What Might Have Been...

Since nothing is going on in the hockey world except, Kovalchuck chatting away with the Kings and holding up the rest of the NHL from making moves, and Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood getting married I decided to take a look back.

Going all the way back to the 1991 Draft I’ve compiled a list of who the Sabres drafted… and who we could have drafted. I know no one could have guessed how some of these players were going to develop, but it’s fun to see what might have been

The sources for these picks range from Wikipedia (which who knows how credible that is) to The Internet Hockey Database. So lets get underway!

In 1991 the Sabres chose with their first round pick Philippe Boucher! The defenceman who spent most of his career with LA and Dallas. The Sabres could have chosen any of the following… Alexei Kovalev, Markus Naslund, Ray Whitney, Steve Staios, Michael Nylander, and everyone’s favorite goaltender; Chris Osgood. (If you navigated here by yourself, be sure to click, Continue Reading)

In 1992 the Sabres went with David Cooper. We past up on Sergei Gonchar, Martin Straka, and Mattias Norstrom. (I’m just listing who the notables are in these draft classes by the way.)

In 1993 the Sabres didn’t have a first round pick, but in the second round we picked Denis Tsygurov. We could have had Bryan McCabe.

1994 saw the Sabres pick Wayne Primeau. Potential picks could have been Mathieu Dandenault or Patrik Elias. Elias would have been quite a Sabre…

95′ is the year we brought Jay Mckee and Marty Biron into the NHL. Petr Sykora was still available and so was Vesa Toskala, so luckily we picked Marty.

1996 the sabres picked Erik Rasmussen and Cory Sarich. We could have picked Marco Sturm, or Daniel Briere, Big Zdeno Chara or even Tom Poti.

97′ was the year we brought in every Sabres fan favorite goalie, Mika Noronen . We could have had Scott Hannan, Kristian Huselius, or Joseph Corvo.

1998 is when Dmitri Kalinin would start turning the puck over for the Blue and Gold for many years to come. We could have picked, Robyn Regehr, Simon Gagne, Scott Gomez, Mike Ribeiro, Brad Richards, Erik Cole, Francois Beauchemin, Brian Gionta or the now underachieving Jonathan Cheechoo.

In 1999 we picked Barrett Heisten. Instead we could have had Nick Boynton, or Marty Havlat.

2000 was when we picked Artem Kriukov. Also available at the time of that selection were Brooks Orpik, Anton Volchenkov, Alexander Frolov, Brad Boyes and Justin Williams.

2001 we went with Jiri Novotny. When we could have had Tim Gleason, David Steckel, or Mike Cammalleri.

In 2002 the Sabres selected Keith Ballard and Daniel Paille. Still available at each of those picks were, Alexander Semin, Cam Ward, Duncan Keith, Matt Stajan, Jiri Hudler, and Matthew Lombardi.

2003 was when we brought in the Austrian sensation, Thomas Vanek. Still available at his selection were Ryan Suter, Dion Phaneuf, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Brent Burns, Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards, and Corey Perry. A fairly strong draft class wouldn’t you agree?

2004 we brought in # 21 Drew Stafford. Instead we could have went with Andrej Meszaros, Mike Green, David Booth or Brandon Dubinsky, or even the player who would abandon Nashville and head of to the land of oil (Russia), Alexander Radulov.

2005 Marek Zagrapan became a Sabre. Other potential Sabres include, Martin Hanzal, Tuukka Rask, Nicklas Bergfors, TJ Oshie, Paul Stastny, and Kris Letang.

In 2006 we picked Dennis Persson. Still available at his selection was Milan Lucic. It may be to early to tell about Persson, but the Sabres could sure use a Lucic.

The Sabres did not have a first round pick in 2007, and it may be too early to tell if there were any diamonds in the rough.

2008 is when we brought in our version of Zdeno Chara, Tyler Myers, as well as Tyler Ennis.

And that’s where our look back comes to an end. I hope you enjoyed the journey, because I know I did. (For further clarification, the alternative draft selections were players still available at the time of the Sabres selection.)

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