Power ranking the toughest decisions the Sabres will face in the 2024 offseason

Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams will face more than his fair share of tough decisions in the 2024 offseason, so let’s rank the seven hardest ones.
Buffalo Sabres v Florida Panthers
Buffalo Sabres v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages
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4: To trade or not to trade the 11th overall pick

Some may call this one the toughest decision, as the Sabres had a 13th overall pick who worked out pretty well for them last season. While they were looking to parlay their strong finish in 2022-23 into a playoff berth the sense of urgency wasn’t quite as high as it will be for 2024-25. 

Plus, lightning isn’t striking twice, so if they kept the 11th pick, whoever they select is not making an immediate jump to the NHL, nor should they. Zach Benson was a unique case, as the Sabres not only had room in the lineup, but he was also one of their top forwards in quite a few of those contests. 

But, keeping the 11th overall pick and drafting a prospect while waiting until July to make a big trade also shouldn’t be out of the question. Drafting a player and letting them succeed either in college, overseas, or at the junior level means they could become a high-end trade piece themselves in the future. And speaking of which…

3: Which high-end prospects to include in a potential offseason trade

This one would be ranked even higher, but because of the win-now mentality that should be sweeping across the organization, there were two that could be more pressing. The Sabres have arguably more high-end prospects than any other organization, and there is one team - the Anaheim Ducks - that could A) Take some prospects and B) Have quality players to give, something I discussed in my latest mock draft simulation.

But what if Jiri Kulich, for example, is ready to roll in the NHL, and the Sabres trade him to Anaheim in a package that also includes a first-round pick for someone like Trevor Zegras (or Frank Vatrano)? We know Zegras never got going last season and Vatrano is heading into his age-30 season, and if Kulich becomes the player we know he will be, well, that’s the entire risk-reward factor.

What about Matt Savoie and Isak Rosen? Another pair of players who could easily win a spot in an NHL lineup. But then again, the Blue and Gold are in win-now mode, which is why the decision to include or not to include a high-end prospect in a trade isn’t as pressing as the top two on this list.