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2022 NHL Draft: Sabres Select Jiri Kulich with 28th Overall Pick

Buffalo’s third center of the night comes from the Czech Republic.

2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

With the 28th selection in the 2022 NHL Draft, the Buffalo Sabres select their third center of the night, Jiri Kulich, from Karlovy Vary of the Czech Republic.

Kulich is a 200 foot center who excels in the defensive zone, has very good north/south speed, and has a great shot from the slot. He was a player that showcased his scoring ability in the u18s with nine goals in six games, and a player that lived in the Brisson slot on the power play to unleash a deadly one timer.

He struggles a bit in transition as his passing decisions can be inconsistent across all levels of competition, but he does possess good puck skill and speed that with time I can see him becoming a more dynamic offensive rush player.

Conservatively I see him as a left winger who will make a living at the Olofsson spot on the power play. I think an aggressive projection would have him as a middle six center who is going to be able to be a dynamic 200 foot center who can be both a playmaker and a scorer.

I had Kulich ranked as the 21st ranked player on the Sabres board. I think the big question for me is whether he sticks at center or moves to the wing. He could be a highly effective winger, but that usually devalues a player in the NHL draft. Lean into the shot, the skill, and that the rush offense will develop as he continues to play in the Czech men’s league.