The Buffalo Sabres selected five players on the second day of the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center in Chicago. These five selections join Buffalo’s first-round pick, forward Casey Mittelstadt, to complete the team’s 2017 draft class, which includes three forwards, two defensemen and a goaltender.
With the team’s first pick of the second day, the Sabres selected forward Marcus Davidsson (6’0”, 191 lbs., 11/18/1998) in the second round (37th overall). Ranked 12th among draft-eligible European skaters by NHL Central Scouting, the Huddinge, Sweden native recorded nine points (5+4) in 45 games with Djurgardens in Sweden’s top professional league last season. He added 10 points (6+4) in nine games with Djurgardens’ junior team in 2016-17, one year after earning the league’s playoff MVP honors while helping lead the club to a championship.
The Sabres used their other second-round pick (54th overall) to select the second goaltender of the draft. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (6’4”, 198 lbs., 3/9/1999) finished the season as NHL Central Scouting’s top-ranked European goaltender after backstopping HPK (Finland Jr.) to a championship with the league’s best goals-against average in both the regular season (1.78) and the postseason (2.01).
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Buffalo chose defensemen with their next two picks, first going back to the Finnish junior league with the team’s third-round selection (89th overall), defenseman Oskari Laaksonen (6’1”, 165 lbs., 7/2/1999). Laaksonen appeared in his first season in Finland’s top junior league in 2016-17, recording nine points (6+3) and a plus-9 rating in 27 games for Ilves. He added 10 assists in 10 games during his second campaign with the Ilves Jr. B team.
With their fourth-round pick (99th overall), the Sabres chose defenseman Jacob Bryson (5’8”, 178 lbs., 11/18/1997). In his freshman season in 2016-17 at Providence College, Bryson ranked third among all Hockey East rookie defenseman with 20 points and ranked sixth among all NCAA rookie defensemen with 17 assists. Prior to joining the Friars, the London, Ontario native led all Omaha Lancers (USHL) defensemen with 31 points (3+28) in 2015-16, earning USHL All-Rookie First Team honors.
The Sabres rounded out the draft with forward Linus Weissbach (5’8”, 161 lbs., 4/19/1998). Weissbach led the Tri-City Storm (USHL) in goals (19), assists (28) and points (47) in his first North American season in 2016-17, one year after ranking third in Sweden’s top junior league with 31 assists and 48 points as a member of Frölunda. Weissbach has committed to the University of Wisconsin for the 2017-18 season.
Buffalo Sabres 2017 Draft Class:
Round (Overall) – Player (Pos.) / 2016-17 Team
1 (8) – Casey Mittelstadt (C) / Eden Prairie, Minn. H.S.
2 (37) – Marcus Davidsson (C) / Djurgardens, Sweden
2 (54) – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (G) / HPK, Finland (Jr.)
3 (89) – Oskari Laaksonen (D) / Ilves, Finland (Jr.)
4 (99) – Jacob Bryson (D) / Providence, NCAA – Hockey East
7 (192) – Linus Weissbach (LW) / Tri-City, USHL