Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres 2014 Draft A Crapshoot

Will the 2014 NHL Draft be a crapshoot for the Buffalo Sabres?

To know this, one only has to analyze the first two projected players. Aaron Ekblad and Sam Bennett. Are these players as elite as normal projected number one and two draft picks have been in the past?  Maybe the real question is where would they fall in next year’s draft, seventh and eighth?

The Buffalo Sabres were hoping, I am sure, to have enough high first round picks to maybe take both players. Hey, why not go for broke? But let’s be realistic here. Two of the three picks unfortunately went awry. So why don’t we analyze the top two draftees there is to choose from this year.

Since the Florida Panthers have the  number one pick in June 27th, 2014 Draft, I feel they are poised to take a defensemen. That defensemen of course is Aaron Ekblad. Ekblad is a strong, hardnosed, tough defender with natural hockey skills and a high hockey IQ.  He also possesses a booming shot. I feel he fits their needs best at this time.

That leaves the Buffalo Sabres taking center Sam Bennett with the second overall pick. Bennett won’t be one of those players that’s great at only one thing, but better than good in all areas, such as stickhanding, skating and he also plays hard every shift, as well as a great passer.  All excellent things to look for in a draft pick. If being above average in all areas isn’t sufficient enough to choose the guy, than what is? Consider Cody Hodgson. He is skilled in many areas, but lacks in some, in my opinion, and has improved in others.

However , there are still draft picks below the first two, but in a draft as weak as the one we will witness this year, crapshoot is evermore present than ever. Consider the fact that phrase is used every year once you get past the top projected picks. But then at the same time, think about how many NHL’ers there are performing at a high level that were taken in the spoken crapshoot category.

Would Sam Bennett, if that’s who they choose, jump right in his rookie year? Where would you put him, maybe on the top line between Drew Stafford and Chris Stewart?  That would of course shift Tyler Ennis and Cody Hodgson down a line. Personally, I would not start a player that young right away on the top line, but the Buffalo Sabres are in a rebuild, so whatever works.

I am ready and excited to watch and listen to what the Buffalo Sabres will do on Draft Day. Aren’t you? Who is your projected pick for the Sabres? Maybe your pick is Sam Reinhart or William Nylander, both are projected high respectively as well. This draft albeit a low ranking one,  still can be quite intriguing.

Tags: Aaron Ekblad Buffalo Sabres Sam Bennett

  • notalent

    I’m hoping for some fireworks on draft day from Tim Murray. I hope we take Bennett at #2, if available, or we take Ekblad(best available player) if Florida takes Bennett. We could even trade down with a team dead set on Ekbad,as we have a lot of D prospects and I don’t think there is a huge difference between the next few forwards.

    Then the trades….I would like to see Murray swing a trade for another first rounder this year somewhere between 8-13 and pick up Nic Ehlers from Halifax. Ehlers, like Bennett I think, has that game changing potential everyone is looking for. To cap this off would be the trade for Evander Kane, the young center from Winnipeg that everyone seems to trash.

    Ideally, we get Bennett, Ehlers and Kane. We give up (speculating) Christian Ehroff, 2nd round picks (maybe St. Louis 1st next year), a prospect, maybe a little more…(a roster player, not Tyler Myers).

    We send the kids back to Junior for a year, struggle for the year and make a couple trade deadline moves…(bye Stafford, sorry). Hopefully draft 1st or 2nd in 2015, and then we are looking at pretty good depth and youth at all positions for the next 5 years or so.

    • Kevin

      Thanks for the read! I like how you think. But I really want Bennett, or at least trade down and pick up Reinhart.

      • notalent

        Yeah, I’m really high on Bennett as well. If we had the 1st overall I would definitely take him. If he’s gone, I would trade down (and hope to start a bidding war) with the Oilers and then take Reinhart. I think Reinhart will be a good player but I’m a little skeptical of junior Centers whose weakness is skating ability…(see..M. Grigorenko). I think his family pedigree (character), makes him a can’t miss 2nd or 3rd line center in the NHL, but he will take a few years to be an impact player.

        I think in a few years, Dal Colle will possibly be a dynamic powerforward, as I think his game translates to the NHL. He drives the net with size, skill and skating. Ehlers, like I mentioned above…has tremendous upside. His speed compares to Pavel Bure….he weighs only 160 something so he obviously needs a couple years.

        Either way, I have a lot of confidence in Tim Murray (aka Dwight Schrute) to make the right pick. I hope he is as aggressive as I would be as “armchair GM”.

        Go Sabres!!

        • Kevin

          Notalent: According to my info Bennett and Reinhart are both above average skaters. Which is a good thing if you consider most of the top centers fit that category. Your Ehlers guy, although a great pick, is a LW and we need a top center. Also, do we need another Tyler Ennis?. Question also is which pick would help the team quicker?

  • Mike Flynn

    I’m hoping Murray picks reinhart I see him as the best forward available he’s played very well especially in the playoffs this year and he’s I guy that I think makes everyone around them better. He may not put up 90 points a year but if he could score say 60 points when he’s a full timer and add 10-15 points to others he plays with he’d be a solid pick at 2 just my opinion tho

  • Greg

    Whoever the Sabres pick will not be on the team, let him develop another year or two and wait for the team to be competitive

  • Joe

    I could see bennet playing really well with girgs and maybe foligno or delaurier(i know i butchered the spelling) if bennet and girgs r on a line theyd combined have one of the best forecheckin lines in the game. The reason i say delaurier or foligno is that girgs and bennet need to feel like if they play hard they will have protection on the ice to play freely and both of the guys i mentioned have skills along with being able to fight so either would be a great choice

    On a side not i would not at all be disappointed with getting ekblad. If ekblad turns out to wat he has the potential to be imagine him and myers as ur top 2 defenseman and on a pp together