Should the Sabres Go For The Draft Pick?


Hello everyone, I’m Jack Goods, the newest writer here at I’d like to start out by thanking the site for bringing me on and introducing myself before I get into any Sabres talk. I’ve been writing about lacrosse for a few months now and I’m excited to start writing about the Sabres at a higher level as well. I’ve lived in Buffalo all 16 years of my life and have been following the team closely since the lockout. I’ve watched almost every game I could since and have taken in so much knowledge because of it. Even though I’m younger than most I believe my Sabres knowledge can compete with most.

As a Sabres fan, this is a strange position to be in. You want to see your team succeed, but is it too late? Many times in the NHL we have seen that sometimes to get really good, you need to get very bad. It has also been shown that to have  success in this league you usually need a strong number one center. Look at the past few Stanley Cup Champions and their number one centers. After the jump I’ll get into some of those centers as well as the young guys we could be looking for the Sabres to draft.

I’m not the first to criticize the Sabres down the middle. Sure, Derek Roy can score and does have talent. But for the Sabres to be elite, he cannot be their number one center. Ville Leino has proven that he’s not the number one center the Sabres were looking for either. The problem is that so many teams need centers, you won’t find one through a trade or free agency very easily.

As I said before, look at the last few Stanley Cup Champions. Boston’s first line center was David Krejci, the Chicago Blackhawks had Johnathan Toews, Pittsburgh had the big three centers (Crosby, Malkin, and Staal), Detroit superstar Pavel Datsyuk, Anaheim had Ryan Getzlaf, and finally Carolina had Rod Brind’Amour and Eric Staal. All of these players, besides maybe the exception of Jordan Staal, are better than Derek Roy.

Look at where many of these players were drafted. Crosby was first overall, Malkin was second overall, Jordan Staal was second overall, Toews was third overall, and Eric Staal was second overall. These teams got very bad to, in the long run, get very good. The problem with the Sabres is that they’ve always been in the middle of the pack. Usually they would pick around 10 to 20. Sure, the Sabres are famous for drafting very well and developing their talent in the AHL. But how many of those players are really stars?

Sure, every draft has its busts, but your odds obviously increase the higher up that you pick. There are some good forwards available in this years draft. The favorite is Nail Yakubov who at this point appears will be playing in Columbus come next season. There are two centers in the top five of the NHL Central Scouting for North American skaters, Mikhail Grigorenko (Number 2) and Radek Faksa. On the European side Filip Forsberg and Tomas Hertl are also in the top 5. The Sabres have pieces on this team to have real success, they are just missing a few key players to help them out, especially in the Center position. If they keep on this losing path and make a few trades this offseason, they could come back next year with a vengeance.

Once again I’d like to thank SabresNoise for bringing me on, I’m very excited to start writing here. You can follow me on Twitter @GoodsOnSabres for my opinions on hockey, lacrosse, football, and anything else I’m thinking about as well as links to the articles I’ve written. As always comments are welcome, what do you think the Sabres should do moving forward?