Kevyn Adams high on Sabres draft pick Zach Benson

NASHVILLE, TN (WHEC) – Buffalo Sabres GM Kevyn Adams took over in 2020 and has quickly helped the team trend upward. The Sabres earned 91 points in the 2022-23 regular season, the most since they had 96 in 2010-11, the last time they made the postseason.

A big reason for the recent success has been drafting and development. In his first draft with the Sabres in 2020, Adams had a hand in taking Jack Quinn. Quinn was 8th on the team in points last season. JJ Peterka was drafted in the second round that year, and was 10th in points last season.

In 2021, Kevyn Adams once again struck gold, taking Owen Power with the first overall pick. Two short years later, and Power already finished 9th on the team in points and 7th in assists. Isak Rosen, Aleksandr Kisakov, and Tyson Kozak were also taken in the 2021 NHL Draft. All three were implemental in the Rochester Americans run to the Eastern Conference Finals these past playoffs.

Of course, the 2022 NHL Draft picks are still very inexperienced, but Matthew Savoie and Jiri Kulich both appeared in games for the organization last season, with Kulich as one of the best rookies in the AHL.

Zach Benson is the latest first round pick of the Buffalo Sabres

Taken 13th overall in the 2023 NHL Draft, Benson, a left winger, is the latest player taken by Kevyn Adams. The 18-year-old finished 3rd in points in the Western Hockey League last season, only behind first overall pick Connor Bedard, and Dallas Stars prospect Chase Wheatcroft.

Although the Sabres’ biggest need was more defensemen, it was nearly impossible for Adams to ignore Benson’s potential.

“As we were going through our scouting meetings, every single scout that had watched him over the course of basically the last two years,” said Adams, “said they just generally walked away from the game saying he was the best player on the ice.”

On top of that, Adams noted other characteristics besides Benson’s skills on the ice.

“The work ethic, the competitiveness, the intelligence, the passion, the stuff that I look for is in spades,” said Adams.