Thursday, January 6, 2011

Draft of the Decade: Buffalo

After analyzing Buffalo's draft day tendencies you quickly see why so many of there draft selections stay with the club: budget.  I'm imagining we'll see Nashville have a similar trend.  Regardless of why they stick with the club or get a shot while other team's young prospects wait in line the Sabres draft record is going to be among the best.

They took Derek Roy and Jason Pominville, both in the second round, in 2001, infact, their first four picks in that draft have played a minimum 200 NHL games to date.  Took a pair of NHL stalwarts in 2002, one in the early first round, Keith Ballard, and one near the end, Dennis Wideman at 241st. 2003 produced four NHLers and 3 in 2004, four of whom are still Sabres: Pat Kaleta in the sixth round is a reliable rugged depth forward, Vanek is the sometimes sniper, the list goes on and on.  2005 the Sabres turned up Christ Butler in the fourth round, and Nate Gerbe in the fifth. 

2006 and 2007 weren't great, but they did manage to take Jonas Enroth and Mike Weber in the second round in '06.  And really, TJ Brennan and Dennis Persson, the top picks in each of those drafts, continue to develop in the AHL.  It could be much worse.

They hit their stride again from then on drafting last year's Calder winner Tyler Myer's in the first round in 2008, as well as Tyler Ennis at 26th and Luke Adam at 44th.  They scored a hattrick in 2009 taking Zach Kassian, Braden McNabb and Marcus Foligno in 2009 and reliable Mark Pysysk at 23rd last season.  They haven't ever really hit a home run, but in terms of consistency the Sabres are almost unmatched in finding and developing NHLers...they're like the hockey equivelant of a .400 hitter, and the future is so, so bright for Buffalo's farm system.

They get a very, very strong B+.  I don't know when we'll see our first A, I'm guessing in a few days when we hit the 'D' section as I do this alphabetically.

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