Dearest Buffalo Sabres fans: it’s time to gaze deeply into my crystal ball (Gah! Why do I keep using that phrase?) and tell me what you see . . . regarding the 2013 NHL Prospects Tournament, that is.
Jeez – keep it clean, folks!
The tournament, which the Buffalo Sabres won the last time they attended (2011), is scheduled to kick-off today at 3:30 p.m. in Traverse City, Michigan. Competing in the tournament alongside the boys from Buffalo will be prospects from the New York Rangers, the Minnesota Wild, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Detroit Red Wings, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Dallas Stars, and the St. Louis Blues.
Frankly, I’m excited for this tournament, mostly because it means we finally get to watch some hockey, as well as being able to see what the hopeful future stars of the Buffalo Sabres can do on the ice . . . but I’m also extremely interested to see how the highly-ranked prospects of the Sabres fare against these other teams. Watching this tournament really is like taking a peak into the future, especially with the Sabres just beginning what could be a 3-4 year rebuilding process. Is the future for Buffalo bright? How well the Sabres prospects do at this tournament could go a long way toward answering that question.
The Sabres will skate a team that is loaded with first-round picks – six, to be exact, with five of those being top 20 picks, to boot – but face some staunch competition from the likes of Dallas (10 players chosen in either the first of second round over the past five years, including this year’s tenth overall pick, Valeri Nichushkin), Carolina (who will be showcasing the fifth overall pick this year, Elias Lindholm) and Columbus (featuring the second overall pick in the 2012 draft, Ryan Murray), just to name a few. Will the experts who have labelled the Buffalo Sabres prospect pool as being the third-best in the NHL be proven correct? Will the Sabres overcome the absence of Mkihail Grigorenko? And will I ever grow up and cease to find crystal ball jokes funny???
Time to vote!