After drafting the top player in the draft Rasmus Dahlin on Friday, the Sabres continued to add defenseman.
They kicked off Round 2 by selecting Swedish defender, Mattias Samuelsson. Coming out of U.S National U18 team, he recorded 28 points in 49 games.
At close to 220 pounds, he sure does have the body of a true defenseman. Recognized as a young leader, Samuelsson can bring strength and determination to the defensive squad. Ranked No. 24 on Bob McKenzie’s list, he is valued as a top player now entering the league.
Islanders draftee Bode Wilde on Mattias Samuelsson:
“They’re getting a guy who will complement Dahlin pretty well. I can just imagine those two playing together. Mattias will definitely lock it up defensively and shut down and allow a guy like Dahlin to have a bit of freedom.”
— Jourdon LaBarber (@JourdonLaBarber) June 23, 2018
In the fourth round, the Sabres drafted centerman Matej Pekar. From the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks, Pekar was named the 2018 USHL Rookie of the Year, a vote determined by general managers. Tallying 54 points in 56 games, no wonder he was named Rookie of the Year. The Sabres could use a good centerman and this was a good pick.
Another Swedish defenseman, Linus Lindstrand Cronholm, was taken also in the forth round. He spent last season on Malmo’s U20 team in the SuperElitLeague in Sweden. He played in 18 games and totaled 16 points during the season.
After Sabres use five of six draft picks on defensemen, GM Jason Botterill and Assistant GM Randy Sexton both say they had forwards they liked. Problem was, other teams liked them, too, and drafted them first.
— John Vogl (@BuffaloVogl) June 23, 2018
In the fifth round, another defenseman Miska Kukkonen was taken. Born in Finland, he tallied 12 points in 36 games for Finland’s junior league.
A trade came in the sixth round, but not the one some fans expected. The Sabres traded their 2018 6th round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for their 2019 6th round pick.
And lastly in the seventh round, the team selected William Worge Kreu. Like Cronholm, he spent last season in Sweden’s SuperElit League, playing for Linkoping’s U20 team.
This year’s draft class looks very exciting with the amount talent that has been shown. Look for a competitive development and training camp among those who where drafted.