As all you Buffalo Sabres fans surely know, the Sabres will pick twice during the first round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
In our current Fansided Mock Draft, we have the Sabres going with Elias Lindholm with the 8th overall pick, which is a pretty solid choice in my humble opinion, as Lindholm has the ability to become a great playmaker on a team that really could use someone to create quality scoring opportunities.
Once we get past Lindholm, however, the draft starts to get a little scary. (Click here to see which players have been picked already by the NHL sites here on the Fansided network.) There are a lot of potential sleepers in the draft – but very few GMs sleep well at night knowing that their second pick in the draft is going to be a total shot in the dark. Out of all the North American professional sports, the NHL is the sport that has the most profound drop-off in “sure-fire picks” once you get outside of the top ten (some would say, the top five).
So if I were Darcy Regier, and found myself on the clock, staring at the notes I had on the players who were still available, who would I go with?
I could go with Zach Fucale, the highest-ranked goaltender in this year’s draft, giving me a pretty insane arsenal of quality goaltenders in the Buffalo Sabres’ system.
I could continue to look to improve my offense by going with Valentin Zykov or Alexander Wennberg, the highest-ranked offensive players still available (again, see our Fansided mock draft to see which sites were a little more daring with their picks.)
Having improved the offense with the Lindholm pick, I could shift my attention to defense and pick up Robert Hagg or Mirco Mueller, both of whom stand 6’2″ or taller.
Or I could just go crazy and look outside of the top-20 rankings and pick someone like Ryan Hartman, who played well for the US at the World Junior Championships?
Either way, this is the part of the draft where a lot of things can go wrong, and only the lucky make the right call. How lucky are you feeling? Make the pick!