When you tell people that Tyler Ennis is the first line centre of the Buffalo Sabres they usually laugh, of course the 30th ranked team teetering on the brink of the AHL would have a 5 foot 9 marginal player as their first line centre. It’s almost poetic justice for a player who would have difficulty cracking a 3rd line spot on most NHL teams to be the Buffalo Sabres first line centre.
However, people also laughed at the notion Tyler Bozak could be a first line centre with the Toronto Maple Leafs and he seems to be doing just fine on the top line.
While the number one centre role is important, it can at times be a little overrated. If you surround your 1C with top notch
wingers and allow the trio to form chemistry then Zenon Konopka‘s bunny could play on the top line. Tyler Ennis has formed chemistry with Matt Moulson and Zemgus Girgensons, welcoming the challenge of playing on the top line.
Ever since Ted Nolan came into town Ennis found a new gear. He knows his coach has faith in him and was determined to do good on his second chance before becoming yet another 3rd line player with little impact. Through a rebuild the guy under 6 feet who’s having trouble producing on the third line, is usually the guy who gets left behind. In order for Ennis to be thought of as a key contributor, something had to change in his game and something certainly has.
You could argue aside from Cody Hodgson, who leads the team in scoring, that Tyler Ennis has been the hottest Buffalo Sabres player as of late. He’s second in team scoring and one of only two players to have double digit goals this season for the blue and gold.
At the end of the season first line centre Tyler Ennis will become a restricted free agent. The Buffalo Sabres will have a fair amount of money to spend and Ennis will be in the market for a 4 year deal worth around $16 million. Is Ennis worth it?
Tyler Ennis has certainly become a key part of the Buffalo Sabres offence as of late, and while he might not be the first line centre after the rebuild is complete he could easily become a member of the new Buffalo Sabres core.
If this was a team still run by Darcy Regier then I would expect them to sign Tyler Ennis in a flash this offseason. However, Tim Murray is now the man in charge and it seems he would like to rid all memory of Regier’s doing this trade deadline and offseason. Would Murray, who wants to fast-forward this rebuild consider using Tyler Ennis as trade bait?
He wouldn’t be a deal in himself, but if you package him with another player such as Drew Stafford you could easily land a prospect or a couple of picks no?
If you’re the Buffalo Sabres do you keep Tyler Ennis for the future or do you trade him for a better prospect, or more picks in 2015? Vote today!