2 – Zach Metsa
Zach Metsa is an undersized player who you just can’t help rooting for. Having gone undrafted, Metsa had to stand out during his five seasons at Quinnipiac to gain traction with professional hockey clubs, and it culminated with him becoming the team captain and national champion in 2022-23.
He first signed with Rochester before the Calder Cup Playoffs and put up respectable performances that continued over the past weekend. Metsa showed us that he could be a feisty blueliner, and he also did a remarkable job finding the open man and creating space at the top of the offensive zone.
Look for him to build on his solid performance at the Prospects Challenge and to become a fixture in the Amerks defensive rotation this season. If he proves himself, expect the Buffalo Sabres to eventually sign him to a two-way deal. His current contract runs through 2024-25, so Metsa has an ample amount of time to keep improving his game.