The IIHF Men’s World Championships begin on Friday in Latvia. The Buffalo Sabres will have a handful of players participating in the tournament. Also, there will be prospects that could go at the top of the 2021 NHL Draft in July that would be of interest to Sabres fans.
Tage Thompson will be part of the American squad. The big winger had an up-and-down season. This is a good opportunity to play some good hockey before heading into the offseason on the world stage.
Potential first overall pick Matty Beniers will also play for Team USA. After a good season playing for the University of Michigan, he’ll look to solidify that top seed in the upcoming draft playing against pro players.
Colin Miller will be on the blue line for the Canadian squad. He’s one of the players that have their future with the Sabres in question. Playing on this stage could give other teams a real opportunity to get a look at him going into the offseason.
Owen Power is another player to watch on this squad. The big defenseman is another player that could go at the top of the 2021 draft. Like Beniers, he also had a solid draft year playing at the University of Michigan.
Arttu Ruotsalainen will get a chance to play for his country after playing in three leagues. He started the year in Liiga and then transition to the AHL back in February. His play earned an NHL look and now he’ll end the season playing for the Finns.
The next two Sabres players will play for the Swedes. Victor Olofsson will take his shot to Latvia to play as a scoring winger for Tre Kronor.
The other player is more of an old friend, but still the property of the Sabres in Lawrence Pilut. He played well for Traktor Chelyabinsk in the KHL. It’ll be interesting to get a look at how he performs in this tournament. He still has one season left on his KHL contract, but maybe there would be an outside chance of a return to the Sabres in the offseason.
Oops...I forgot about our friends in Germany. The Sabres will have one prospect and roster player on the German squad.
Pending unrestricted free agent, Tobias Rieder, will bring his speed and defensive game to his team.
The more intriguing player will be 2020 second-round pick JJ Peterka. He’s back to represent his country again after a strong performance in the World Juniors back in January.
He had a nice D+1 season playing for EHC Munchen in the German pro league DEL. He finished with nine goals and 20 points in 30 games.