The Buffalo Sabres had a plethora number of draftpicks in this year’s draft. They selected a league-high 11 prospects which includes 7 forwards, 3 defensemen and 1 goalie. Buffalo also parted ways with defenseman Andrej Sekera who was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes for the 35th overall pick and defenseman Jamie McBain. Here is a look at how the Sabres drafted.
Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall)
The 6’4” defenseman from Finland was the team’s highest draft pick since 2003 (Thomas Vanek) . Ristolainen played for TPS in Finland and was also a member of this year’s Finland World Junior Team. He does not make many mistakes on the ice, and is a very effective defenseman. Has a chance to make the Sabres roster this year.
Nikita Zadorov (16th overall)
The Sabres went big again in the first round as they drafted the 6’5” defenseman from Russia. Zadorov played for the OHL champion London Knights and had 25 points. He led all rookies this season with a plus 33 rating. Can move the puck well and loves to throw his body around. Has offensive upside and lots of raw potential.
J.T Compher (35th overall)
Compher was the first forward drafted in this year’s draft. He is 5’10” and played for the U-18 U.S. National Team Development Program (USNTDP). Had 15g-27a this season with the team. Very high energy player who brings it every shift. Will move on to play at the University of Michigan in the fall.
Connor Hurley (38th overall)
Hurley, a Edina, MN native, played center last year for his high school team that won a state championship. Had 43 points in 25 games for his team. Also played on the U-18 USNTDP team. His very good with the puck, and is very fast.
Justin Bailey (52nd overall)
6’3” right-winger who played for the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL. Buffalo native, dad played in the NFL. Tallied 17g-19a for his club. Finished 2nd in +/- for OHL rookies with plus 22. Bailey has good puck skills, and isn’t afraid to hit the opposition. Shot is very hard and very accurate.
Nicholas Baptiste (69th overall)
Standing at 6’0”, the right winger who played for the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL had a productive season. Scoring 48 points (21g-27a), he is very offensive minded. Has taken on a leadership role with his team, also had great skating ability.
Cal Peterson (129th overall)
Peterson was the only goaltender selected by the Sabres. Playing for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL, he was 21-11 in 35 games. Earned a spot in the USHL All-Rookie Team. Has committed to play for the University of Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2014.
Gustav Possler (130th overall)
Averaged more than a point per game (40 points in 36 games) this year for MODO Jr of the Swedish League. Very strong player, has great finishing ability.
Anthony Florentino (143rd overall)
Another high-schooler drafted by the Sabres, had 53 points in 62 games for South Kent (Conn). Will be furthering his hockey career at Providence College in the fall. Defensemen who stands tall at 6’1” 210 lbs, can be physical as well.
Sean Malone (159th overall)
The 2nd Buffalo native drafted by the Sabres in the draft. The center played for the U-18 USNTDP this past year, registering 13 goals and 14 assists. Has verbally committed to Harvard University.
Eric Locke (189th overall)
The Sabres last pick of the draft was the 5’10” Center who played for the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL. Locke had 44g-53a this past season. He ranked 3rd in points and 4th and goals.
The Sabres definitely drafted some big players in this year’s draft. This looks like a good crop of prospects and hopefully they will produce for the Sabres in the near future.