The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. It was a combination of staff writers and over 600 readers that ranked Buffalo Sabres players under the age of 25 as of August 1, 2022. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production to rank each player.
This year, we had over 600 total responses! It’s safe to say the Sabres prospect pool is a deep one and certainly seems to have improved over the past year, with notable additions like Matthew Savoie and Jiri Kulich. Peyton Krebs can hardly be considered a prospect, but since he is also under 25, you’ll see him pop up on this list, too.
Before we get to the top of the list, I wanted to take a page out of Eyes on the Prize, SB Nation’s Habs site, and give a quick report on the players who didn’t quite make the top 25. Honestly, looking through the way the list panned out, some of these players definitely have the potential, but they’re a lot of recent additions to the organization and it’s possible that they’re ranked lower because we just simply haven’t seen as much from them yet.
Without further ado, here are the players who finished ranked #50 through #41.
50. Joel Ratkovic Berndtsson - Forward - 18 - Frölunda HC J20
Ratkovic Berndtsson was picked up by the Sabres with the 202nd overall pick in the 2022 draft. He spent last season with Frölunda HC J20, where he put up nearly a point-per-game with 49 points (22-27) in 47 games. He’ll be back with that team again this season.
49. William von Barnekow Løfberg - Forward - 19 - Malmö Redhawks
von Barnekow has come up through the Malmö Redhawks organization, previously playing at their U16, J18 and J20 levels. Last season, he split the season between the J20 team and the SHL, with 27 games at each level. (With the J20 team, he recorded 31 points.) This year, he’ll be back with the SHL team once again.
48. Stiven Sardarian - Forward - 19 - Univ. of New Hampshire
The third-rounder made the jump to North America last season, suiting up for the USHL’s Youngstown Phantoms. In 46 games, he recorded 25 points, including 17 assists. He’s now set to join the University of New Hampshire.
47. Viljami Marjala - Forward - 19 - TPS
Marjala, a fifth-round pick in 2021, spent the last two seasons in the QMJHL with the Québec Remparts. Last season, he put up 46 points (13-33) in 68 games during the regular season. This season, he’s slated to head overseas and play for TPS.
46. Vsevolod Komarov - Defense - 18 - Québec Remparts
The Sabres selected Komarov with the 134th pick in the 2022 draft. Last season, he made the jump to North America and skated in 60 games with the QMJHL’s Remparts. Komarov skated in 60 games, recorded 19 points and 40 penalty minutes and finishing the season a plus-38. He’s set to return to Quebec for another year in juniors.
45. Linus Sjodin - Forward - 19 - Rögle BK
Sjodin is another 2022 draft choice, selected 211th overall. He skated in 49 SHL games last season, notching 11 points. He’s currently representing his country at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championships and has averaged 14:13 ice time per game. (He has yet to record a point in five games played.)
44. Gustav Karlsson - Forward - 18 - Örebro HK J20
One of the newest additions to the Sabres, Karlsson was drafted by Buffalo 187th overall this year. The Guldsmedshyttan, Sweden native (what a name!) is noted for his work with the puck & his release. He spent most of last season with Örebro HK J20, where he had 48 points in 41 regular-season games — including 31 goals. He also made his SHL debut.
43. Albert Lyckasen - Defense - 21 - AIK
Lyckåsen fell quite a bit from last year’s rankings, where he finished 21st! It’d be easy to take that as a slight against the player, but it’s really more an indicator of how much depth the Sabres have added in their prospect pool over the last year. Lyckåsen had 19 points in 51 games last season with BIK Karlskoga in the second-highest league in Sweden.
42. Kale Clague - Defense - 24 - Buffalo Sabres/Rochester Americans
Clague signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Sabres in mid-July after he wasn’t qualified by the Montreal Canadiens. Originally a 2016 draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings (51st overall), he’s spent the last few seasons bouncing between the AHL and NHL and has appeared in 58 career NHL games to date, including 36 this past season.
41. Jake Richard - Forward - 18 - Univ. of Connecticut
Richard was drafted 170th overall by the Sabres this year. Last season, he put up 48 points (18-30) in 56 games with the Muskegon Lumberjacks in his USHL debut. He also added four points in nine playoff games. Richard is headed to the University of Connecticut this fall.