Top 5 defensemen prospects for Sabres fans to know about in the 2024 NHL Draft

The Buffalo Sabres need more high-end blueliners in their prospects pool, and the 2024 NHL Draft will be a great place to find them.
2024 Frozen Four - Denver v Boston College
2024 Frozen Four - Denver v Boston College / Richard T Gagnon/GettyImages
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One of the biggest needs for the Buffalo Sabres is a right-handed defenseman, and it’s been that way for a while. Luckily, general manager Kevyn Adams could get his hands on a few of these players in late June when the 2024 NHL Draft commences, as there is a lot of talent there and also at LHD. 

But the former must take top priority, as the top blueliners in the Sabres prospect pool are LHDs Ryan Johnson and Nikita Novikov. The former is one you won’t call a prospect in 2024-25. Johnson will surely see himself in a role with the Blue and Gold all season, especially if his performance in Buffalo this past year serves as an indicator. 

Novikov could be a top call-up this season following what was a strong debut campaign with the Rochester Americans, where he had 23 points and three goals in 65 contests. He also recently made his AHL playoff debut and picked up an assist in that game, and you can expect even more production from the 20-year-old. 

Buffalo Sabres must strongly consider defense early in 2024 NHL Draft

RHD Vsevolod Komarov will join Novikov for 2024-25, and while he excelled in the QMJHL this past season, expect a learning curve for the 20-year-old when he gets his first taste of competitive professional hockey action. At this point, Komarov is the one notable RHD who will be playing for the Amerks, and Maxim Strbak is the only other RHD worth mentioning. 

It will be a while before we see Strbak in Rochester, but he wasn’t bad in his first season at Michigan State, with a pair of goals and nine points throughout 32 contests. Strbak also represented Slovakia in the World Juniors, where he logged another goal and seven points in five games. 

Just because we’re prioritizing RHDs in the following slides, take note that there will be two LHDs listed; as if the latter is the best position on the board when the Sabres pick, it wouldn’t be wise to pass on them.