Just seconds after the 2nd round of the NHL draft was underway, a trade was announced involving the Buffalo Sabres. Rumours were flying around all day about Myers being shipped out of town, however it was another Dman who was on his way out. Slovakian born Andrej Sekera was moved to Carolina for a 2nd round pick and veteran Jamie McBain. Although this trade was not a blockbuster that many Sabres fans wanted, it was a good trade for the Sabres and even a better one for McBain.
After making his NHL debut near the end of the 2009-10 season, Jamie McBain got off to a great start recording 10 points in his first 14 games, and his first full season in the NHL with 30 points in 76 games. A second round pick in the 06 draft, McBain was off to a very solid NHL career, until it was time for change in Carolina. The struggling Hurricanes brought in former Canadians assistant coach Kirk Muller to be their new head coach.
Just before the start of the shortened 2012-13 NHL season, it was reported that McBain was out of shape. This did not sit well with head coach Kirk Muller, and McBain found himself buried in the dog house for the majority of the season. McBain recorded a mere 8 points in 40 games this past season. Maybe a fresh start is just what Jamie McBain needs to revamp his once promising career.
The strength of McBain’s game is definitely his offense. Other than Christian Ehrhoff, the Sabres don’t really have too many threats from the point. McBain could be a perfect fit for the Sabres 2nd power play unit. He has a hard shot from the point and great vision while moving up ice. With a legitimate chance to prove himself, McBain could be part of the puzzle in improving the Sabres dreaded power play.
Although McBain is more of an offensive Dman, he isn’t bad in his own end as well, posting a plus/minus of 0 this past season. McBain is a solid puck mover which should allow for easy exits out of the defensive zone. If Ron Rolston can find the right partner for McBain (maybe Mike Weber or Mark Pysyk), this could prove to be a very effective add for the Sabres. McBain is only 25 years of age, so there is still lots left in the tank for the defenseman.
A new beginning is just what is needed for Jamie McBain, and the Sabres are the perfect fit. A young team, with a coach who loves to develop young talent, McBain may thrive with the blue and gold. Given the opportunity, I expect McBain to have his best offensive year in his young career with the Sabres, greatly improving their power play. The addition of McBain was another strong addition by Darcy Regier.