4 – Henri Jokiharju
The Buffalo Sabres traded for Riley Stillman last season, brought in Kale Clague (and re-signed him this year), and also signed Ilya Lyubushkin under Kevyn Adams. However, Adams never traded for Henri Jokiharju, and that alone could make him more expendable than the other low-grade defensemen.
Like Bryson, Jokiharju gave the Buffalo Sabres little to get excited for, and they will do one of two things: Either package him in to a potential trade for a goaltender (see #5 on this list), or just swap him for yet another late-round pick, depending on what Adams decides to do – most likely the latter.
Why Jokiharju and not Bryson, you may ask? Both struggled last season, but Jokiharju has at least shown flashes during his time with the Sabres, and that potential could entice some front offices. But like I implied, not expecting the blockbuster goaltender trade. Prediction: Traded for a late-round pick.
5 – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen
Finally, we got Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who’s become arguably the most polarizing name on this list. I’m in full support of Luukkonen staying and teaming with Levi, but I’ve also written about why the Buffalo Sabres would trade Luukkonen.
It makes sense, especially if the Sabres were looking to trade for a more experienced goaltender to pair with Levi. This package would also include a player like Jokiharju, a mid-round pick in 2024, 2025, or both, plus a high-end prospect.
But given the most recent signings at the blue line, and based on Adams’ recent words regarding a Levi-Luukkonen tandem, It’s a trade I don’t see occurring, even if many would like it to. Prediction: Stays in Buffalo.
Source: Sabres Have Bolstered Their Roster As Needed by Jacob D. Strozyk, TheHockeyWriters.com