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In Round 3, Sabres take Russian winger Viktor Neuchev at No. 74 overall

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MONTREAL – With their third-round selection, the Buffalo Sabres took Russian left winger Viktor Neuchev at No. 74 overall Friday.

The Sabres took four Russians in last year's draft and have already signed one, Aleksandr Kisakov, to play this year in Rochester. 

Neuchev is 6-2, 165 and had a big year for Yekaterinburg of the Russian junior league with 40 goals and 27 assists in 61 games. A left-handed shooter, he was often used as a sniper on his off wing to showcase his elite-level shot. He was ranked as the No. 34 European skater by NHL Central Scouting.

The Sabres' next pick comes in the fourth round at No. 106 overall.

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NHL Central Scouting had Leinonen ranked as the top European goalie in the draft class after a season in which he was outstanding in Finland's Under-20 junior league. Leinonen, 18, saw his draft stock take a hit with a difficult performance at the IIHF Under-18 World Championship, when he posted an .897 save percentage in five games during Finland's run to a bronze medal.

A source told The Buffalo News that the Sabres are "very interested" in signing Pilut and the left-shot defenseman is even willing to return on a two-way contract, which would allow the club to assign him to Rochester of the American Hockey League if he doesn't make the NHL roster out of training camp.

Equipped with cap space ahead of the NHL draft Thursday, the Sabres tried to acquire two-time Stanley Cup champion Matt Murray of the Ottawa Senators. A source confirmed the report by Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet that Murray blocked the move with his 10-team no trade list, which included Buffalo.

A new contract for winger Victor Olofsson is atop general manager Kevyn Adams’ priority list ahead of a draft in which the Sabres own picks 9, 16 and 28. Olofsson, 26, is a restricted free agent after completing his third NHL season – remarkably, only his first featuring a full 82-game schedule – and the negotiation can’t be simple for either side.

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