April 23, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Thomas Vanek (26) at the face-off circle against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Buffalo Sabres won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres: Fantasy Preview


Let’s face it, as fans we love to play fantasy sports! Whether it’s hockey or football, we can’t resist the bragging rights you have with winning your league. It’s that time of year again in the NHL as the season is set to begin in under a week. So get your draft boards all ready to go and good luck drafting. Here is a look at the Buffalo Sabres 2013-14 fantasy draft preview.

Thomas Vanek

This is obviously your top choice when drafting a Sabre. Vanek not only has scored minimum 20 goals every year he’s been in the league, he is a huge asset when it comes to power play points. Vanek constantly is among the league’s top PP point producers. In a standard 10-12 team league, I would look to draft Vanek between the 4th-5th rounds. If Vanek can stay healthy throughout the season, he will not disappoint.

Cody Hodgson

Many fantasy owners probably won’t consider taking Hodgson until the later rounds, however, he may be a better selection than you think. Not only is Hodgson on the first line with Vanek, he will get lots of power play time and play big minutes. Sabres management put their trust in Hodgson by inking the centre to a long term deal, so expect Hodgson to produce and be a late round steal in most fantasy drafts.

Steve Ott

If penalty minutes are a category in your league, than Steve Ott can be a secret weapon to your team. Ott is one of the league’s most effective agitators and will get you loads of penalty minutes as the season wears on. He can also produce offensively and will chip in on the power play as well. There is no doubt that Ott will be available in the mid-late rounds, so if penalty minutes come into play, make sure you draft him.

Christian Ehrhoff

Although Ehrhoff has somewhat struggled offensively with the Sabres, it’s hard to ignore his back to back 14 goal seasons he had with the Canucks. Ehrhoff will be the Sabres team leader in ice time and should be on the #1 power play unit as well. If you can draft Ehrhoff around the 9-10th rounds, he may prove to be a steal for your team.

Ryan Miller

As long as Miller is the Sabres starting goalie, he will be drafted. In most standard leagues, you need at least two starting goalies, so Miller should be a pretty reliable #2 goalie on your roster. I expect Miller to be drafted in the middle rounds of most standard drafts.

Questionable Picks

Tyler Ennis, Ville Leino, Drew Stafford and Tyler Myers all have the potential to be drafted in the very late rounds for depth purposes. All four players I have listed have produced in the past, but have been rather inconsistent of late. You’re probably best off to wait and see with these players and not draft them on your teams. If they can produce early on, I wouldn’t hesitate in adding them to your bench.

If your league requires you to draft a rookie on your roster, it may be worth taking a shot at Mikhail Grigorenko or Zemgus Girgensons. Both players have looked solid throughout training camp and preseason, and could be potential stand out rookies in the NHL.

Happy drafting!

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