Can Buffalo Sabres seventh round pick Norwin Panocha defy the odds and make it to the NHL. Let’s take a closer look at the 205th overall pick.
Starting way at the end of the draft with seventh round pick Norwin Panocha, the countdown begins. Panocha spent this season in a junior league in Germany. Six goals, 16 assists, for 22 points in 34 regular season games. Then amassing two goals, three assists, for five points in eight playoff games. I feel these are good stats for a defenseman.
It is worth noting that he did play three games in Germany’s top league, the DEL. While that is only a small trial, it can be compared to Owen Power playing eight games with the Buffalo Sabres at the end of the 2021-22 season. Even if it’s a small glimpse of the big league, it’s still a good experience. He also played for Germany in the WJC-18 and had two goals, one assist, for three points in six games.
This is a prospect that we’re likely years away from seeing even in Rochester. He will start the 2023-24 season with Eisbaren Berlin of the DEL. He will be a fun prospect to watch and see if he can translate his success from the Junior league to his professional league.
Buffalo Sabres prospect Norwin Panocha “light years” away from even Rochester
Norwin Panocha: Round 7: 205th Overall | Left-handed Defenseman | Eisbären Berlin | 6’1 185 lbs
Fan favorite JJ Peterka played two seasons in the DEL. He struggled in his first season, but stepped it up in his second season. The success there is what helped him be drafted by the Buffalo Sabres and immediately make the transition to North America to play for the Rochester Americans.
We can compare his success to what we may be looking for in Panocha. If he does descend in his first season in the DEL and then gets better in his second season, we could see him in the AHL after the conclusion of that season.
Seventh round players typically don’t play in the NHL ever in their careers. However, there are rare cases of that happening. It’s what makes drafts so unique and fun. You never know what you could get with any pick in any round.
Panocha likely won’t be a difference maker for the Buffalo Sabres organization ever in his career. It would be really cool to at least see him make the jump to the Rochester Americans someday.
Adams and his staff have shown us they can bring talent into the organization through the draft outside of the first or second round. It’s too soon to tell what they can do at the NHL level, but we have some solid prospects coming to the Americans this season that were drafted after the second round. Are you happy with this pick? Or would you have chosen someone else?
(Statistics provided by Elite-Prospects)