Why This Years Draft Is Key For the Buffalo Sabres

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Sam Reinhart 

Reinhart was the biggest attention grabber from the get go this season due to his above average play making and the way he see’s the ice. His ability to read plays and set up teammates is quite special. He was thought of to be the top pick when the season began, but a rocky World Juniors saw him drop down the rankings at the midway point.

While I haven’t seen enough out of Reinhart to change my mind on the fact he likely won’t be the Sabres number one centre, he would certainly be a solid play-making second line centre for the Buffalo Sabres. If the Sabres choose to keep Ville Leino, they could put these two play-makers together and whoever the third person on that line is will be one very happy player.

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Topics: 2014 Draft, Buffalo Sabres

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  • Jes

    Next years will be way more important IMHO.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      It might have more skill but the Sabres will have to go into a full out tank and get a little luck to get the talent. This year they’ve already won half the battle

      • wolfdoctor

        Yes, year 1 is pretty much intact. The Sabres just need to trade the UFAs for picks to assure they will be just as bad next year. As an aside, If the Sabres got McDavid, I wonder if Nolan would force him to return to Erie or would allow him to play in the NHL. You know how much Nolan doesn’t like to play teenagers.

        • Caitlin Campbell

          If the Sabres are able to tank next season and get a little luck with the lottery to land McDavid it will be awesome.
          IDK if Nolan and McDavid butt heads I imagine Nolan gets sent packing

          • Jes

            How much luck do you think the Sabres need with the lottery if they are ranked last?

            Not much. Teams who are ranked last are guaranteed a top 2 pick. I don’t mind who we get out of Eichel or McDavid, either one at this point will be great. Preferably McDavid.

          • Caitlin Campbell

            There are going to be a few teams tanking to get McDavid and Eichel next season so yes they will need a little bit of luck. What if they finish 25th?

          • Jes

            Lol keep talking Caitlin.

            Also on the Isles pick I doubt it will be a top 10 pick. They are 5 points out of the final wild card spot and have been on a roll for awhile. 7-3 in there last 10 and are playing like a team destined for playoffs.

          • Caitlin Campbell

            Unfortunetly neither of us can know where the Sabres will finish ;)

          • Labbatt

            My Phone Hates This Site Also, Kind Of Annoying, Hence Why Every Word Is Capitalized.

          • JHizzle75

            Good to know. I just thought you were being creative or something…lol

          • JHizzle75

            Me too Jes. It’s annoying

          • Ray Rome

            If they trade away Miller I see them definitely finishing 25-30 next year, giving them a great shot at McDavid. And I have full faith that Snow will do enough damage to put the Islanders in a top 10 pick next year, I can only hope they defer this year.

          • Jes

            Nolan should be fired if he butts heads with Zadorov or Ristolainen.

        • Dano

          You should have been at the game last night. It appeared that maybe a third of the seats were filled.

          I believe it would be hard to have the Sabres finishing last next year. With the talent they have in the minors right now.

          • wolfdoctor

            “I believe it would be hard to have the Sabres finishing last next year. With the talent they have in the minors right now.”

            But will Nolan play them or wait until they are no longer, “too young?”

          • Dano

            I believe it will depend on each individual player. How they play and what their attitude is. If they are willing to adopt a system thats already in play or if they are an ‘ individual ‘ that wishes to do their own thing.

        • Ray Rome

          Nolan says it takes a “certain type of talent to play as a teenager”. As you can see he didnt send down Girgensons, probably because hes done so well. And he did send down the other, probably because they havent.

  • Jes

    Ekblad seems to be the franchise player type of guy. So your wrong about that part.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I swear your job is just to disagree with me on every post. Has Ekblad been touted as a franchise player leading up to the draft? No he has not and that is what I meant by franchise players

      • wolfdoctor

        Hahaha. Jes always disagrees with you and Dano always disagrees with me.

        • Jes

          Usually that other one is wrong and CC is usually right on most things. Just need a little tinkering is all.

      • Dano

        I probably shouldnt do this but..

        Ekblad is the current Captain for the Colts ( Barrie/OHL ). He was selected first overall in the OHL draft.

        He Captained his midget team and took them to the championship.

        He was granted Exceptional Status, something only 2 or 3 other players were ever honored with and one of them is ( what could be construed as ) the ‘ face of the franchise for the NY Islanders.

        Ekblad will be a guy whom is drafted to a Team and more then likely plays there for quite a long time ( maybe his whole career ).

        I would agree with others that would say Ekblad will be the face of a franchise sometime before the next decade unfolds. He will probably Captain an NHL team.

  • wolfdoctor

    The players I would take, in this order
    Reinhart
    Bennett
    Ekblad
    Draisiatl
    Nylander
    Dal Colle

    Sorry, not a Dal Colle fan. Big and lumbering – reminds me of Luke Adam.

    Also, I have a feeling that the Islanders will be picking this year, assuming of course that they own one of the 10 worst records. If they let the Sabres have the pick this year, then Islander management will in effect be telling their fans that they expect to suck just as badly next year. Having said this, the Islanders have been playing well as of late and are only 5 points out of a wild card playoff spot. I really don’t think they will make the playoffs, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they finished 11th or 12th worst, in which case the Sabres will have that pick.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Forward wise Reinhart and Bennett are tied for me as well but for first overall I’m tied with Reinhart and Ekblad but I’m leaning toward Ekblad talent wise.
      It would be just the Islanders to just miss the playoffs and then screw the Sabres with the pick lol. maybe they’ll wait till next year and we get a better shot at McDavid

      • wolfdoctor

        Yes, talent wise Ekblad is probably #1. But the Sabres need offense. I’d pick forwards with every first and second round pick this year. Note: if after the lottery the Sabres are #1, they might want to swap that pick with the #2 or #3 team (Edmonton or Calgary ?) who I believe both covet Ekblad. The Sabres might end up with an extra 2nd round pick or even more.

  • Labbatt

    Again, Well Done Cc. My ToP 5 Are:
    1. Ekblad
    2. Reinhart
    3. Bennett
    4. Draisiatl
    5. Dal Colle

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Thanks for the read Labbatt
      Hard to argue with your top 5 that’s how I pretty much see it talent wise minus draisiatl

      • Labbatt

        I Already Have My Ticket For The Portland- Prince Albert Game, I’ll Let You Know How Draisiatl Looks. The Game Is Feb 22ND.

        • Caitlin Campbell

          Sweet- please do!

  • Jes

    Are you serious CC? I’m disagreeing with you on a thing that your totally wrong about. Ekblad has been touted as a franchise/generational type of defenseman by many scouts. and many outfits such as NHL and TSN. So ya to say there’s no franchise player types in this draft is basically flat out wrong.

    • Ray Rome

      Ive heard “franchise player” about him and a few of the others from certain sources but at this point no one is agree that this is the guy. As far as Ive seen both Rienhart and Bennett have both been ranked over him and all have been labeled a “franchise players” very few times.

  • Thomas Eric

    Honestly I would op to trade the first or second pick till next year

    • Caitlin Campbell

      haha that could work as long as it’s too a low team

    • Ray Rome

      Theres no way I would take first or second pick for the CHANCE to pick high next year.

      • Thomas Eric

        Why not if we can trade the first for a lower pick in this year draft or a prospect and a first next year why not?

  • Jes

    CC totally didn’t realize you had wright ups on the top 5. Sorry about that.

    But are you crazy? Put Reinhart with Leino? Guy hasn’t even played a NHL game yet and your already trying to end his career?

  • Dano

    I know the Sabres already have a good foundation at Defense and need offensive players, but Ekblad is whom I would want for the Sabres. If hes gone, Bennett would be unquestioned as the next best choice. Sure, the Sabres need forwards but passing over Ekblad would be a mistake for any team. Edmonton is salivating like a rabbit animal HOPING they get a chance at him.

    The problem I have is with all the videos. When the player we want to see isnt the focus of play, what are they doing? The ‘ unseen ‘ tangibles.

    Earlier in the year I criticized Myers. He was never in position behind the play. He wasnt looking at the opponents position on the ice and often turned over the puck. The TV screen showed the turnovers, but didnt show the simple things he was forgetting when the cameras werent on him. The same things are happening for Ehrhoff, Weber and Tallinder.

    Ekblad ( from video ) *seems* to be in the right places/position at the correct time ( its not a full perspective of his playing though ). Id like to see him play live.

    • Ray Rome

      If Ekblad is the best player Id like to see him here. But at that point do you trade Myers for some power up front knowing we have some talent coming up? I think Myers is still getting better and better and will be a first line defenseman so it would be a tough call.

      • Dano

        Why trade Myers at all?

        • Ray Rome

          Eventually were going to need some scoring power and as it sits right now its close to needing an entire first line. Id love to keep everyone but where would be getting the big pieces up front?

  • ende

    2015 is the key draft year for the Sabres.

  • Mike Brown

    If the islanders finish in the bottom 10 they will retain the pick this year. If not it’s their choice to defer it to next year or not. So hope for the islanders finish between 20-30th this year.

    • Ray Rome

      Im hoping for the islanders to hit 6-8 this year. I think they will give up the pick not wanting to risk it at that point. If they defer to next year, even better, I like the chance of them tanking and I still dont think they make it out of the bottom 10 with Snow tinkering with things.