With the 2023 NHL Draft coming our way in just nine days, it’s time for another mock. This time, the Buffalo Sabres roll with a remarkable forward.
In Mock Draft 1.0, I had the Buffalo Sabres taking Dmitri Simashev, one of the draft’s better blueliners who I had written extensively about. This time around, however, the Sabres are going with a forward with the 13th pick. And you might like who I have slated falling to them at 13th overall.
Before I dive in, I want to state that the theme of this week’s mock draft highlights overall strengths and weaknesses for most prospects based on their 2022-23 analytics and their productivity. Alright, so who did the Sabres end up with at 13? Keep reading to find out.
2023 Mock Draft 2.0: Buffalo Sabres select…
1 – Chicago Blackhawks, Connor Bedard, C/Regina
Previous Selection: Connor Bedard
There isn’t a single mock draft out there that I’m aware of with Connor Bedard going elsewhere. He will step in and immediately start changing the scope of the Chicago Blackhawks franchise a few months from today.
2 – Anaheim Ducks, Adam Fantilli, C/Michigan
Previous Selection: Adam Fantilli
Size and offensive play are two aspects of Adam Fantilli’s game that will help kickstart the Anaheim Ducks rebuild. Transition can use some work, but other than that, you can expect Fantilli to be the eventual face of the Ducks franchise.
3 – Columbus Blue Jackets, Leo Carlsson, C/Orebro
Previous Selection: Leo Carlsson
I want to say Matvei Michkov, but the red flags are just too much at this point. Instead, the Columbus Blue Jackets will settle for a safer pick in Leo Carlsson, whose size (6’2, 194 lb) and ability to play center or winger should entice fans the second Columbus calls his name.
4 – San Jose Sharks, Zach Benson, LW/Winnipeg Ice
Previous Selection: Matvei Michkov
Zach Benson is a smaller prospect who I would be surprised to see in the NHL until he packs more size onto his 5’10, 159 lb frame. Despite the size drawback, Benson is proficient in every phase of the game, and he will only get better over the next two seasons.