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A look at the draft

It's only the middle of May and the draft isn't until June 20 and 21 in Ottawa, Ontario.  Unfortunately talking about the playoffs is left to Pensburgh and maybe Winging it in Motown.  Here at Die by the Blade we are reduced to talking about the NHL Draft.  The NHL draft is not nearly as hyped as the NFL draft and there are a couple of reasons for that.  It is my mission to make the NHL draft and important event and we'll kick off that coverage today.

The Buffalo Sabres have picks number 13 and 26, with number 26 being acquired in the Brian Campbell trade.  BfloBlog had a post a couple of days ago that talked about some #13 and #26 picks that have taken place in the recent past (link unavailable due to site problems, I will update when it's fixed).  I'm going to take a look at the Sabres picking #13 and # 26 in the past.

Number 13 selection

  •  2005  Marek Zagrapan:  Zagrapan came to the Sabres with huge expectations, expectations that he hasn't lived up to so far.  He has spent his time in the Sabres organization playing for the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.  This season will be a big season for Zagrapan if he intends on remaining a member of the Buffalo Sabres organization.
  •  2004  Drew Stafford:  Stafford has developed faster than Zagrapan has but he had what many consider a disappointing season in 2007-2008.  Stafford had an opportunity to play for the United States in the World Hockey Championships and he scored a goal to tie the game in the Quarter-finals before the U.S. lost to Finland in overtime.
  •  1991  Phillipe Boucher:  Boucher never had an opportunity to develop in Buffalo before being traded away in the Alexei Zhitnik trade.  Although Boucher became an outstanding NHL player I do not criticize the Sabres for making this trade.  The trade obviously benefited both teams and they both were able to reap the rewards of that trade.  I don't think I need to tell you how Boucher ended up in his NHL career.  Boucher has been outstanding for the Dallas Stars the past couple of seasons.
  • 1988 Joel Savage:  There is no other way to describe this pick other than a bust.  If you blinked you completely missed the NHL career of Savage.  In 1990-91 he scored a career high 25 goals with Rochester in the AHL earning him an opportunity to play with the Sabres that season.  Savage played in only three games and he had an assist.  After playing three games in 90-91 he never played a NHL game.  He bounced around the minor leagues before finishing his career playing in Europe.
  • 1978  Larry Playfair:  Playfair is a player that needs no introduction to Buffalo Sabres fans.  He played with the Sabres for nine seasons in his career and he was definitely a fan favorite.  Today he is the president of the Sabres Alumni Association and he continues to be a favorite in Buffalo.

Number 26 selection

  • 1986  Greg Brown:  Brown was a defenseman that was drafted directly out of high school and never really became an everyday player in the NHL.  After high school he had a pretty good career at Boston College but couldn't become an everyday player.  He spent time with Buffalo and Pittsburgh before finishing his NHL career with the Winnipeg Jets in  1994-95.  Much like Savage he finished his career playing in Europe before becoming an assistant coach at Boston College.
  • 1982  Mike Anderson:  This was another waisted draft pick by the Sabres.  I honestly don't know the specifics but his career was short, he played only 25 games with the Rochester Americans.

The Sabres obviously have not fared well with the number 26 pick but they have had some success with the (un)lucky 13.  We will have to revisit this post in a couple of years and see how this years pick will pan out.