Sabres Sign First-Round Pick Yardbarker

The Sabres have signed Konsta Helenius to a three-year entry-level contract.

Helenius, 18, was picked 14th overall in the 2024 draft. He was expected to go higher but ended up being the first Finn chosen and the third right winger after Beckett Sennecke and Ivan Demidov. Despite this, many scouting sites ranked him in the top 10, with TSN’s Bob McKenzie placing him at No. 9.

Standing at 5-foot-11 and weighing 190 pounds, Helenius already has a solid build for professional hockey. He played most of the last two seasons in Finland’s top league, Liiga. Last season with Jukurit, he scored 36 points (14 goals and 22 assists) in 51 games and added six points in six playoff games .

Helenius’ Potential:

Although he’s not seen as having the highest potential among his peers, Helenius is considered very reliable and was likely Buffalo’s best option at pick number 14. The Sabres got this pick from a trade with the Sharks just before the draft; originally it came from the Penguins in last summer’s Erik Karlsson trade.

Signing this contract means Helenius might play for Buffalo’s AHL team in Rochester this season. According to Lance Lysowski from The Buffalo News, that’s what the team prefers. After leading all U18 players in Liiga for two years straight, he seems ready for this step up. Elite Prospects praises him as “a well-rounded, detailed play-driver who is always a step ahead of the opposition.“

Fans might think it’s exciting to see how quickly he’ll adapt to North American hockey .

Will Helenius make an impact right away? What do you think?

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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