Kevyn Adams ready to get 2022 draft started

Buffalo has three first-round picks, and 11 picks overall

Montreal, QC (WGR 550) – Hate to start with some sad news from the 2022 NHL Draft in Montreal. San Jose Sharks scout and former NHL player Bryan Marchment died in Montreal at the age of 53.

Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams spoke briefly on Wednesday about the sudden passing of the 17-year NHL veteran.

“It's really sad news thinking of the Marchment family," said Adams in Montreal. "Here at the draft, everybody’s together. It’s an exciting time, and then you hear news like that. It certainly puts things into perspective, but also thinking of the family. Thoughts and prayers are with them and the whole Sharks organization.”

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A lot of preparation has gone into the 2022 NHL Draft, as Adams and his staff have approached it from all angles. He says he just wants to get this going already.

“I’m definitely ready for tomorrow. We’re ready for the draft," Adams said with anticipation. "We’re excited, we’ve talked about these players quite a bit.”

Every time I talk about the draft with Adams, you can tell he enjoys this process.

“It’s such a unique opportunity," Adams said. "I just had this conversation with some other general managers this afternoon at the meeting that you’re preparing with four picks in the top-41, and you’re preparing for so many different players. But you’re also having these conversations with so many things that could be going on, so there’s a lot of moving parts right now.”

Sabres winger Victor Olofsson is a restricted free agent, and as Adams told me almost two weeks ago, he spoke with Olofsson’s agent Claude Lemieux here in Montreal.

“We’ve had very good conversations, and I think we’re in a good spot here where Mark Jakubowski has had some good conversations, as of late, with Claude Lemieux. It’s definitely on the top of our list,” Adams said.

Jacob Bryson and Brandon Biro are also restricted free agents with the same agent. Adams says he met Wednesday about both players.

“We’re getting down the road there, so it’s positive on that front,” he said.

Adams also told me that he was going to use this week to meet with defenseman Ryan Johnson’s advisors.

“I’m supposed to meet with them [Thursday], and for me, it’s about honesty and clarity," Adams said. "We’ll have that conversation, but we like him. We think he’s a good prospect, and I’ll have more information [Thursday].”

I’ve been wondering if Adams feels his team needs to get bigger both through the draft and with acquisitions. He says it can work both ways.

“I think you have to be really careful saying, ‘We gotta get bigger,’ and then you’re going to go chase bigger guys. You can tip the scale too far that way," Adams explained. "You’ve got to be careful taking all small guys and say that we wanted just a fast, skilled team. So I don’t think it’s a good idea to do it that way.

“I think it’s two different discussions, there’s the draft and to make sure you’re projecting players. It is not what they are tomorrow, it’s what do they look like at 22- and 23-years-old? What’s their ceiling? And size plays a role for sure, but I think it’s more about the projection, and what does this player bring that he’s going to help us win hockey games?”

Adams says when you’re done thinking that way, then there’s another way you must think.

“On the other side of that is your roster, and where we are today," he said. "It’s always in the conversation, but we want really good hockey players that want to be in Buffalo that are competitive and smart.”

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Brian Koziol and Joe DiBiase will get our coverage on Thursday underway at 7 p.m. ET, as the Sabres' first pick will be ninth overall.

Photo credit Losi and Gangi