Although there are still many holes that need to be filled in the Buffalo Sabres line-up, one thing is clear. There is no shortage of skill and potential the Sabres have between the pipes. Other than Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth, the Sabres have four other goalies in the system who are currently under contract. With rumors of Ryan Miller’s time coming to an end in Buffalo, which goalies may we see in the future?
If something were to happen to one of our two starting goalies, the first man we would see up in the NHL would be Matt Hackett. The 23 year old was part of the Jason Pominville trade, coming over from the Wild. Hackett has proven himself in the AHL, composing a record of 65-53-13. Although he is still relatively young, the London, Ontario born goalie is ready to make the jump to the NHL. Hackett is just one trade or injury away from getting the call up.
Still years away from the NHL, Andrey Makarov is an intriguing prospect. After going undrafted, Makarov was signed as a free agent by the Buffalo Sabres. Makarov is coming off a 37-17-5 record in the WHL. What was most impressive was Makarov’s 57 save performance in the 2012 World Juniors, which resulted in a 1-0 loss in the finals for team Russia. Makarov has shown much potential throughout his young career, and could prove to be a steal for the Sabres down the road.
A 6th round pick by the Sabres in the 09 draft, Connor Knapp has struggled the past couple of years. After having a successful career in the CCHA with Miami University, Knapp appeared in 7 games with Rochester last season, posting a 1-6 record. With just 1 year left until he becomes an RFA, Knapp must have a bounce back year, and prove he is worth another contract.
Nathan Lieuwen rounds up the list of goalies for the Buffalo Sabres. Drafted in the 6th round in the 2011 draft, Lieuwen split time between the ECHL and the AHL during the 2012-13 season. In 4 games with Rochester, he compiled a 1-2 record with a promising .919 save percentage and a 2.65 goals against average. With 2 years remaining on his current contract, and at the young age of 22, Lieuwen represents the future in goal for Rochester.
Despite having two starting NHL goalies on their current roster, the Buffalo Sabres are in good shape for goalies. With four young net minders who have all shown glimpses of promise and potential, the goalie position will continue to remain a strength for the Buffalo Sabres.