Sabres 2024 NHL Draft Prospect Profile 1.0 features an intriguing talent with pro-ready size

The Buffalo Sabres could trade their first-round pick, but if they hang onto it, one player with NHL-caliber size stands out.
Great Britain v Norway - 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Czechia
Great Britain v Norway - 2024 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Czechia / RvS.Media/Monika Majer/GettyImages

So far, the Buffalo Sabres still have the 11th overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, so let’s assume general manager Kevyn Adams keeps the selection until he sends it otherwise. And there are several avenues he can take with that pick, including one forward prospect who should be there when the Blue and Gold pick at 11th overall. 

Michael Brandsegg-Nygard should generate quite a bit of interest for teams picking between 10th and 15th, thanks to some incredible productivity and a few aspects of his game that you can label elite. So go ahead and get to know Michael Brandsegg-Nygard and discover what makes him such an intriguing prospect who could be an excellent fit for the Sabres system. 

Who is Michael Brandsegg-Nygard?

From Oslo, Norway, Michael Brandsegg-Nygard originally saw himself playing in Valerenga’s system, also based in Norway, where he put up some outstanding numbers, including a 30-point, 14-goal performance in 15 regular season games in U16 back in 2019-20 and an additional seven points and three goals in another 15 games in U18. 

What makes Michael Brandsegg-Nygard intriguing to the Sabres system?

You’ll notice Michael Brandsegg-Nygard’s size before anything else, as his 6’1, 198-pound frame is already built for the NHL. Kevyn Adams has also had some outstanding luck drafting prospects out of Sweden, where Brandsegg-Nygard has spent most of his time since 2022-23, with previous early-round picks that include Isak Rosen, Noah Ostlund, and Anton Wahlberg. Brandsegg-Nygard could be available and he would make yet another potential success story for Adams to come from the SHL. 

But it’s not just Adams’ history drafting SHL prospects or those with outstanding size, as Brandsegg-Nygard has been parlaying outstanding production in literally every season since 2019-20. It really picked up in 2021-22 in U18 and U20 when Brandsegg-Nygard was still playing for Valerenga when he scored 34 goals and notched 61 points in 32 regular season games. 

He did the same thing in Sweden’s Mora IK system in 2022-23 in U18 and U20, when he had 22 goals and 48 points in 39 regular season games. This past season, he played well enough to have a 41-game stint in HockeyAllsvenskan, where he put up a respectable 18 points and eight goals. Even more impressive was Brandsegg-Nygard’s 10-point, four-goal outing across 12 games of qualification in the postseason. 

What kind of game does Michael Brandsegg-Nygard bring?

Overall, Michael Brandsegg-Nygard will bring his team good, not great, skating, and he can give you a surprising burst of speed every so often. He also doesn’t make many jaw-dropping moves when skating, and there’s nothing exciting about his puck control. In other words, he’s not controlling the puck in the way you see from Tage Thompson, for example, and there are times when his puck control can be erratic. 

But thanks to his NHL-caliber size, Michael Brandsegg-Nygard isn’t afraid to get physical with opponents when he needs to protect the puck and can’t outskate them. Best yet, he’s always looking to dish it elsewhere, so you won’t see opponents catch him off-guard and take the puck off his stick.

But if he gets separation and he’s got the puck, Brandsegg-Nygard’s shot will frustrate opponents. He doesn’t have just one sweet spot, but he can fire an incredible shot from anywhere on the ice. Brandsegg-Nygard is also one of those players who can have a puck leave his stick before anyone on the ice knows what’s happening, and his one-timers are pristine. 

Great shot, but Brandsegg-Nygard brings little flash

Despite his incredible shot, Brandsegg-Nygard won’t make many highlight-reel plays thanks to a rather straightforward approach. Like his shooting, the microsecond he sees an opportunity, the puck’s off his stick. Nothing fancy, just a “take what an opponent gives him” type of player, and that’s really all a team needs to help them win hockey games. 

But he’s got a competitive edge, and from the film I’ve watched, he looks like a bigger version of Zach Benson out there when he’s going after pucks. He’s also got that Benson-like style along the boards, and you will never see him give up on a play, even when things look hopeless. If you’re looking for an even deeper dive into Michael Brandsegg-Nygard, check out some clips powered by NHL Draft Pros in the video below. 

How intriguing is Brandsegg-Nygard’s play on the ice?

The Sabres could use a player like Michael Brandsegg-Nygard in their system given his size, compete level, and the physical nature of his game. We haven’t seen much of that with the big club, and while Brandsegg-Nygard wouldn’t be playing at the NHL level any time soon, he’s someone who will add those layers of physical play and competitiveness. 

Overall, he would be an outstanding pick at No. 11 should the Blue and Gold keep the selection, but if he doesn’t find his way into the Sabres system, he will make an incredible asset for someone picking in the top 15. 

While I doubt Brandsegg-Nygard evolves into an outstanding player when he eventually gets his chance in the NHL, he will end up in the “solid but unspectacular” clique, if not an upper-echelon player. But there’s little chance he will be elite unless he improves his skating and puck control. 


(Statistics powered by Elite Prospects)