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?