Former first-overall pick paces Tier II in the Top 24 and under Sabres of 2024

One player dramatically disappointed a contingent of Sabres fans in 2023-24, but they nonetheless achieved and deserved a top-five ranking.
Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks
Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages
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6: Devon Levi, G/Rochester/Sabres

It’s ironic how good of a situation Devon Levi is in. When you look back a little more than a few months ago, Levi found himself in about the worst catch-22 most Sabres fans could have imagined. He was sitting behind an emerging Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and getting hardly any reps, and for a young goaltender with limited pro experience, nothing could be more detrimental.

You can’t blame Levi for this one, as it fell squarely on management and, really, the circumstances. There isn’t a single Sabres fan out there who didn’t at least have an inkling of doubt regarding Luukkonen’s future with the franchise, and his breakout campaign was one of the few pleasant surprises of what was a long season. 

While it didn’t make sense to keep Levi in Buffalo for so long, it was understandable nonetheless, especially since Luukkonen went on ultra-hot and ultra-cold streaks in 2022-23. But when the then-24-year-old proved that wouldn’t be the case this past year, Levi went to Rochester, where we knew he would get his reps, regardless of how the Sabres goaltending fared. 

If they keep Luukkonen and he’s still playing like a No. 1 goaltender, Levi will again see reps with the Americans and master the position. But he’s also good enough to be at least a 1A in this league, something he started showing toward the end of the season.