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

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