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Buffalo Sabres Top 20 Prospects under 24, #16: Matej Pekar

The Top 20 Under 24 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. It was a combination of five staff writers and over 300 readers that ranked prospects under the age of 24 and have played less than 125 NHL games.

As we move along with our analysis of Sabres’ prospects under age 24, Matej Pekar continues to be a forward worth keeping an eye on if only for a little bit longer. Back in the summer, fans ranked him at 17, with the Die by the Blade staff holding him up a bit higher at 13. With a slight dip down to his current ranking, Pekar’s potential still deserves another look. While he is not quite near other prospects such as Rasmus Asplund (who has shined in both Rochester and Buffalo), we should not give up on him just yet.

In his last two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, Pekar averaged 1.18 points per game and, of course, has plenty of room to develop. He also played in the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships this past year, but only tallied a single assist in his five game appearances – causing some criticism among fans impatiently willing a brighter future for Buffalo.

In 84 games played at the OHL level, he accumulated 99 points and is a +23, but what you will not see on paper is his attitude. The Czech native is known for being a pest on the ice – definitely something the Sabres’ organization has been lacking as of late – and that might be the difference-maker in this young player to make him stand out.

As of late September, he left the Sudbury Wolves and is now on loan from the Sabres to play in the 2nd Czech Republic Hockey League. Since that transaction, he has averaged one point per game with a +5 ranking. Not too shabby.

While we continue to wait on his development, it is unclear where he will be in a few months amid the pandemic and the New Year’s Day start date for the upcoming NHL season. However, under Kevyn Adams – and with what the Sabres’ newest general manager has accomplished during this unprecedented off-season – anything is possible. Will he begin his professional career in Rochester or remain in the OHL? Time will eventually make that big reveal and fans will be more than ready.