Rookie sensation tops Tier III in the Sabres Top 24 and under rankings

The Buffalo Sabres have a few dynamic players listed in Tier III of the Top 24 and under rankings, so which rookie sensation is pacing the field?
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10: Noah Ostlund, F/Vaxjo/Rochester

It’s not impossible, but it would be surprising to see Noah Ostlund win a spot with the big club with such limited experience in North America. More likely, the former 16th overall pick will spend most if not all of next season playing alongside Matt Savoie in Rochester - this is again assuming no trades happen - and dominating the competition in the AHL. 

But Ostlund is someone who could, through the AHL Playoffs, a full offseason, and a successful camp, entice the staff enough to give him a recall at some point. That said, he would have had a much better chance at making it and playing more at the NHL level in 2024-25 under Don Granato as opposed to Lindy Ruff, who will rightfully be in win-now mode. 

Once again, this is why I cannot stress enough that even if we can write up scenarios while assuming no trade will happen, we still shouldn’t be surprised if Ostlund, a player who has the highest upside of the forward prospects in these rankings, is part of that big deal. 

He has extensive pro hockey experience at Sweden’s highest level, he more than held his own, and to be frank, his numbers in the SHL indicate he’s gone from more of a passer to a scorer. That will be huge for front offices fielding teams with little to no chance of making the 2025 playoffs to make some calls and offer established talents for prospects.