3 first-round talents the Sabres can steal in Round 2 of the NHL Draft

More than 32 players are worth picking in the first round of the 2024 NHL Draft, but a few could fall to the Sabres in Round 2 on Saturday.
Guelph Storm v Oshawa Generals
Guelph Storm v Oshawa Generals / Chris Tanouye/GettyImages
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Aron Kiviharju, D/HIFK

Since injuries rocked him this past season, few players in the 2024 NHL Draft have been harder to judge, and Aron Kiviharju can go either way here. On one hand, there is always that team willing to take a chance on a player who had the worst luck with injuries leading up to his draft year. But on the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if a contingent of teams won’t even consider Kiviharju because of his injuries. 

He’s also a smaller player at 5’10, 185 pounds, and his birthday, January 2006, isn’t an early one, so the odds are further stacked against Kiviharju. As with Jett Luchanko, the rankings for Kiviharju are all over the place, but to a greater degree, with his Elite Prospects profile showing us multiple outlets placing him in the 50s and even into the 60s. 

Still, Kiviharju is a first-round-caliber talent, and it’s something you see with a handful of outlets giving him either a first-round ranking or just barely outside the first. But if he drops to the Sabres in the second round, it should be tough for Kevyn Adams to pass on such a talented player who was supposed to spend all his time in Liiga this past season, even if he only managed seven games. 

Kiviharju, in U18, played in seven games and finished with one goal and six points, and he also appeared in six games for U20, racking up two assists. He’s more than proven he can dominate against players his own age and hold his own against those slightly older, and a breakout year in Liiga in 2024-25 is in store if he stays healthy.