Buffalo Sabres Daily: Connor McDavid, Tanking


Good morning, Buffalo Sabres fans! As we head into spring later today, the Buffalo Sabres face a pair of games this weekend. First up are the New Jersey Devils, who will hit the ice Friday night at First Niagara Center; then, the Sabres travel to Nashville to face a tough battle in the Predators on Saturday night.

If someone asked me to describe this season in just two words, what would I say? “Pretty bad.” I think that about sums it up. This season for the Sabres has been filled with downfalls: injuries, losses, losing streaks, and the like. The buzz word for this season has been “tanking,” but despite all the fan hype, NHL commissioner Bill Daly insists that he doesn’t believe any team is losing intentionally. [NBC Sports]

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Two other buzz words on the lips of many NHL fans this season: “Connor McDavid.” The 18-year-old has been largely considered the top prospect heading into the 2015 draft, and has arguably been considered the “prize” waiting for the losing-est team at the end of this season.

As it stands, the Sabres are almost certainly going to finish in 30th, which would mean a guaranteed slot in either the first or second draft pick. Eichel? McDavid? Who knows?

I’ll tell you one person who ISN’T thinking about the draft lottery — and that’s McDavid himself. [National Post]

The fact is, he’s kind of busy playing a hockey season right now and needs to focus on that, rather than on what happens in June. McDavid and his Erie Otters teammates have secured a spot in the Ontario Hockey League playoffs and have two more games left in the regular season, this Saturday and Sunday, both on the road.

McDavid is currently one of three stand-out players on the Otters. He has 118 points in just 46 games, but 2015 NHL draft prospect Dylan Strome actually leads the team in points, with 121 on the season, including a team-high 81 assists.

Also a player to watch – albeit still a little ways off from the NHL – is rookie Alex DeBrincat, already a top-projected pick for the 2016 NHL Draft. DeBrincat, at just 17, has recorded 97 points (49-48) in 66 regular season games this season.

Just something for all of you to keep in mind once this year’s draft is over.

Elsewhere this morning, an editorial from Bleacher Report on every NHL team’s most disappointing player this season.

I don’t know if this is sad or what, but before I even clicked through that article, I knew who the player selected for the Buffalo Sabres would be. Clearly, great minds think alike, and that specific player has absolutely not been playing up to the standards of what’s expected of him.

Any guesses?

Finally, I want to take a moment to pay tribute to Matthew Wuest, a former Halifax-Metro reporter who was also the infamous founder of CapGeek. Wuest passed away on Thursday after a lengthy battle with cancer.

I can’t even begin to describe how much he did for the hockey community, bringing together invaluable information and making it readable and comprehensible for every fan and blogger out there. Thank you, Mr. Wuest, for your invaluable contributions to the hockey world.

Donations are being encouraged for the Canadian Cancer Society.

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