The Buffalo Sabres have set themselves up in the 2012 NHL Draft with four picks in the top 45. All of those picks has Sabres fans wondering whether the team is going to move up in the draft to get a better player than they would at 12.
Sabres fans have been clamoring for Alexander Galchenyuk for quite a while now and getting Galchenyuk means that the team would have to move up into the top 5, or as Kris Baker of Sabres Prospects puts it, they have to get ahead of Brian Burke. That would mean moving up into the second, third or fourth picks. After the jump is our look at the feasibility of moving into those spots.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are picking in the second spot and are the team to keep an eye on to move down in the draft. The team finished with the worst record in the league but thanks to the NHL Draft Lottery, they are picking second in the first round. The team is going through a lot of changes with the possibility of the face of the franchise Rick Nash being moved to another team.
The likelihood of the Blue Jackets moving down is probably predicated on whether the team moves Nash before the draft. If they do, I would think that the team would want to keep the pick and set themselves up with another player that could become the next franchise player. The Blue Jackets could also serve themselves well in having what could be three first round picks as well. They have the option of taking Los Angeles' pick at 30, so if the Sabres offer both of their first round picks and a prospect to move up, they could have four picks within the first 31 spots. Having that much talent in the organization could prove a shot in the arm for a team that desperately needs it.
The Montreal Canadiens are in a good spot with the 3rd pick in the draft. The whole front office has been rebuilt and last season was more of a blip on the screen than a trend. The situation reminds me of the 2010-11 New Jersey Devils who struggled and picked a fantastic defenseman in Adam Henrique in the fourth spot. Then, they regrouped and found themselves in the Stanley Cup Finals the next season. If I were the GM of the Canadiens, I would be less likely to move the 3rd overall pick because the team has more of a shot of making the playoffs and can use the impact player that is going to come with that third overall pick.
Finally, the New York Islanders currently hold the 4th overall pick and find themselves in the same situation as the Edmonton Oilers, who have the number one pick again. The Islanders have been picking in the top 5 for quite a while and have amassed quite the lineup of players which are highlighted by John Tavares. The Islanders could use an impact veteran player to bring everyone together so if the Sabres are looking to move someone older to pick up the unproven rookie, the Islanders may be willing to move the pick.
There are a bunch of options for the Sabres to consider with all of their high picks in the first two rounds of the draft this season. It has been since 2001 since the Sabres had four picks in the top 60 and at that time they made all of those picks. Those guys ended up being Jiri Novotny, Derek Roy, Chris Thorburn, and Jason Pominville. That shows that making the four picks may not be a bad thing either.