Trio of Buffalo Sabres prospects shined at the 2024 IIHF World Juniors

Jiri Kulich found out what it was like to play in the NHL earlier this year in a one-game stint with the Buffalo Sabres, and he led the charge at the World Juniors.

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IHOCKEY-JUNIOR-CZE-FIN / BJORN LARSSON ROSVALL/GettyImages
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While Buffalo Sabres prospect Jiri Kulich didn’t snag a gold medal, he still led Team Czechia to the bronze and he also was one of the most dominant players in the entire tournament. Kulich led the event, scoring with 12 points in seven contests and tying only Cutter Gauthier of the USA. 

Kulich also made the Media All-Star Team for the tournament, and his six goals tied him for second place with Gavin Brindley of the USA. He also finished one goal behind Sweden’s Jonathan Lekkerimaki and the USA’s Howard Isaac.

Noah Ostlund, drafted in the same year as Kulich, also showed up and enjoyed an epic tournament. He finished with 10 points, which tied him for fourth with several players. Ostlund, known more for his passing than scoring, finished the event with seven assists, which also tied him for fourth place.

Some Buffalo Sabres prospects enjoyed a sound 2024 tournament

Kulich and Ostlund were the two stars of the tournament, even if the Sabres had a few more prospects taking part in the event. Matt Savoie was one who many thought would help Team Canada make a deep run, but he ended up scoring nothing more than an assist and a plus-2 rating in four contests. 

Goaltender Scott Ratzlaff never appeared in a game and was nothing more than a backup. Maxim Strbak, however, looked good, scoring seven points, one goal, and six assists in five games for Slovakia. We will see if he can continue that momentum when he returns to Michigan State following what was a stellar outing.

Norwin Panocha was a seventh-round pick in 2023, and he logged a goal in five games for Team Germany. And finally, Anton Wahlberg snagged three points and a goal in seven contests for Team Sweden.

Overall, a big congratulations to Ostlund, Kulich, and Strbak for making the 2024 IIHF World Juniors fun to follow. Fans of the Buffalo Sabres will be keeping close watch on the former two, and Strbak just crept onto quite a few radars. 

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(Statistics provided by Elite-Prospects)