Buffalo Sabres gearing up for a strong draft class in 2019

The Buffalo Sabres have had very successful drafts the past few years and they are set to have an even stronger draft class in 2019.

When Tim Murray was the General Manager of the Buffalo Sabres, he was a part of two successful drafts in 2015 and 2016. Those two drafts brought in the likes of Jack Eichel, Brendan Guhle, Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Asplund — all of whom either have or will have major roles for Buffalo moving forward.

When Tim Murray was let go and Jason Botterill became the next GM, two more successful drafts followed in 2017 and 2018. Those two drafts brought in the likes of Casey Mittelstadt, Marcus Davidsson, Rasmus Dahlin and Mattias Samuelsson.

Although the successful drafts haven’t exactly transitioned to successful regular seasons, it’s only a matter of time.

Strong, successful and consistent franchises are built through the draft and that’s exactly what the Buffalo Sabres have going for them.

The good news is they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Whether or not the Sabres have a good season in 2019, they are set to have yet another successful draft at season’s end. As it stands right now, the Sabres have three first-round draft picks in 2019, as well as their own second and third round picks.

They’ve also added an extra fourth-round and sixth-round pick, but will not be selecting in the fifth round.

Here’s a breakdown of the picks the Buffalo Sabres will have in 2019:

1: Buffalo, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues

2: Buffalo

3: Buffalo

4: Buffalo, San Jose Sharks

5: none

6: Buffalo, Toronto Maple Leafs

7: Buffalo

As a result of the Buffalo trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins, which brought Conor Sheary and Matt Hunwick to the 716, the Penguins will either be receiving the Sabres’ third round or fourth round draft pick in 2019.

It’s a conditional pick, meaning if Sheary scores 20 goals or 40 points this season, the Penguins will receive Buffalo’s third round pick. If he doesn’t, the Buffalo Sabres get to keep their third-round pick as long as they don’t trade Matt Hunwick. If Sheary doesn’t score 20 goals or 40 points and Hunwick is not traded, the Penguins will receive the Sabres’ fourth round pick.

As far as the extra first round picks go, those are grandfathered in. The Buffalo Sabres received the St. Louis Blues’ first round pick in the trade that sent Ryan O’Reilly packing. The Sabres also received a first-rounder from the San Jose Sharks in the trade that sent Evander Kane packing. That pick was conditional if Kane ended up re-signing with the Sharks, which he did.

The Sharks also sent Buffalo their fourth round draft pick, giving the Sabres two picks in that round.

Looking at the sixth round, the Sabres will have two picks. They gained Toronto’s sixth round pick by trading their 2018 sixth round pick during the NHL Draft.

The only round the Sabres won’t be selecting in, as of now, is the fifth round. The Sabres traded that pick to the Detroit Red Wings, bringing Scott Wilson to Buffalo.

Overall, the Buffalo Sabres will have nine draft picks in the 2019 NHL Draft, with six of those coming in the first four rounds.

Next year’s draft is looking to be a talented bunch, with most of the prospects playing on the offensive end. Packed with centers and wing players, the Buffalo Sabres will have no trouble grabbing more young stat-sheet-stuffers. Even better, they will have the capital to also grab another talented defender.

You can take a look at some of the top prospects for next year’s draft here.

If the future doesn’t look bright to you as is, it sure will by the end of the 2019 NHL Draft.

Next: Buffalo Sabres draft Mattias Samuelsson

Would you rather the Buffalo Sabres use the draft picks to select young talent, or package them in trades? Leave your comments below!