There are several avenues the Buffalo Sabres can go with the 13th overall pick. But if they want a forward, there are five names that jump out.
The Buffalo Sabres need to go with who they believe is the best available player when the 2023 NHL Draft rolls around this week. And there are more than a few forwards who jumped out at me throughout the pre-draft process.
Below, you will meet my five favorites, all of whom should hear their respective names called at some point in the first round. Using The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler’s rankings, each of the following forwards sits between sixth and 26th, though this number will vary depending on whose rankings you prefer to follow.
My overall reasoning for using such a large range? On draft day, not only do we have zero idea of what might happen, but we also don’t know where these players rank on general manager Kevyn Adams’ draft board.
So the wider range of prospects, even for the 13th pick, also gives us the best chance to expect even the unexpected. Anyway, enough talk. Let’s meet five forwards the Buffalo Sabres must consider.
Five forwards Buffalo Sabres must consider at 13th overall
1 – Quentin Musty, Sudbury Wolves
In my last two mock drafts, I have the Buffalo Sabres snagging Quentin Musty. A local product, Musty would bring immediate interest the moment he’s in the Blue and Gold’s system. But his size, age (still 17), and his overall productivity (78 points in 53 contests) despite missing time with an injury were more than enough to pique my interest.
Overall, Musty is one of those prospects who, despite his brewing track record of productivity, boasts layers of untapped potential given his age. I would be shocked if Adams doesn’t at least contemplate the idea of drafting him come Wednesday if available.
2 – Eduard Sale, HC Kometa Brno
Ranked 14th on Scott Wheeler’s board, Eduard Sale’s productivity immediately caught my attention. And in case you didn’t see it yet, Sale produced 99 points in just 44 contests for HC Kometa Brno U20 during the 2021-22 regular season and playoffs combined.
His metrics and competitive drive won’t impress you, but as a physically-gifted, highly productive skater, he’s going to be hard to pass up at 13th overall if a couple of other names on this list have already been drafted. Oh, and he’s also a former linemate of Jiri Kulich’s at the international level, so that might draw some additional interest from Adams.