MONTREAL – The Buffalo Sabres this morning selected Finnish goalie Topias Leinonen in the second round, 41st overall, at the NHL Draft.
The 6-foot-5, 233-pound Leinonen is NHL Central Scouting’s top-ranked European goalie.
Leinonen, 18, spent most of last season with JYP, a junior team, compiling a 9-10-0 record with a 2.28 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage in 21 games. He also played four games with JYP’s pro team in Liiga and made two appearances with KeuPa HT, a team in a second-tier Finnish pro league.
Stay tuned for updates. The Sabres already have goalie prospects Devon Levi, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Erik Portillo. Leinonen’s selection might mean the Sabres will deal Portillo’s rights.
Update: The Sabres have drafted Russian winger Viktor Neuchev in the third round, 74th overall.
The 6-foot-2, 165-pound Neuchev is Central Scouting’s 34th-ranked European skater.
Neuchev, 18, spent most of last season with Avto Yekaterinburg, a junior team in the MHL, registering 40 goals and 67 points in 61 games. He pumped a league-high 363 shots on goal and ranked third in goal scoring.
He also went pointless in six pro contests, including one with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg, a Kontinental Hockey League team.
Update: The Sabres have drafted defenseman Mats Lindgren in the fourth round, 106th overall.
The 5-foot-11, 173-pound Lindgren is Central Scouting’s 47th-ranked North American skater.
Lindgren, 17, compiled five goals and 44 points in 68 games with the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers last season.
His father, also named Mats, was an NHL forward in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Update: The Sabres have drafted Russian defenseman Vsevolod Komarov in the fifth round, 134th overall.
The 6-foot-2, 182-pound defenseman is Central Scouting’s 170th-ranked North American skater.
Komarov, 18, compiled two goals, 19 points and a plus-35 rating in 60 games with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Quebec Remparts last season.
Update: The Sabres have drafted forward Jake Richard in the sixth round, 170th overall.
The 6-foot-1, 171-pound Richard isn’t ranked by Central Scouting.
Richard, 17, compiled 18 goals and 47 points in 56 games last season with the United States Hockey League’s Muskegon Lumberjacks. He plans to play at UConn in 2023.
Update: The Sabres have drafted Swedish center Gustav Karlsson in the sixth round, 187th overall.
The 6-foot-1, 165-pound Karlsson is Central Scouting’s 59th-ranked European skater.
Karlsson, 18, spent most of last season with Orebro Jr., scoring 31 goals and 48 points in 41 games. He also played two game’s for Orebro’s big club.
Update: The Sabres have drafted winger Joel Ratkovic Berndtsson in the seventh round, 202nd overall.
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Ratkovic Berndtsson isn’t ranked by Central Scouting.
Ratkovic Berndtsson, 18, compiled 22 goals and 49 points in 47 games with Vastra Frolunda Jr. last season.
Update: The Sabres have drafted Swedish winger Linus Sjodin in the seventh round, 211th overall.
Sjodin, their final pick, isn’t ranked by Central Scouting.
The 5-foot-11, 168-pound Sjodin, 19, spent most of last season with Rogle BK Angelholm in the Swedish Hockey League, scoring five goals and 11 points in 49 games.