3 – Jiri Kulich
Like Rosen and Johnson, Jiri Kulich is one of those players who could handle the NHL right now if he were playing for a lesser-talented team. But with the number of seasoned veterans (finally) in Buffalo, there is no need to rush a prospect whose game is near-complete, and that gives him the ability to complete it in the AHL.
The Sabres will wait for Kulich’s game to become more well-rounded before he debuts, so if they don’t feel it’s quite there this season, that debut will wait until next year. However, if Buffalo needs more help at forward and they feel Kulich can handle a few games, then you’ll see him get the debut out of the way, but not until later in the year at the earliest.
Verdict: Will debut late under the right circumstances, but more likely 2024-25
4 – Matt Savoie
Currently on season-opening injured-reserve, Matt Savoie is one of those, “don’t count them out just yet” types heading into 2023-24. I’m not currently sold on the idea of Savoie debuting for the Buffalo Sabres this season, but until he’s assigned to the WHL, the idea isn’t one we can completely throw out.
He’s practicing with the Sabres, so the possibility is present, even if the odds are beyond slim. Overall, I can’t see it happening any time soon, but because he’s still in Buffalo, he’s getting an honorable mention.
Verdict: Does not debut