2022 NHL Draft Preview For The Buffalo Sabres
The first round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft will take place tomorrow night in Montreal. Rounds 2-7 will be held on Friday.
This year will be the first year the NHL Draft will be held on a Thursday and Friday, rather than a Friday and Saturday.
The Buffalo Sabres will be one of the busiest teams on Thursday evening, as they hold three first round picks. Buffalo is set to draft 9th, 16th and 28th overall.
The 9th overall pick is their own, while the 16th pick came from the Jack Eichel trade, and the 28th overall selection is from the Sam Reinhart trade.
There are many rumors and thoughts on who general manager Kevyn Adams will decide on with those three picks, and there is even a credible report from the VP of Mettalurg of the KHL that Buffalo will select Russian prospect Danila Yurov tomorrow evening.
But will Adams keep all three picks?
The Sabres have plenty of prospects already in the system. Many of those prospects hardly played last year for the team, like Owen Power, JJ Peterka and Jack Quinn. They also have Ryan Johnson, Isak Rosen, and goaltenders Erik Portillo and Devon Levi. Not to mention Aleksander Kisakov and Olivier Nadeau, who just signed entry-level contracts.
Do the Sabres really need to use all three first round picks? Can one of them be used in a trade?
The two trade scenarios I'm most intrigued by is either using one of those picks to trade for a goalie (to have for the next two or three seasons to give time for Levi or Portillo to get to Buffalo), or using two picks to move up into the top 5 for a player they have in mind.
At this point, quality over quantity would be what I want if I'm Adams.
As far as which players could be there at the 9th pick; the likes of Marco Kasper (C), Joakim Kemell (LW), Matthew Savoie (C) and Jonathan Lekkerimaki (RW) could be targets.
I doubt Logan Cooley or Simon Nemec would fall that far, but perhaps Adams swings a deal to land a top 5 pick and get a Juraj Slafkovsky or Cutter Gauthier.
The New Jersey Devils feel like the only team who would be even listening to moving down, but I think the Sabres should explore any and all trade offers with the amount of ammo they have in draft capital.
Should be a fun first night of the NHL Draft.