Sabres pick 5 players on day 2 of NHL Draft

Draft class expected at development camp this week

June 23, 2018 - 2:48 pm

Dallas, TX (WGR 550 - Paul Hamilton) - With the 32nd overall pick and the first selection of the second round, the Buffalo Sabres selected defenseman Mattias Samuelsson. Samuelsson played for the United States National Under-18 Team and is the son of former NHL defenseman Kjell Samuelsson. Mattias Samuelsson is listed at 6'4", 218 lbs., and scored 24 points in 53 games in the USHL in two seasons. Samuelsson has committed to play collegiate hockey at Western Michigan where his brother plays.

Samuelsson was hoping he'd be picked in the first round, but he didn't think that he's have ot wait long on Saturday, "I didn't know anything for sure, but I was pretty confident that Buffalo might want to take me."

Samuelsson said it was great when he heard his name and he was still a bundle of nerves when he spoke, "I'm really shaking and I'm so happy. Buffalo's a world class organization and to be a part of that and be with my family, it's been an unbelievable experience."

The Buffalo Sabres did not have a third round pick, but had two selections in the fourth round at picks 94 and 117.

At pick 94, Buffalo selected center/winger Matej Pekar from the Cezch Republic. Pekar played in the USHL last season and took USHL Rookie of the Year honors, with 54 points in 56 games for the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Pekar has committed to play with Miami of Ohio in 2018-19.

With their other fourth round selection, the Sabres chose another Swedish defenseman, Linus Lindstram Cronholm, with the 117th overall pick. Lindstram Cronholm is the third defenseman chosen by Buffalo in the 2018 draft class. Lindstram Cronholm played for Malmo in the Swedish under-20 junior league last season.

The Sabres closed out the 2018 NHL Draft by drafting another pair of defensemen, making it five defenseman drafted this weekend in Dallas, Texas.

In the fifth round with the 125th overall pick, the Sabres drafted Finnish defenseman Miska Kukkonen out of the Ilves program in the Finnish under-20 league. Listed at 6' 0" and 183-pounds, Kukkonen has played the past two seasons for Ilves' junior team, scoring a combined three goals and 12 points in 36 games. Kukkonen will play for Tappara in the Finnish junior league this upcoming season.

In the sixth round, the Sabres decided to trade the 156th overall pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for their sixth round pick in 2019.

With their final pick in the seventh round (187th overall), Buffalo concluded the weekend's events by selecting another Swedish defenseman, William Worge Kreü. The 6' 6" and 181-pound defender spent last year mostly with the Linköping junior club in the Swedish SuperElit junior league, scoring three goals and 11 points in 38 games. He did manage to play one game with the parent Linköping club in the Swedish Hockey League this year.

The Sabres wrapped up the 2018 NHL Draft with selecting six players overall, five of them being defensemen, with three of them being from Sweden. In Jason Botterill's tenure as general manager in Buffalo, he has yet to draft a player out of the Canadian Hockey League.

Up next for these prospects is Sabres development camp, which runs from June 27th to the 30th at HarborCenter.

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