The Sabres need to focus on acquiring a standout defenseman from the Canucks.

The Buffalo Sabres made a significant move prior to the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline by trading Casey Mittelstadt for Bowen Byram, marking a significant trade for both teams as they addressed weaknesses by utilizing their surplus assets.

Although the addition of Byram strengthened the Sabres’ defensive lineup, there is still room for improvement. Acquiring a top-four defenseman, preferably a right-shot, should be the next priority for the Sabres. One intriguing option they should consider is Filip Hronek of the Vancouver Canucks.

Filip Hronek

At 26 years old, Hronek has been in exceptional form for the Canucks this season, tallying five goals and achieving a career-best 46 points in 74 games. Additionally, he holds the eighth position in the NHL with an impressive plus-32 rating.

Given Hronek’s outstanding performance for the Canucks, it’s evident that they aim to retain him for the long haul. However, as expected, the talented right-shot defenseman is seeking a substantial contract. According to a recent report by Irfaan Gaffar, Hronek turned down an eight-year contract extension valued around $52 million.

Filip Hronek

Should the Canucks fail to secure Hronek to a long-term contract and resort to arbitration this summer, it would leave him just a year away from becoming an unrestricted free agent (UFA). This scenario naturally positions him as a potential trade target, as losing such a valuable asset without compensation would be detrimental for the Canucks.

The Sabres should closely monitor this unfolding situation. If Hronek becomes available in any capacity, Buffalo would be prudent to express interest. His addition would significantly enhance their top four defense and bolster their power play capabilities.

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