We all knew who the Sabres would take with the No. 1 pick.
The same can't be said for what they'll do with the first pick of the second round on Saturday [No. 32].
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) June 23, 2018
With plenty of talented players available, the Sabres will have to decide whether they want to continue to bolster the blue line or add someone who can put the puck in the back of the net.
Here are five players the Sabres should consider with their first pick on Saturday morning:
Defenseman [shoots right], United States Development Program
6'2", 196 lbs
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisNHL) April 19, 2018
Wilde has all the physical traits scouts and GM's desire. But according to experts, he often makes inexcusable mistakes. Some believe with a little time and effort, Wilde can become a solid defender in the NHL. Others believe he could likely end up a bust. At 32, he may be worth the risk.
*For what it's worth, this would be my pick*
Right-Wing, Oshawa Generals
6'5", 209 lbs
Just look at his size. At 6'5", Noel doesn't play like your typical power forward. A speedy-forward who can play responsibly at both ends of the ice, Noel saw his production more than double last season. After a mediocre year with Oshawa in 2016-2017, Noel tallied 53 points in 62 games with the Generals last season. With the recent departure of Hudson Fasching, Sabres fans may not be excited about the possibility of adding a big-bodied forward. But Noel's speed and ability to finish should excite fans.
Center, Niagara Ice Dogs
6'0", 170 lbs
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) June 21, 2018
While with the Niagara Ice Dogs in the OHL right over the border, Thomas turned some heads. After posting 81 points in 68 games, Thomas climbed up draft boards and finished as the 15th ranked North American Skater according to NHL Central Scouting.
Center, Mississauga Steelheads
6'2", 190 lbs
You want speed? McLeod has serious speed and some quick hands to match. With the Steelheads, McLeod posted an impressive 70 points in 68 games. That said, some scouts are concerned about McLeod's hockey IQ and ability to process plays. At this point in the draft, every prospect will have some flaws. It's about determining who has the greatest upside.
Top players remaining from Bob McKenzie's list: Serron Noel (19), Ryan McLeod (22), Bode Wild (25), Jared McIsaac (26), Akil Thomas (28)
— Scott Cullen (@tsnscottcullen) June 23, 2018
Defenseman [shoots left], United State National Development Program
6'3", 216 lbs
Samuelsson, the son of former NHLer Kjell Samuelsson, had a strong season with the Under-18 team, posting 31 points in 58 games. At 6'3", he has ideal size and plenty of potential.