The Buffalo Sabres selected nine players on the second day of the 2016 NHL Draft at First Niagara Center. These nine selections join Buffalo’s first-round pick, forward Alexander Nylander, to complete the team’s 2016 draft class, which includes six forwards and four defensemen. The Sabres also acquired defenseman Dmitry Kulikov from the Florida Panthers during the second round of the draft.
With their first pick of the second round (33rd overall), which was acquired from the Panthers along with Kulikov, the Sabres selected forward Rasmus Asplund. Asplund (5’10”, 176 lbs., 12/3/1997) finished the 2015-16 season ranked fourth among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting after recording 16 points (4+8) in 46 games in his second season with Farjestad in Sweden’s top professional league. He represented Sweden in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship as the youngest player on Sweden’s roster, tallying five points (3+2) in seven games while playing on a line with Nylander, Buffalo’s first-round selection.
The Sabres used the first of two third-round picks (69th overall) to select forward Cliff Pu. Pu (6’2”, 192 lbs., 6/3/1998) recorded 31 points (12+19), a plus-12 rating in 63 regular-season games during his second OHL season in 2015-16. The Richmond Hill, Ontario native added 13 points (8+5) in 18 OHL playoff games with the London Knights and another three points (1+2) in four Memorial Cup games, helping the Knights to an OHL Championship and a Memorial Cup win.
Buffalo selected their first defenseman of the draft next, choosing Casey Fitzgerald with their remaining third-round pick (86th overall). Fitzgerald (5’10”, 186 lbs., 2/25/1997) led all Boston College defensemen and ranked third among Eagles freshmen with 27 points (4+23) in 39 games during the 2015-16 season, tying for the team lead with a plus-27 rating. His 27-point output ranked Fitzgerald 11th among NCAA defensemen and second among rookies, earning him a spot on the Hockey East All-Rookie Team.
With their fourth-round pick (99th overall), the Sabres selected forward Brett Murray. Murray (6’4”, 216 lbs., 7/20/1998), who is committed to Penn State for his collegiate career, recorded 46 points (14+32) in 48 games in 2015-16 with Carleton Place (CCHL), adding 13 points (5+8) in 16 playoff games.
The Sabres opted for defensemen with each of their fifth-round picks, selecting Philip Nyberg (129th overall) and Vojtech Budik (130th overall) with back-to-back picks. Nyberg (6’3”, 189 lbs., 4/27/1997), who tallied 18 points (4+14) and a plus-11 rating for Linkoping (Sweden – Jr.) in 2015-16, will attend the University of Wisconsin in the fall. In his first WHL season in 2015-16, Budik (6’1”, 189 lbs., 1/29/1998) ranked third among Prince Albert rookies with 16 points (3+13) in 70 games.
Buffalo selected a forward in the sixth round, choosing Brandon Hagel with the 159th overall pick. As a rookie in 2015-16, Hagel (6’0”, 160 lbs., 8/27/1998) tied for fifth among Red Deer (WHL) skaters with 47 points (13+34) in 72 games and logged 10 points (1+9) in 17 playoff contests.
The Sabres rounded out their 2016 draft class with a pair of seventh-round picks, selecting defenseman Austin Osmanski (189th overall) and forward Vasily Glotov (190th overall). A native of East Aurora, New York,
Osmanski (6’3”, 196 lbs., 4/30/1998) completed his first OHL season with Mississauga in 2015-16 after spending the 2014-15 season with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres. Glotov (5’11”, 158 lbs., 9/4/1997) recently completed his second season with Lvy St. Petersburg (Russia – Jr.), recording 55 points (23+32) in 42 games.
Buffalo Sabres 2016 Draft Class
Round (Overall) – Player (Pos) / Amateur team
1 (8) – Alexander Nylander (LW) / Mississauga, OHL
2 (33) – Rasmus Asplund (C) / Farjestad, Sweden
3 (69) – Cliff Pu (RW) / London, OHL
3 (86) – Casey Fitzgerald (D) / Boston College, NCAA – Hockey East
4 (99) – Brett Murray (LW) / Carleton Place, CCHL
5 (129) – Philip Nyberg (D) / Linkoping Jr., Sweden (Jr.)
5 (130) – Vojtech Budik (D) / Prince Albert, WHL
6 (159) – Brandon Hagel (LW) / Red Deer, WHL
7 (189) – Austin Osmanski (D) / Mississauga, OHL
7 (190) – Vasily Glotov (C) / Lvy St. Petersburg 2, Russia (Jr.)