The 2012 Entry Draft is over, and the Buffalo Sabres walk away with a handful of prospects with no new NHL ready talent to assist them in year two of the three year plan to win the Stanley Cup.
That is not to say that General Manager Darcy Regier will allow the Buffalo Sabres to take the current roster of players into training camp, as free agency is set to open on July 1 – and there is still plenty of time for trades prior to the start of the seasons.
Here is a look at what happened for the Buffalo Sabres on day two of the 2012 Entry Draft it Pittsburgh.
Round Two – having used their second round pick in the first round to move up to get Girgensons, the Sabres were left with on one second round pick.
Round Two saw the Buffalo Sabres address the defense, and you have to think that the team will continue to think defense first as they build for a run at the Stanley Cup. From the University of Wisconsin, the Buffalo Sabres add Jake McCabe with the 44th overall pick.
McCabe, despite his youth has good hockey knowledge, stick work, and grit. He can move laterally as well as north to south – making him an all around threat. While some development and maturation is necessary before the NHL, he could easily be seeing the Buffalo Sabres blue line similar to the way Sekera, Weber, and a slew of others in the Buffalo system got their start.
Only taking one round off from the mission, the Buffalo Sabres were right back on point selecting another big centermen with their third round pick. With the 73rd overall pick in the 2012 draft, the Buffalo Sabres selected Justin Kea of Saginaw in the OHL. I see this has a fill the position need, because he was ranked much lower, at 93 among North American skaters. He does add a 6’4′ frame to the system – and with some grooming in the farm system might make a good NHL centerman, or a good journeyman for those instances when the Sabres need to look to Rochester to fill in.
Who could the Buffalo Sabres have drafted instead of trading to get Christian Erhoff to sign here? How about Loic Leduc from Cape Breton. We will have to watch the career of this young defenseman to see if the impact on the blue line with Erhoff was worth it as Leduc goes to the Islanders.
While the rest of the league feasted on the abundance of defensive talent in this draft, the Buffalo Sabres again selected a center with the 133rd overall selection, taking Logan Nelson from Victoria in the WHL in the fifth round.
There had to be a goalie somewhere, and the Buffalo Sabres don’t like to draft those high. In the sixt round the Buffalo Sabres add another Swedish goaltender to the ranks, looking for Linus Ullmark of MODO Hockey Jr. to be the next in line to the blue paint.
At 193 the Sabres went back to defense, taking Brady Austin from Belleville and closed out the draft by taking another center, Judd Peterson from Duluth Marshall (Minnesota High School).
That concludes the draft – look this week for more indepth looks at the newest prospects to join the ranks of the Buffalo Sabres along with our constant coverage leading up to the opening of free agency on July 1st.