Buffalo Sabres 2019 NHL Draft Rankings: June Edition

ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - JUNE 03: National Hockey League prospect Jack Hughes speaks with the media at Enterprise Center on June 03, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - JUNE 03: National Hockey League prospect Jack Hughes speaks with the media at Enterprise Center on June 03, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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NHL Draft
Moritz Seider of Germany looks on during the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Slovakia group A. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images) /

It’s not very often that we see a German prospect featured in the first round. Leon Draisaitl is the best example, but last year, the Blues took Dominik Bokk with the No. 25 pick.

Seider looks like he’s going to be the next face of the German defensive core.

The 6-foot-5 blue-liner was able to get regular ice time with Adler Manheim, who managed to go all the way this season and win their seventh DEL championship.

"“Mobile right-shot defender with good instincts and a projectable frame. A little rough around the edges, but that doesn’t hide his massive upside. An athletic piece of clay just waiting to be moulded into a work of art.” – Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects"

If his play wasn’t enough in the DEL, Seider also had a strong showing at the World Championships with Germany. The fact that he was able to hold his own against top competition won’t be overlooked by teams picking outside the lottery.

NHL Draft
Thomas Harley #48 reaches for a rebound from Emanuel Vella #30 of the Mississauga Steelheads during game action against the Erie Otters on November 15, 2017 at Hershey Centre. (Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images) /

Harley didn’t start the year as a top defensive option in this draft, but with a solid campaign with the Steelheads, there’s no doubt a team is going to scoop him up in the first round this year.

He had 11 goals and 58 points in 68 games. That was the third-best total on the team and the best among defenders.

Mississauga made the playoffs as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. But they ran into a very talented Sudbury Wolves team, who proceeded to sweep the Steelheads.

"“A strong skater with good mobility, Harley is offensive-minded but can be effective on both ends of the ice. He still has a lot of potential to unlock.” – Chris Peters, ESPN"

It’s been said that Harley plays a high-risk, high-reward game. He does have a very high ceiling and teams picking around this position will be taking that into consideration when looking at the American.

It would’ve been easy for Tomasino to get lost in the shuffle on an extremely talented Niagara team this season. Instead, he was one of the top contributors in both the regular season and playoffs.

He had 72 points in 67 games and then had seven points in 11 games during the playoffs.

Niagara loaded up for a run at the Memorial Cup this year, but they were knocked out in the second round by the Oshawa Generals, who defeated them in six games.

"“Tomasino has experience playing down the middle and on the wing, and he’s sharpened the defensive aspect of his game enough that, with his hockey sense and skating ability (he’s got terrific speed and edge work), he could very well succeed as a center at the next level. In order to do that, he’ll need to improve both his positioning and upper-body strength, but his work ethic is strong enough that that’s not as concerning as it might be for other prospects.” – Hannah Stuart, theScore"

Tomasino is a player that would work down the middle for any team. His terrific foot speed also makes him a great option to use on the wing – assuming that a team is deep enough down the middle

One thing is for sure: Even as a mid to late first-rounder, Tomasino has definite top-six potential. He could prove to be a steal in this position.

NHL Draft
Andrew Bruder #28 of the Niagara IceDogs celebrates a goal with Philip Tomasino #26 during an OHL game against the Oshawa Generals at the Meridian Centre. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

There’s always one Russian that climbs draft boards after the new year. Last year, it was Vitali Kravtsov. This year, it’s Dorofeyev, who has been a very good contributor in the Russian junior league.

In the MHL, the winger scored 17 goals and finished with 31 points in 19 games. That output earned him a shot in the KHL, where he had two points in 19 contests with Magnitogorsk.

"“A late-2000 birthday may have denied this stallion the chance to dominate his draft-age peers on the international stage. No worries there, however, as Dorofeyev is a smart sniper who can control the pace of a shift on his own.” – Steve Kournianos, Sporting News"

Dorofeyev will likely play in the VHL at the very least come next season. It could be a few years until he’s ready to make the jump to North America, but it looks like he’ll be worth the wait.

One of the most exciting wingers to watch in the draft, Hoglander has jumped into the first round with his ability to make defenders miss with the puck on his stick.

"“A skilled winger with good acceleration and a better release. Plays bigger than his size and has looked capable in the SHL this season. Quick cuts and quicker hands allow him to dart in and out of traffic.” – Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects"

The winger will improve with more time spent in the Swedish top tier. His size will be brought into question by some teams, but he’s got the speed and skill to be the perfect winger in today’s game.