Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Poll: Tyler Ennis: Trade Bait Or Future Building Block?

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!

Is Tyler Ennis Apart of the Future?

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Tyler Ennis

  • Bill Stowers

    I vote keep him. The kid has drive. And he is playin well. I hate the currently popular notion of trading your best players for pics. (Cough cough ryan miller) usually those pics dont pan out and you just lost a good player who is popular with the fans. I vote keep him. If hes not first line thats even better because that means we have someone even better and ennis would still be a good 2nd or 3rd. Build around good players. Not hypothetical “prospects” and pics.

  • Dano

    Needing to hit the cap floor, offer him a 2 year 12 million dollar contract extension ( 6million a season ). If after 2 years theres no spot for him or someone whom can replace him, let him go.

    Dumping everything for picks, picks and.. gee.. more picks.. Hows that working for Edmonton? The draft isnt THAT deep year in and year out. Those picks have to develop and how good is Buffalos system?

    How about looking for some roster players or ‘ prospects ‘ that have actually developed and are almost NHL ready instead of picks, picks and more picks?

    • lee Munn

      He has not proven to be a 6 mill player yet. I would be glad to sign him 4 yrs /15m (3.75m)
      or 3 yrs /12m (4.0m) but i just don’t see him as a 6 m player… not yet.
      If we are worried on filling Cap. Buy out Leino keep Stafford for the one more year to fill cap
      Then try for signing Callahan at a larger salary, leaving room for more salary in one year after Stafford is gone.

      • Dano

        If they are going to buy out or get rid of Stafford or Leino, they need to toss dollars somewhere. Is Ennis worth 6 million a year? HELLS NO! Just overpaying him to be happy for 2 years to make the leagues salary floor.

        • lee Munn

          And what would you rather do.. Overpay him, or buyout Leino & try to get a better player at a larger salary? Myself I would rather try to get someone else & spend that money there. Unfortunatly being a bottom team with just good future players, we would have to overpay to sign someone like Callahan, or even to re-sign Moulson if trade opportunity is not there. Ennis being a RFA will not get as big a salary as UFA because we own his rights.

          • Dano

            “And what would you rather do.. Overpay him, or buyout Leino & try to get a better player at a larger salary?”

            Have you looked at the cap for next year? Everything you stated can be done.

            Their cap obligations/payroll is at some seriously low number, 29million, for next year. Ruhwedel, Mcbain, Foligno, Ennis, are RFA’s. *IF* Leino and stafford are bought out, thats 8.5million pulled from that 29million.. a payroll of 21million..

            That leaves 45+ million to throw around with no real RFA talent thats ‘ outstanding ‘ and would be sought after ( outside of Ennis that is ).

            Callahan from the Rags? Hes almost as injury prone as Leino. Why would the Sabres want a PAIR of broken players? Sure, he offers quite a bit in leadership and is a much better player.. when hes able to play..

            10-11 season, missed 20 games
            12-13 missed half the season
            This season, hes already missed a dozen or so games..

            For being 28, Hes missed so much, I would call him ‘ questionable ‘. Its not like the guy is out running around like a Kaleta or Ott.

    • JHizzle75

      What happens if he lights it up in those 2 years at 6 million a season and we want to extend his contract? If the bar has been set at 6 mill/season we can’t really give a 26 year old a pay cut….he wouldn’t play for less than that.

      • Dano

        Good point. Im sure if you let him know ‘ Were reaching the cap floor, merry christmas for the next 2 seasons coming a bit early for you ‘, he would understand.

    • qwicwted

      Dano, I realize we are going to have to hit the cap floor, but I don’t think it is wise to just throw away $ – Ennis is not a $6M man – I would rather have Callahan who is 28 and brings leadership. Package Ennis with Grigorenko and Ott for someone like Pavelski or Giroux, Kopitar or Brown (to name a few).

      • Dano

        Its rumored Cally wants 7 million for 6 years ( hes supposedly turned down quite a few good contract offers ). Id rather have a guy we can ditch in 2-3 years then another ‘ Leino ‘ type situation where Buffalo has an injury prone guy making more then those whom are working harder and putting up better numbers.

        Its rumored STL is looking to do a Steward +_ some stuff trade for Cally. Sure , Buffalo could toss in ‘ picks ‘, but that would upset too many people.

  • wolfdoctor

    Ennis is only 24 years old. Trading him for picks makes absolutely no sense.

    Miller, Moulson and Ott are older so I can understand trading them because they will either be retired or severely declining by the time the Sabres start to challenge for the cup.

    • lee Munn

      I agree 100%…what would we get for him?? maybe a 2nd round at best… which we have to wait 3 years for a 50/50 chance on making it

      • wolfdoctor

        Actually there is only a 1 in 4 chance of a second rounder ever playing as many as 100 NHL games.

        • lee Munn

          Oh, I know.. I said a 50/50 on MAKING it.

          • wolfdoctor

            I guess it depends on your definition of “making it.” Making it to the NHL or becoming a success in the NHL. Either way 2nd round draft choices aren’t nearly as valuable as many people think they are. Not only is it uncommon for them to be successful, but if they are successful, they are most likely to become 3rd or 4th liners. If I were GM I’d package the three 2nds and our 3rd this coming draft and try to trade them all for a first round pick in the 10-15 range. The Sabres already have a ton of 3rd and 4th line prospects – they should be trying to draft 1st and second line talent.

          • lee Munn

            Remember… I was agreeing with you.

  • Jes

    I’d definitely trade him if the right deal came along. I’d shop him around. If he were to be part of a package deal that brought in an Eberle or a ROR type I’d do it in a heartbeat. But I wouldn’t let him go for a 2nd rounder at all. Packages deal would be the way to go. I wonder what we’d get for a package that had Ennis and Ehrhoff in it.

  • davidmuscalo

    Ennis is about as good has he will ever be, and, for me, that is not good enough. As for what to do with him, I’m not sure. Perhaps trade him for another player, but definitely not for draft picks.