1.) Mark Pysyk was the right man to take: as I sat, beer in hand, and watched Montreal single handley ruin
4honors Dary Regier's draft by moving up to take Tinordi I was really taken back. And when I didn't hear Etem's name called, I couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed and angered in Regier. But look at this way: Pysyk was a top 10 prospect on MANY draft sites (NHL Central #7 and Hockey News #6 for example). He's a guy who goes up against the best every night, and every night manages to shut them down. Most drafts have him as a steal to the Sabres at 23. To paraphrase Devine "We looked at what was available and couldn't believe he fell to us."
2.) We finally drafted a guy to quarterback the powerplay: Say hello to JEROME GAUTHIER-LEDUC. 20 goals in 60 some odd games, he's one of the first defensemen we've selected in awhile that is known for his offensive talents. In years past we've lost Campbell and Spacek and our powerplay has looked disasterous since. A guy who was put as a second round talent, this was a "we almost have to" pick. (FYI: Jordan Weal went two picks later...sigh)
3.) Don't expect much in Free Agency: Sorry all you Tomas Kaberle hopefuls...I just don't see it happening. We're too talented in the back end prospect wise now to hamper ourselves with long term contracts. We'll probably sign someone like Joe Corvo to a 2-3 contract...but in the upcoming years we've got our own in-bred competition to make the top 4 dmen...and boy...those who come out will be good.
4.) As long as Devine is Regier's wingman, get to know your Canadian/American prospects: 4 years, 31 picks, no Europeans/Russians drafted.
5.) Despite the successes of this year's draft, expect to hear fans/Buffalo media wanting more: Montreal came up and took the guy most mock drafts had pegged as ours. We failed to get Kaberle or improve our immediate top 6 forwards. We drafted a position in which we are already stocked (numbers wise) with prospects. These are all criticisms we as Sabres fans should expect to see.
The good with our current system: our 1st and 2nd round draft picks since Devine took over have given us the reputation of being so good in the draft. Ennis, Myers, Kassian, Adam, Enroth, Weber, Brennan. All HIGHLY ranked prospects
The Bad??: None of our draft picks from rounds 3 and beyond have made the NHL (McNabb will be the first...bet my life on it). And our xenophobic ways have got to end sometime...and I would've liked it to have been with Kabanov