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The Buffalo Sabres began the draft with 11 draft picks; they ended up using 10 of those draft picks to keep filling the prospect cupboard. They swapped second round draft picks with the Florida Panthers to move up five positions. The entire deal included Buffalo giving up a second round (39th overall), a third round (89th) and Mark Pysyk and in return the Sabres received Dmitry Kulikov and a second round (33rd). Sabres stayed quiet the rest of the draft taking long term talent with some potential NHLers to stock the cupboard.
Alexander Nylander, 8th overall
Mock drafts had the Sabres drafting of the high-end defensemen with their 8th overall selection. Buffalo ended up selecting Mississauga Steelheads (CHL) winger, Alex Nylander, brother of Maple Leafs prospect William Nylander and son of former NHL star Michael Nylander. Alex is the recipient of the CCM Rookie of the Year Award in the entire CHL. Nylander has an advantage over most of the other NHL draftees; he is able to play in the AHL this coming season if he doesn’t make the Sabres. Nylander is likely going to get a long look in training camp, but will likely head to Rochester to develop his professional game with the Amerks. Alex will be a top-six winger who has the chance to play alongside Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly, Sam Reinhart and the other young forwards already playing for the Sabres. Put Nylander’s name at the top of the Sabres prospect left winger depth chart.
Rasmus Asplund, 33rd overall
Buffalo traded up five spots to select Swedish pivot Asplund. Rasmus is a two-way centre, weighing in at 176 lbs with a 5’11” frame. He will need to bulk up a bit more to compete in the NHL, but he also brings a great work ethic who is capable of winning puck battles with a strong forecheck. Asplund also has a great set of hands that should translate to the NHL as a second or third line centre who is capable of playing on the wing. Having the versatile centre/winger will help Asplund transition to the North American style of hockey. He will be playing the 2016-17campaign in the SHL with Farjestad BK, which will be his third season in the SHL. Playing against older men, Asplund isn’t intimidated of being one of the smaller guys on the ice and shouldn’t have a problem in the NHL. He is still one or two years away from playing in the NHL.
Cliff Pu, 69th overall
I was very excited when Cliff Pu was drafted by the Sabres. Pu is a very energetic player with loads of charisma. Pu is several years from a roster spot with the Sabres, but with the Sabres add