The Sabres have almost become a predictable bunch when it comes to the NHL Draft selections they make. Since Darcy Regier has taken over with this franchise they have leaned heavily on Canadian kids with the Americans being second. This year was no different for the Sabres. They had a total of six selections this season and they selected three Americans and three Canadians although Marcus Foligno could be considered both meaning it would be 3 1/2 Canadian and 2 1/1 American.
James Mirtle has a breakdown of the nationality of all the NHL Draft picks from this weekend at From the Rink. Of course the Canadians led the way and the Americans were a distant second. The Sabres have been burned by just about every European player they have drafted, with the exception of a few, so they decided to stay with big North American kids in this draft.
Darcy Regier also held to his typical form based on the league. Regier typically likes to pick Canadian Hockey League kids and this season he selected four. The Ontario Hockey League has always been a favorite of his with 21% of his selections coming from that league before this season. This year he selected two more OHL kids in Zack Kassian (Peterborough) and Marcus Foligno (Sudbury).
The Western Hockey League is second with 17% coming from that league and this year they selected Brayden McNabb from Kootenay.
We can't leave out the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. They rank third on the list with 15% of the selections coming from the QMJHL. It took until the final round but the Sabres finally selected Maxime Legault from Shawinigan with selection 194.
The comparisons to previous drafts end with nationality and league. The Sabres had a completely different philosophy in relation to the size of their draft picks. It was obvious that they targeted size in this draft and really breaking down the numbers indicates how much bigger the Sabres want to be.
The Sabres went with the theme of big players even between the pipes. Goalie Connor Knapp from Miami University in Ohio is 6'5" and 215 pounds. He is the tallest and heaviest of the Sabres large draft class.
Mark Adams, the Sabres a fifth round selection, takes the honors as the Sabres smallest draft pick in 2009. He is the smallest draft pick but not a small kid at all. At over 6'1" and 187 pounds the 18 year-old figures to get bigger and stronger as he matures and develops in the NCAA and possibly as a pro.
In all the Sabres six draft picks average out to be 6' 2.5" and 208.5 lbs. That is a prototypical power forward in the NHL and the obvious target of the Sabres plans this season.
The Sabres had only six selections this season because they traded away their second round pick for Craig Rivet last off-season. Ironically enough they break down by position as a full line, a defensive pairing and goalie. We'll probably never see them all on the ice together except maybe in a prospects cam or training camp but it would make an interesting trivia question.
The Sabres didn't select a Center although they feel that Marcus Foligno can help at that position. Kassian and Legault are both Right Wings, McNabb and Adams are Defense and Knapp is a Goalie.