ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 24: A general view of the draft floor during day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 24, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
The Buffalo Sabres have the luxury of having two first round picks this year thanks to the Paul Gaustad trade at the deadline. We have already highlighted the possible players that could be available if the Sabres elect to use their 21st overall pick, so now we will take a look at the possible players available if the Sabres decide to take their 12th pick as well.
It is well known that the Sabres will most likely be looking at offense with their first round picks as they have a glut of defensemen in their current system. With the way this year's draft is shaking out though, defensemen may be the most prevalent pick in the first round. Here is our look at the possible players available.
Cody Ceci - D - Ottawa (OHL) - 6'1" - 205 lbs
We have already highlighted Ceci when he was our pick in the SB Nation Mock Draft. Ceci is a solid defenseman that has a scoring touch. Ceci was the second highest scoring defenseman in the OHL this season with 60 points. His point total may be slightly inflated by the teammates that surrounded Ceci.
Radek Faksa - C - Kitchener (OHL) - 6'2" - 183 lbs
Faksa is one center that Sabres fans have been drooling about over the last week. Faksa had 67 points in 62 games with the Kitchener Rangers last season in his rookie season with the team. Those point totals led all rookies in the OHL last year. One of the knocks against Faksa is that while he has offensive upside, it may not be enough to be a first line center. From the Hockey Writers:
Radek's best asset remains his overall balanced game and while he does not excel in one particular skill or area he offers a well-rounded package. The average spectator will notice that Faksa lacks a "wow" factor but his hockey sense is extremely underrated and it's an area that has many people thinking he is capable of reaching another offensive level.
Zemgus Girgensons - C - Dubuque (USHL) - 6'2" - 175 lbs
One of the best names in this year's draft, Girgensons has spent two years with the Dubuque Fighting Saints and has 104 points in 100 career games in the league. His 55 points last season was a team high, ten points ahead of forward Tyler Lundey who had 45 points in 60 games played. Girgensons had two goals with the Latvian under 20 team in this year's World Junior Championship. Girgensons is expected to play at the University of Vermont next season.
Some thoughts from Hockey Prospectus
Girgensons is an above-average skater with a technically sound stride and is pretty agile in tight spaces. His top speed isn't overly dangerous but still good meaning he will be able to skate with pros. Girgensons is a dangerous puck handler who I'd say is above-average to plus in that area as he can certainly make players miss and at times he can be a pretty flashy player. At other times, though, Girgensons can be a straight-ahead gritty type of power forward who drives the net, gets in people's faces after the whistle, and will lay out big hit after big hit. He also shows a diligent work ethic at both ends, and is very responsible and smart defensively for his age, which has garnered trust from his coach to play him in a lot of tough defensive minutes. Girgensons is pretty aware with the puck with a pass-first mentality.
There are going to be more players available for the team at 12, but this is a quick look at some players the Sabres will target. That is, if they still have the pick by the time it comes around.