The Buffalo Sabres shocked their fanbase and the hockey world by taking two defenseman, a position they really didn’t need to draft in the first round of the 2013 draft, remaining at the 8th and 16th overall selection.
In the second round, with two picks, the Buffalo Sabres got greedy, and traded away Andrej Sekera for the 35th overall selection, and Jamie McBain.
With their three second round selections, the Buffalo Sabres looked to their forward ranks.
35th overall selection – J.T. Compher
Compher addresses the Buffalo Sabres need for wingers, something they are going to lack very soon. Compher was listed by central scouting as the number 34th overall North American Skater.
Compher comes to the Buffalo Sabres via the U.S. National Development Team.
J.T. brings “compete” to the Buffalo Sabres depth chart, something that is lacking – clearly visible in almost every battle on the ice that the Buffalo Sabres don’t come away with the puck.
If he can be fostered and grow into the National Hockey League caliber player that Buffalo needs him to be, he could be a young Chris Drury in the making – a guy that wants to have the puck on his stick – that wants to be the reason his team is winning.
Don’t expect Compher to join the Buffalo Sabres right away. The organization will allow him to attend college in the fall, and play at least two seasons with the University of Michigan.
You could realistically see Compher in blue and gold on a full time basis in 2016.
38th Overall Pick – Connor Hurley
Another selection from the U.S. National Development Team. Can you see the Ron Rolston influence on the future of the Buffalo Sabres? Much like the Buffalo Sabres first second round selection, Hurley is headed to the NCAA, but instead of the U of M, Hurley will don the sweater of the Fighting Irish.
If he can build his frame up to play against the likes of the Boston Bruins regularly – he can be on the roster full time by 2016. Compared to Dan Krejci – the Buffalo Sabres are drafting guys that are changing the overall image of how the Buffalo Sabres typically draft – they are not putting themselves into position to win now.
It could be a long suffering road for the Buffalo Sabres – but if they can sink to the bottom long enough to grab a top selection, i.e. one of the top three picks in the draft, we could be looking at the new core of a Darcy Regier selected hockey team.
52nd Overall Pick – Justin Bailey
The Buffalo Sabres love to have home grown players on their depth chart. David Leggio and Patrick Kaleta are drawn to mind. Now we have another Williamsville native, Justin Bailey.
I wouldn’t anticipate Justin Bailey seeing any professional ice time with Patrick Kaleta however; he is at least three to four seasons away from joining the blue and gold on a full time basis.
I wasn’t surprised by this selection, and I figured that the Buffalo Sabres would reach for Bailey to add him to the fold, we know how much they like their home town talent. Bailey would have most likely been around in the third round of the draft, Buffalo could have saved this pick for the 69th overall position.