After my story talking about the 5 players the Buffalo Sabres should take a long hard look at during the World Juniors and a debate on twitter surrounding who the Sabres should go after in the draft, I thought we’d take an early look at who the Buffalo Sabres should be targetting and get your guys thoughts.
I half jokingly tweeted out the hashtag #StayBadForEkblad and immediately I received tons of tweets telling me how the Sabres needed
to go after forward Sam Reinhart over defenceman Aaron Ekblad. Both players will have key roles during the World Juniors as they look to power their respective teams to the gold medal at the popular post Christmas tournament.
Let’s play a little game of hypotheticals for a moment. We’ll say the Sabres stay their current course this season and finish last in the NHL and then proceed to win the draft lottery, giving them the first overall pick for the 2014 draft. Let’s also say that Sam Reinhart and Aaron Ekblad are 1 and 1A in the draft rankings (as they basically are right now). If you’re making the pick, which player do you take?
The Buffalo Sabres are in desperate need of some strong, scoring forwards to help the offence, if you need proof just look at where they stand in the standings, how many goals they’ve scored and how they’re predicted to be one of the lowest scoring teams in NHL history. They don’t have any pure goal scorers on their roster, could Reinhart fix that problem?
Reinhart is a solid player and standing 6 foot 1 could definitely add some size to the Sabres line-up. Reinhart comes from a long line of hockey blood as both his father and brothers have been drafted. He is currently captaining the WHL’s Kootenay ice and has put up 50 points in just 33 games. The kid can certainly produce and is thought of to be one of the few players “NHL ready” in this years draft.
His addition could certainly help soften the blow of losing Matt Moulson, but no one is sure if Sam Reinhart can be a franchise player as of yet. Could he be the Sabres future number one centre?
Next we have defenceman Aaron Ekblad and while the Sabres defence seems to be set for the future with Nikita Zadorov, Rasmus Ristolainen, Tyler Myers and Mark Pysyk, Ekblad may be a player the Sabres should take a chance on. Ekblad was just the third player to be granted exceptional status into the OHL and the first defenceman. He has great maturity, poise and strength at the tender age of 17.
He’s captianing the Barrie Colts in the OHL and has 29 points in 63 games. Ekblad isn’t going to give the Sabres much offence from the back end but he will be able to play solid D and perhaps be the stay at home partner for a Tyler Myers.
Both players are very talented hockey players in their own right. One is a producing forward, the other is a reliable shutdown defenceman. If you’re the Buffalo Sabres and you’re drafting first overall who do you take? Vote for your pick in the poll and tell us why in the comments below!