A couple days ago a colleague of mine posted Early Offseason Predictions For The Buffalo Sabres, I really liked the post and had already been thinking about one of the scenerios mentioned. I completely agree about the draft day predictions (great minds think alike), and I am wishing for the same thing to happen, with a slightly different twist…
I remember last years draft like it was yesterday, mostly because my son was only a couple months old and I was excited that it was his first draft experience. I decked him out in Sabres gear and we sat next to each other and watched as the Sabres made some pretty interesting moves. He didn’t have much to say about them, he must have known the Sabres would screw it up in the future somehow. For example barely playing Grigorenko when he could have been boosting his confidence in the QMJHL.
Enough about last years draft though, I want to concentrate on this upcoming draft. The Buffalo Sabres have the 8th pick in the draft this year, four spots lower than last year (12th), with just as much talent to choose from. The Sabres also have the first round draft pick of the Minnesota Wild, but because they ended up making the playoffs the pick number is yet to be determined.
I think the Sabres have a lot of options going into draft day. One option I think would excite Sabres fans, and maybe even give Darcy a shot at some love, would be to trade down on draft day and acquire a pick within the top three.
The Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, and the Tampa Bay Lightning hold spots one through three, in that order. In my eyes the Avalanche would be best to trade with, only because they are in the Western conference, but who would want to get rid of the number one pick (you never know though). The top three prospects are names that you have been hearing all year long, Jones, MacKinnon, and Drouin.
I would love any three of those players on the Sabres, but I think Jonathan Drouin could be that dynamic player that the Sabres could build around for years and years to come. If you have watched any video on this kid you would certainly agree with me, I have no doubt.
According to the Halifax Mooseheads website, in the regular season of the QMJHL, Drouin accumulated 105 points (41+64) in 49 games played. Those are ridiculous numbers. This kid knows how to light the lamp with hard work and skill, oh and he can pass too. I know everyone always talks about the Sabres getting bigger down the middle, and being stronger, look at how that turned out so far. We have the strength, now lets bring in some real talent (still somewhat agree that we need a big center, not going to happen for a while though).
Now the question is who do the Sabres dangle in front of those three teams. I have two players in mind who have questionable futures in Buffalo. Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller could potentially be part of a package that could land the Sabres a number one pick, or two, or three. Any one of those picks would help out Buffalo substantially, but my choice is Drouin with that pick.
Call me crazy but I think it would be a bold move by Regier and it would show me that he is serious about this rebuild. Plus I don’t exactly want to witness a rebuild on the fly (which he has mentioned a couple times), which I think would go disastrous and just add time to the suffering that Buffalo has already endured.