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Three Players to Watch from Each Team at Prospects Challenge

Some top future NHL talent will be on the ice this weekend.

NHL: JUL 12 Montreal Canadiens Development Camp Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Prospects from six NHL teams, including the Buffalo Sabres, will participate in the team’s annual Prospects Challenge beginning Thursday night. For more on the tournament, including game schedules & full rosters, click here.

Whether you’re planning to catch the Sabres’ games in person at LECOM Harborcenter or watch online, or whether you’re interested in seeing some of the other top talents on the ice, one thing is guaranteed: there will be plenty of top talent out there. A whopping seventeen first-round draft picks will be in attendance!

With that said, here are three players to watch from each team at the Prospects Challenge:

Buffalo Sabres

  • Aleksandr Kisakov
  • Jiri Kulich
  • Tomas Suchanek (G, 19): Free-agent invite. Made his North American debut last season in 42 games with the WHL’s Tri-City Americans; had a 3.87 GAA and .901 save percentage. Also represented Czechia at World Juniors, where he had a 3.55 GAA and .899 save percentage in five games.

Boston Bruins

  • J.D. Greenway (D, 24): One of the older players at the Prospects Challenge. Split last season between the AHL (Providence) and Maine (ECHL). Former University of Maine blue liner. Drafted by TOR 72nd overall in 2016.
  • Fabian Lysell (RW, 19): Registered 62 points (22-40) in 53 games with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants last season, then added 21 points (4-17) in 12 playoff games. Also represented Sweden at the World Juniors. Drafted by BOS 21st in 2021
  • Kai Wissmann (25, D): A talented German prospect expected to make the jump to North America (Providence/AHL) this season. Noted for his size (6’4”, 207 pounds). Signed as a free agent by BOS in June 2022.

Montreal Canadiens

  • Juraj Slafkovsky (LW, 18): Hard to miss the first-overall pick from the 2022 draft. Size is also a factor, at 6’4” and 218 pounds. Spent last season with TPS Turku (10 points in 31 games). Had seven goals in as many games at the Olympics for Slovakia.
  • Justin Barron (D, 20): Traded to Montreal with a 2024 second-round pick for Arthur Lehkonen. Had 20 points (15 assists) in 43 games with the AHL’s Colorado Eagles last season & played in seven NHL games between Montreal & Colorado. Drafted by COL 25th in 2020.
  • Kaiden Guhle (D, 20): Stellar offensive defenseman. Forty points (7-33) in 42 WHL games between Prince Albert and Edmonton, then 16 points in 19 playoff games. Drafted by MTL 16th in 2020.

New Jersey Devils

  • Nikita Okhotiuk (D, 21): An underrated prospect. Spent most of last season in the AHL (Utica), with 63 games played — and 68 PIMs. Also skated in five NHL games. Drafted 61st by NJD in 2019.
  • Kevin Bahl (D, 22): Appeared in 17 NHL games last season with NJ, with four points and 10 PIMs. Also skated in 54 AHL games with Utica (16 points, 52 PIMs). Drafted by ARI 55th in 2018.
  • Daniel D’Amico (F, 21): Was fifth on the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires in scoring last season, with 65 points - including 57 assists - in 63 games. Also served as an alternate captain. Free agent invite.

Ottawa Senators

  • Jake Sanderson (D, 20): Fifth-overall pick in the 2020 draft. Recorded 26 points (8-18) in 23 games last season. (Also on that ND team: Sabres prospect Matteo Costantini, who is not at the Prospects Challenge.)
  • Ridly Greig (C, 20): Averaged way more than a point-per-game last season with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings: 63 points (26-37) in 39 regular season games. Also had six points in five World Juniors games. Drafted by OTT 28th in 2020.
  • Mads Søgaard (G, 21): Spent most of last season in Belleville (AHL) with a 2.86 GAA and .908 save percentage. Made his NHL debut in two games. Drafted by OTT 37th in 2019.

Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Owen Pickering (D, 18): First-round pick by the Penguins this year (21st overall). Recorded 33 points and added 39 PIMs with Swift Current in the WHL last season.
  • Sam Poulin (LW, 21): Was one of the top-scorers on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last season, with 37 points (16-21) in 72 games. Drafted by PIT 21st in 2019.
  • Raivis Ansons (LW, 20): Had 60 points (18-42) in 56 QMJHL games last season between Baie-Comeau and Saint John. Drafted by PIT 149th in 2020.