The Buffalo Sabres are still about a month away from players reporting to training camp, so hockey really isn’t on the mind of fans out there in Western New York.

However, there is hockey taking place as we speak.

The World Juniors are taking place in Edmonton, Alberta. The final four is being played and features Canada vs. Czechia and Finland vs. Sweden.

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Czechia upset Team USA in the previous round and while it’s a long shot to beat the Canadians, the Czechia have had a great run and one of the biggest reasons in Sabres 2022 first round pick, Jiri Kulich.

Kulich was selected with the 28th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft back in July and it was a huge surprise to the Sabres Kulich fell that far. In fact, the Sabres showed that general manager Kevyn Adams and his scouts almost went with Kulich at 16th overall when they took Noah Ostlund.

Adams tried to trade with multiple teams to select Kulich, but as it turns out he fell to them anyway.

The 18-year old center can play the wing and has 6 points in 6 games during the World Juniors. He was very good last season with Karlovy in Czechia’s top men’s league.

He has an excellent shot and has tremendous vision in the ice. He honestly could be future 30-goal scorer in the NHL and Rochester Americans head coach Seth Appert is so confident that Kulich will be in North America next season, he recently admitted that he expects Kulich to play for Rochester this season.

That would be very rare — for a late first round pick to make it full-time in the AHL as an 18–19 year old in year one. Kulich said after he was drafted he expects himself to make the Sabres roster, which will likely not happen but shows his confidence in his ability.

Ostlund will likely not make the Sabres or Amerks this season, while Savoie will have a decent chance to be with Rochester to start. It sounds like Kulich will be with Rochester, which is amazing.

The Sabres may have found the steal of the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft.

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