league are beginning to turn into lukewarm on him. His offensive potential won’t ever excite, however I see first cross offense as a professional to go along with glorious transitional potential and adequate defending to be a 4/5 defenseman.

12. Mattias Samuelsson, D

22 years outdated | 6-foot-4 | 218 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 32 in 2018
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: Below NHL common
Puck abilities: Below NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common

Analysis: Samuelsson’s professional growth has continued to go effectively. He is a gentle, clever defenseman with dimension and grit. He performs laborious and skates effectively for a giant man, making it fairly tough for forwards to get by him. The debate on his recreation has at all times been his offense/puck-game. He could make a primary cross however can he make sufficient performs to play huge minutes? He’s a sure-fire profession NHLer to me on a 3rd pair, and if the offense clicks sufficient he’ll be prime 4.

13. Mats Lindgren, D

18 years outdated | 5-foot-11 | 173 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 106 in 2022
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: Above NHL common
Compete: NHL common

Analysis: Lindgren’s a relentless menace with the puck on his stick resulting from his offensive ability and particularly his IQ. He makes a ton of intelligent performs with the puck on shops and contained in the offensive zone. He has adequate pace to go together with his ability that he can be a menace off the push. Lindgren’s defending received’t be his calling card as a professional, however he skates and competes effectively sufficient to be competent to play a daily shift within the NHL.

14. Olivier Nadeau, RW

19 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 204 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 97 in 2021
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: Below NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: Above NHL common
Shot: Below NHL common

Analysis: Nadeau was an essential all-situations ahead for the QMJHL champions. Nadeau is an clever, expert ahead who can create offense across the laborious areas of the offensive zone. He works laborious to win pucks at each ends. His skating has at all times been a difficulty, and on condition that he maxed out bodily early on it most likely received’t enhance a ton as he ages, however even with out a lot pace I see sufficient to his recreation to be a daily bottom-six winger.

15. Isak Rosen, LW

19 years outdated | 5-foot-11 | 156 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 14 in 2021
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: NHL common
Puck abilities: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: NHL common
Shot: Above NHL common

Analysis: Rosen didn’t have an awesome season versus males and the hope is that he’ll fare higher within the AHL subsequent 12 months. Versus his friends he’s proven effectively traditionally as a extremely expert goal-scorer who can skate effectively. Rosen is ready to make powerful performs at fast speeds and end from vary. His effort stage is common and his recreation lacks physicality. He’s proficient and constant sufficient that I can see a middle-six winger, however I can see Rosen irritating coaches too and never sticking in lineups constantly.

16. Viktor Neuchev, RW

18 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 165 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 74 in 2022
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: Below NHL common
Puck abilities: Above NHL common
Hockey sense: Below NHL common
Compete: Below NHL common
Shot: High-end

Analysis: Neuchev doesn’t have the stats and accolades of prime prospects, however if you watch him it’s straightforward to see the NHL potential. He’s 6-foot-2, he has nice arms, and reveals nice offensive creativity as a handler and passer. Neuchev typically confirmed high-end potential to improvise with the puck and create possibilities from nothing. He could make some performs however his shot is his actual offensive menace as he typically scored from the circles. His drawbacks are subpar footspeed and never being nice off the puck, with a good quantity of perimeter play. Despite these points he’s so proficient offensively that I’ve to think about there’s a spot on an NHL workforce for him, even when not in a outstanding function.

17. Erik Portillo, G

21 years outdated | 6-foot-6 | 198 kilos | Catches left

Drafted: No. 67 in 2019
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: Below NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common

Analysis: Portillo had a powerful sophomore season. The toolkit jumps out to you as a big goaltender who strikes fairly effectively for a man together with his body. When he’s locked in he’s making powerful saves and looking out regular in purpose. I discover his determination making can waver although; he can scramble an excessive amount of within the crease, and I debated giving his sense a decrease grade. Overall I just like the participant — I believe he generally is a common NHL goalie, possible as a backup. He’s additionally a participant NHL scouts have on free-agent watch going into subsequent season.

18. Topias Leinonen, G

18 years outdated | 6-foot-5 | 233 kilos | Catches left

Drafted: No. 41 in 2022
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common

Analysis: Leinonen has a transparent NHL toolkit. He measures in at 6-foot-5, and he’s an athletic goalie who can transfer effectively within the crease. Leinonen has the power to make very powerful saves and ones that can translate to the NHL. I believe he sees the sport effectively and makes good reads, however his consistency is a matter. He allows too many delicate targets and has occasional stretches of dangerous determination making. He appears like a starter however tasks extra as a backup for these causes.

19. Nikita Novikov, D

18 years outdated | 6-foot-3 | 196 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 188 in 2021
Tier: Projected to play NHL video games

Skating: Below NHL common
Puck abilities: Below NHL common
Hockey sense: NHL common
Compete: NHL common

Analysis: Novikov bought a daily shift on a powerful KHL workforce as an 18-year-old defenseman. His ability set doesn’t bounce off the web page, however he’s a tall, clever defenseman who could make performs at each ends of the ice. His skating wants work, however I believe there’s sufficient to his all-around recreation to be a gentle third-pair defenseman.

Has an opportunity to play (listed alphabetically)

Josh Bloom, LW

19 years outdated | 6-foot-2 | 182 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 95 in 2021

Analysis: Bloom had a stable second OHL season. He’s a good-sized winger who can skate and deal with the puck effectively with a goal-scoring contact. I’m not bought on his hockey sense although.

Filip Cederqvist, LW

21 years outdated | 6-foot-1 | 187 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 143 in 2019

Analysis: Cederqivst is a brilliant, aggressive ahead who can play across the web, however his skating is a priority.

Aaron Huglen, RW

21 years outdated | 5-foot-11 | 176 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 102 in 2019

Analysis: Huglen began off sluggish however began doing higher as his freshman season progressed. He’s a extremely expert playmaker with good skating potential however lacks dimension.

Alexander Kisakov, LW

19 years outdated | 5-foot-10 | 150 kilos | Shoots left

Drafted: No. 53 in 2021

Analysis: Kisakov is a talented ahead who competes laborious and might each make and end performs however he’s not that huge or quick.

Prokhor Poltapov, LW

19 years outdated | 6 ft | 176 kilos | Shoots proper

Drafted: No. 33 in 2021

Analysis: Poltapov is a powerful skater with good puck abilities and a aggressive edge. I believe he has offense, however he didn’t rating this season like I assumed he would.


Player Eligibility: All skaters who’re 22 years outdated or youthful as of Sept. 15, 2022, no matter what number of NHL video games they’ve performed, are eligible. Player heights and weights are taken from the NHL.

Tool grades: Tool grades are based mostly on a scale with six separate ranges, with an eye fixed towards how this attribute would grade within the NHL (poor, below-average, common, above-average, high-end and elite). “Average” on this scale means the device tasks as NHL common, which is supposed as a optimistic, not a criticism. Skating, puck abilities, hockey sense and compete for each projected NHL participant are graded. Shot grades are solely included if a shot is notably good or poor.

Tier Definitions: Tiers are supposed to present roughly the place in a mean NHL lineup a participant tasks to fit in.

(Illustration: Wes McCabe / The Athletic; photograph of Rasmus Dahlin: Claus Andersen / Getty Images)



Source link