Buffalo Sabres Roundtable: Late First Round Picks

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Mar 11, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Buffalo Sabres center

Tyler Ennis

(63) scores a goal on Toronto Maple Leafs goalie

Jonathan Bernier

(45) in the first period at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Jacob Strozyk, Buffalo Sabres Staff Writer, SabreNoise

The value of a first round pick these days seems to be rather high. With very few first rounders in this year’s draft being traded at the deadline (or at all) the Sabres hold a valuable card in their hands. Since this year’s draft runs deep with talent, the Sabres have the ability to use it for a solid potential NHL player (just look at how well Tyler Ennis has developed), or they can use it to acquire a current NHL player.

Now, I’m always the guy to put a lot of hope on the potential of draft stock, but the reality is that the eventual ability of the drafted player does not meet their original draft stock (i.e Marek Zagrapan). Due to this fact and the knowledge of Tim Murray’s desires to turn this team around starting next season, I think they should trade the pick.

Murray already has his first draft as the Buffalo GM under his belt, and he picked the best man available at the forward position, Samson Reinhart. This year he gets to pick either Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel. Any one of those players are cornerstones to a turnaround. Trading the later first round pick that they have will allow Murray to acquire some depth on the NHL roster, or perhaps even land a goaltender.

The value of the pick (despite it being late in the first round) is still relatively high. If the draft were to happen tomorrow the Sabres second pick would be at #23. That is still a solid draft pick for a contending team, or a bubble team to use to further improve their depth.

The Buffalo Sabres ought to trade this pick when the draft comes because they have a flurry of second round picks. If they trade the first rounder (and perhaps something else with decent value) then they could land a younger veteran player to bolster the team for next season. If they make the right moves, a pick like this could be interesting to a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs.

They will be looking to rebuild and want to stockpile draft picks and let go of their veteran players. Now, I’m not getting ahead of myself here, and it’s not the most realistic idea, but the Sabres could possibly land (for the right price) Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak, or even Jonathan Bernier. Granted, these are not the most realistic ideas, but the attractiveness of a later pick in the first round could have the Leafs’ GM sniffing around for a possible deal with Tim Murray.

Overall the pick can be used as is, or be traded. The best option is a trade due to the potential factor. If Murray can see the pick, or package it with the right player(s) then he could have a gem in his back pocket.

Next: Tim Redinger, Senior Editor - SabreNoise