NHL Mock Draft 2.0 has the Sabres trading their first-round pick to land a star forward

NHL Mock Draft 2.0 is a little different from many involving the Buffalo Sabres, as this one includes a blockbuster trade for a big-name forward.
Jan 23, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Peyton Krebs (19) and Anaheim Ducks right wing Frank Vatrano (77) battle for the puck in the second period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 23, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Peyton Krebs (19) and Anaheim Ducks right wing Frank Vatrano (77) battle for the puck in the second period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Round 3: Ollie Josephson, C/Red Deer Rebels

He’s got a late birthday, and he boasts decent size at 6’0, 181 lbs, so those are two boxes Ollie Josephson may already check off. And to make matters even better, he’s someone who dropped to the third round that brings a high potential game.

No, his productivity hasn’t been impressive, but Josephson still has plenty of hockey left in Red Deer. So he’s a player whose productivity the Sabres wouldn’t need to worry about until the 2026-27 season, then they can go from there. 

Round 4: Jonas Taibel, LW/Rapperswil

Like Ollie Josephson, you need to look past Jonas Taibel’s stat sheet, at least for the previous season. But he was one to watch at the World Juniors in the past, and thanks to his two seasons in the QMJHL, he’s also more familiar with the North American style of hockey. He will figure it out this season in NL, and in doing so, the Sabres may have landed an outstanding value pick if they drafted him here. 

Round 4: Preston Lounsbury, C/Moncton Wildcats

Fun Fact: Preston Lounsbury and Jonas Taibel were teammates in Moncton, and not only would they be part of the same system in this scenario, but they also went in back-to-back picks in this mock draft. Lounsbury entered his second full season in Moncton this past year and while he’s still not at the point-per-game pace, he’s nonetheless made massive strides. The 2024-25 season should see him continue that trend, and perhaps end the year in the 70-75-point range.