Apr 26, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller (30) during the game against the New York Islanders at the First Niagara Center. Sabres beat the Islanders 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres: My Dream Draft Day Scenario

If the Buffalo Sabres are indeed entering a full rebuild, here are some thoughts on my personal “dream draft day” scenario:

1. Patrick Roy, the new Colorado Avalanche coach and Vice President of Hockey Operations, wants a bonafide proven goaltender manning his new team.

It is known that Roy has had communications with Darcy Regier, regarding the development of Sabres top draft pick Mikhail Grigorenko, whom Roy was coaching with the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts. It is also possible that the two have had discussions regarding Roy’s son, Frederick, who is playing with the Sabres AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans.

Since it is common knowledge that Ryan Miller is on the market, Roy becomes intrigued with the idea of Miller manning the net for his new team, and Regier is able to trade Miller to the Avalanche, for their number one overall pick (other details to be hammered out). With that number one pick, the Buffalo Sabres select Nathan MacKinnon.

2. The Tampa Bay Lightning, sick of the albatross of a contract that they have with Vincent Lecavalier, make a deal with Regier.

The Sabres trade their number 16 pick (and possibly more, Drew Stafford?) for the number 3 pick held by Tampa Bay. This is where Terry Pegula’s billions come into play, as Buffalo uses the move to ultimately make Lecavalier an amnesty buyout. With the 3rd pick, the Sabres select Jonathan Drouin, or Sasha Barkov, whichever is available.

3. The “Russian factor” takes place at the draft, just as it did with Mikhail Grigorenko, and the Buffalo Sabres land Valery Nichushkin at the 8th draft spot.

4. After pulling off a major coup, obtaining 3 of the top 8 draft picks in the 2013 draft (which is considered to be one of the best in a long time), the Sabres re-sign Thomas Vanek to an extension.

After seeing MacKinnon, Drouin/Barkov, and Nichushkin added to the potential upcoming Sabres roster, Vanek becomes excited about the prospects of playing with the aforementioned playmakers. Add in to the mix Grigorenko, Cody Hodgson, Johan Larsson, Joel Armia, the emerging defensive corps, and fresh gold-medal-winning Jhonas Enroth, and maybe Vanek decides Buffalo is where he wants to stay and lead the youth movement.

5. With the two 2nd round picks that Buffalo holds, they draft at least one player that becomes a regular NHL contributor, or trade both picks for a solid top prospect.

Sean Couturier and Sven Baertschi come to mind. Many mock drafts that I have reviewed, have the Sabres taking a bevvy of defensemen, which I feel the team does not to restock the shelves on just yet. With the emergence of Mike Weber this season, the solid play of Christian Ehrhoff and Alex Sulzer, having Andrej Sekera, the Tyler Myers project still in effect, and the potential of Mark Pysyk, Chad Ruhwedel, and Brayden McNabb, plus Jake McCabe in the well and the option of retaining Adam Pardy, I do not feel this position need addressing just yet.

What are your thoughts Sabres fans? What is your dream draft day scenario for the future of our team?


Tags: Buffalo Sabres Draft Day NHL Ryan Miller Thomas Vanek

  • Justin Tosczak

    That sounds like a dream I would not want to wake up from.

    • Andrew

      I am really hoping DR has something tricky up his sleeves along these lines!

      • Justin Tosczak

        Some other additions I would like to see perhaps instead though.

        1) Draft Monahan. He is the type of guy to be the Captain as early as next year if he embraces it. Extreme skills, unbelievable hockey sense and vision, and second to none work Ethic. With a team that is so filled with Ethic and heart ( Ott, Gerbe, Weber, etc) Monahan would be an absolute perfect player to lead the next wave of Sabres.

        2) Play the market on Miller, I think we can all agree is an unbelievable goalie, but with the current situation with the rebuild, and the depth of good goalies we have, he is expendable. Use him to trade up. As high as we can go. If we could land MacKinnon that would be fantastic, but I honestly think Drouin will not turn out to be the superstar everyone is thinking he will be. He hasn’t proved himself to be an elite without other super stars around him… Max Domi and Monahan will both be drafted higher than expected, but if we could land both of them, and Also pick up someone like Prospal to help lead the new era of the sabres, then the 2016 Sabres could be Lethal.

        3) Edmonton Oilers Baby. Let your mind race with this one, but between Hall-Eberle-Yakupov-Paajarvi-Gagne and Nugent Hopkins, They have some very attractive trade pieces.. They also are very weak in the Goaltending category.. What happens here is We trade Miller, for their First round pick (Monahan) And one of their prospects. We draft back to back (7+8) And with the 8 pick we take a risk in Domi. We can save our 16th pick, or use it to help with a trade.

        There is a few other plays I would love to see, but I think with the Style of team we have RIGHT NOW, and what we have to utilize to make a new team for next year, these players are key.

        • Andrew

          Monahan seems like a great prospect as well.

          The problem with Miller is his trade clause. This Limits where he can go – doubt we could move him to a place like Calgary.

  • Robert Patrick Moscato

    I am not sure that Ryan is willing to go to a team that’s not on the west coast. If he’s willing to go to Denver and Patrick Roy is willing to make that trade then I’m all in. It would be real nice if all the pieces in this story fit.

    • Andrew

      Millsie isn’t gonna have too much of a choice, outside of his 8 “no-go” selections. LA and SJ are set in net, ANA could be an option.

      I’m just thinking Roy, being a goalie, might want a top goalie like Miller (or, gulp, Bernier), leading his new endeavor.

  • Andrew

    I see that another site picked up on my idea and ran it as a story a day later.

    Great job, Other site!!!

  • Russell

    Sabres Calgary
    Drew Stafford 5th Overall Pick
    Thomas Vanek Sven Baertschi
    Second Round Pick
    Second Round Pick
    Third Round Pick
    Fifth Round Pick
    Fifth Round Pick
    Fifth Round Pick
    Sixth Round Pick
    Seventh Round Pick

    Use the 5th pick to draft Valeri Nihushkin
    Use the 8th pick to draft Elias Lindholm, Alexander Barkov, Sean Monahan, or Darnell Nurse depending on which one is available.

    This allows you to get two players that could be great from this draft and Sven Baertschi is a winger that us only 20 and has a lot of skill and he also has a lot of potential.

    Then if

    Phoenix Coyotes Buffalo Sabres
    12th overall pick Ryan Miller
    Next years first round pick

    With the 12th pick take Hunter Shinkaruk. He should be a solid player.

    Buffalo Sabres Capitals

    Nathan Gerbe Evgeny Kuznetsov

    16th Overall Pick

    2014 First Round Pick from the Coyotes

    2014 Second Round

    2014 Second Round

    2014 Second Round

    2015 Second Round

    2015 Second Round