Tim Murray and the Buffalo Sabres have work to do, and it isn’t necessarily on the ice. If Tim Murray and the Buffalo Sabres organization think that every team in the league is going to let the Buffalo Sabres roll over onto one of the top two draft selections in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft – they will be sorely mistaken.
If your in the “draft dreamer” ball park – you should know the Buffalo Sabres are much more than a prayer and a bad season away from the likes of Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel. I mean, we haven’t even started training camp just yet.
Tim Murray Armed With Picks
Working in Tim Murray’s favor heading into next season, is the knowledge that he has three draft picks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft.
The last time the St. Louis Blues draft pick was inside the top ten, was in 2008 when they drafted Alex Pietrangelo from the Niagara IceDogs of the OHL. St. Louis didn’t have a first round selection in 2011 or 2013 either.
Hoping to be a playoff contender again this season, you can expect the St. Louis Blues pick to be anywhere from 18-24.
The New York Islanders also have to forfeit their first round pick to the Buffalo Sabres this upcoming draft. If history tells us anything, the New York Islanders will be bad, I mean its in their blood right? Outside of last years pick at 15th overall – the Islanders are traditionally in the top ten of the league when it comes to high draft picks.
Tim Murray has to be hoping that they are worst a lottery sized draft pick.
Then Murray has his own draft pick. After the season the Buffalo Sabres just had – you have to be thinking at worst we will be picking second overall right?
Buffalo was the only team not able to eclipse the sixty point mark last year. They had eight fewer wins than both Florida and Edmonton, the teams closest to them in the standings.
Despite the locker room problems and changes to the organizations management strucure – Buffalo was just plain bad last year, unabe to score goals, weilding a -91 in goal differential. Florida was a -72 and Edmonton was only a -67, if you still wanted to compare the closest teams to them.
Buffalo did nothing to bolster their scoring on the front end, and are worse off in net than they were last season – so one stands to reason that the goal differential will be just as bad in the coming season.
So Buffalo ends up with either the number one, or number two pick, and then say the 8th from New York, and the 24th from St. Louis.
You will be hard press to think that the Sabres could score both Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel – but its possible. No you say? Figure out the math.
Capturing One and Two
The Buffalo Sabres best odds at landing one of the two highly touted draft picks is scoring the spot themselves. Wrapping up the worst spot in the league guarantees you that.
So what happens then? You trade up. You make the other team an offer they can’t refuse. If you want both the number one and two spots in the draft, you offer said place holder your late first round draft picks (from the Islanders and Blues). Not enough? How about parting with your second round pick as well? You have two of them.
I wouldn’t even be upset with the organization for parting ways with a player like Rasmus Ristolainen or another blue chip prospect to sweeten the deal.
Its not only possible, but within the realm of possibility. The only question remains – can Tim Murray to get the other club to dance?