It’s been exactly five years since the Buffalo Sabres selected then-18-year-old defenseman Tyler Myers out of the Kelowna Rockets with the 12th overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. A total of 211 players were drafted that year, including eight selections by the Sabres. So: where are they now?
Round one saw the drafting of players including future Maurice Richard Trophy winner Steven Stamkos, current Buffalo Sabres centerman Cody Hodgson (selected 10th overall by the Vancouver Canucks), Jordan Eberle and Norris-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson. The Sabres had two selections in round one.
12. TYLER MYERS - Defense - from Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
Myers played his final season with the Rockets in 2008-09 before joining the Sabres for the 2009-10 season. He played all 82 games his rookie season, scoring his first career NHL goal on October 16, 2009, and ending the season with 11 goals and 37 assists. To date, these numbers remain NHL-career-highs for Myers. He’s played 256 career NHL games, accruing 116 points and a plus-10 in that stretch. Ten of his 32 career NHL goals have come on the power play, and nine of his goals have been game-winners. He remains signed with the Buffalo Sabres, with his current contract ending after the 2018-19 season.
26. TYLER ENNIS – Center – from Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
Like Myers, Ennis returned to his WHL squad for a final season before breaking into the NHL. However, unlike his taller counterpart, Ennis spent the majority of the 2009-10 season with the Portland Pirates of the AHL. There, he had 23 goals and 42 assists for 65 points in the only AHL season of his career. He also had nine points in 10 games with the Sabres, including his first NHL goal in his first NHL game on November 14, 2009 against the Philadelphia Flyers. After the split season, he’d spend the entirety of the next three seasons with the Buffalo Sabres. Overall, he’s scored 123 points (48-75) in 187 career NHL games, all with the Buffalo Sabres. He’s entering the final year of his current contract and will become an RFA after the 2013-14 season unless the Sabres re-sign him.
44. LUKE ADAM – Center – from St. John’s Fog Devils (QMJHL)
Adam would spend a pair of seasons after being drafted in the QMJHL, first with Junior de Montreal and then with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. He made his NHL debut in the 2010-11 season, but has always struggled to maintain an NHL roster spot – largely under the coaching tenure of Lindy Ruff. His rookie season saw him score 62 points in 57 games with the AHL’s Portland Pirates, along with four points in 19 NHL games. The following season, he played 52 games with the Sabres (20 points) and 27 with the Rochester Americans (13 points). Adam appeared in four NHL games last season, scoring one goal, and had 37 points in 67 games with the AHL’s Americans. He’s set to become a restricted free agent this offseason.
81. COREY FIENHAGE – Defense – from Eastview High School (MN)
After being drafted out of high school, Fienhage spent two seasons with the University of North Dakota before playing a season with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. He appeared in four AHL games in the 2010-11 season with the Portland Pirates. The next season would see him split between the Rochester Americans and the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators. He spent the majority of this past season in the ECHL but appeared in three games with the Americans. In an organization overloaded with defensive prospects, Fienhage has struggled to maintain a spot even on the AHL squad.
101. JUSTIN JOKINEN – Right Wing – from Cloquet High School (MN)
After being drafted, Jokinen went the college route, playing four years of hockey with Minnesota State. Through four years, he played 124 games and had 18 goals and 21 assists. He appeared in two preseason games with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces in 2012 on a tryout. No other information about his playing status could be found.
104. JORDON SOUTHORN – Defense – from P.E.I. Rocket (QMJHL)
After being drafted, Southorn played two more seasons with the P.E.I. Rocket before joining the ECHL’s Trenton Devils in 2010. He played the entirety of the 2010-11 season there. The following season was split between the ECHL’S Trenton Titans and Wheeling Nailers, but Southorn also played two AHL games with the Providence Bruins. He spent last season wth the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals, where had 11 goals and 23 assists and was a plus-27 in 64 games. He is no longer property of the Buffalo Sabres, however, after they failed to sign him.
134. JACOB LAGACE – Left Wing – from Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL)
Lagace finished two more seasons in the QMJHL after being drafted before he made it to the AHL full-time in 2010-11. That season, he played 58 games with the Portland Pirates, scoring 10 goals and 13 assists. He also appeared in 13 games with the ECHL’s Greenville Road Warriors, tallying six assists in his stint there. The 2011-12 season was spent entirely with the AHL’s Rochester Americans, where Lagace had 10 goals and 10 assists in 58 games. Last season, unable to find a roster spot with the Americans, he spent the majority of the year with the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors, where he scored 36 points and had 68 penalty minutes. He appeared in four games for the Americans, and is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason.
164. NICK CRAWFORD – Defense – from Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
The only OHLer drafted in 2008 by the Buffalo Sabres, Crawford remained in the OHL for two seasons after being drafted, with the Spirit and the Barrie Colts. He made the AHL squad in 2010-11 and has been in that league ever since. In 2010-11, Crawford was a minus-1 and had 31 points in 76 games with the Portland Pirates. The following season saw him score 22 points and accrue a minus-2 in 70 games. Last season, he had five goals and 14 assists for 19 points in 53 regular season games with the Americans. He’s also set to hit restricted free agency this offseason if the Sabres don’t re-sign him before then.