Editor's Note: This is a fantastic and detailed look at the current roster. These are the posts that we love to highlight on the front page.
About a month ago, a fan from Broad Street Hockey was inspired by a fan of Fear the Fin who had built the current roster history for the San Jose Sharks. This fan of BSH then developed the Flyers' Current Roster History where they built a roster tree, but they also analyzed how the Flyers' original draft picks have been used to develop the current team. With both of these fans for my inspiration, I decided to attempt to produce the Sabres' current 22-man roster history as it is shown on sabres.com.
To do this, I wanted to find out how every player currently on the Sabres traced back to an original draft pick of our team, just like what was done for the both the Flyers and the Sharks at the above links. Hopefully the current roster history below that I developed can be read easily and will not be too complicated to understand. The whole thing was developed in Microsoft Excel, so if anyone has suggestions or complaints, just let me know and I will try to improve it.
If that link does not work (or does not allow you to zoom in), try this.
First, I must admit that I could not find the Future Considerations for the Stephane Beaureguard trade after scouring the last two evenings on the internet for about 4 hours. These may or may not have been important, but I will assume that they did not involve a player that would have a major impact on the roster tree. Overall though, I am pretty sure the rest of the tree is correct; I could be wrong, but I will be assertive in that proclamation.
To explain the chart a bit, any name that is big and bold is a current roster player. Player trees are color coded, and any name in parenthesis is a player that was drafted with that pick, but was not drafted by us. All trades are listed with the team name and the month and year the trade was completed.
Observing the Roster History, we can see some interesting trees that have been created from our current roster of players. First, just like the BSH post, I would like to analyze how our own draft picks have been used to create our current team.
In the chart above, all bolded names are actual players on our team that have been drafted with our original draft picks. As you can see, 6 current players on our roster (Pominville, Vanek, Stafford, Kaleta, Gerbe, and Weber) were original picks that belonged to our organization. This may seem low, but compared to Philly (3) and San Jose (2), we have at least twice as many current roster players who were developed using our original picks. It can also be noted that only our free agent acquisitions are not in the above chart; this means that any players not acquired in FA actually trace back to an original pick within our organization.
In comparing the Philly and San Jose roster trees, we do not have many current NHL players that are notable within the league whose rights had belonged to us at one point in our own roster tree. Other than Jarret Stoll, I am hard pressed to find other notable NHL players within our roster history. For former NHL players, we could list Eric Daze and Byron Dafoe, but it seems that most prominent players within our roster history were drafted and traded away by our own management.
- By the Numbers: 36 original draft picks account for 18 players on our current roster. This puts us in between the Sharks and Philly, who have used 41 and 31 of their respective original picks to acquire 17 and 13 of their respective current roster players. Its hard to say if this is good or bad...it could mean we are more efficient with our picks, but it could also show that we prefer to build our team through trades as opposed to the free agent market.
- First Round ROCKS!: 8 of our original 36 draft picks are first round draft picks. This number decreases as the rounds progress except for rounds 6 and 7, where three and four original draft picks respectively were used to shape our current roster (Ennis, Kaleta, Kotalik, and Regehr in the 6th and Ennis, Gaustad, Hecht, Roy, Sekera, in the 7th).
- Nice Drafting Darcy: 2001 and 2004 both had 3 original picks that contributed to our current team. Pominville ('01 2nd), Gaustad ('01 7th and 9th), Stafford ('04 1st), Sekera ('04 4th) and Kaleta ('04 6th) all can be traced back to original picks from these years.
- Most Picks per Player?: 10 of our original 36 picks can be traced to the drafting of Andrej Sekera in 2004. Derek Roy comes in a close second (9), while Jochen Hecht (5) and Ryan Miller (4) round out the top 4. These four account for 19 of our original 36 picks, which is to say that 52.8% of the original picks that make up our roster were used to acquire these four players.
- Good Value?: Three 1st round picks, one second, and two thirds (among other later round picks) can be traced to the acquisition of Derek Roy. Add a fourth to this, and you get Andrej Sekera. Was all that worth it? I believe it is perfectly fine to pay that much for a 1st line center. But of course, all the Roy haters out there now have more to complain about since they can legitimately say that they expect more out of three first round picks than what he may be given. Oh well, we cannot win them all.
- Bargain Bin: The Goose for an original 7th and 9th round picks? Regehr for original 3rd and a 6th? I can make money on that all day.
- Good Times, Great Oldies: Original Draft Picks from 2000-2009 have all contributed to our current team along with a draft pick that traces all the way back to our second draft in the league (1971). Draft picks from every decade of our team history can be seen to contribute to our current roster. Draft years of the future have also been used to shape our roster, even though that was for a very special circumstance (2012 4th for Mr. Ehrhoff).
-The French Connection Lives On: Derek Roy and Andrej Sekera can both trace their Sabres' lineage back to the great Rick Martin. This was the most interesting thing I found when researching the Sabres' transaction history to make the roster tree...it is also by far the coolest. You will always be missed Rico.
- Trade Partners: From the list, the LA Kings and Calgary Flames were our most frequent trade partners, with 3. We made two trades with Tampa Bay, Winnipeg, St. Louis, Vancouver and Chicago while we made one trade with Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Florida, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Washington, Edmonton, San Jose, Nashville, and Phoenix.
In total, we made 26 trades with 17 teams to shape our current roster, which is much less than the amount of trades it took San Jose (54) and Philly (45) to make their current rosters. The only thing I can gather from this stat is that that we are more willing to hold onto our own picks as opposed to trade them to better our team. This stat could correlate with the amount of players we currently have on our team that come from original draft picks; for example, since we have more than twice the amount of players on our team than come from original picks when compared to Philly (3) and San Jose (2), we may need twice as less trades to make our current roster. Of course this analysis is from a very small sample size, but it would be interesting to see how this plays out with other roster histories in the NHL.
Overall, I was quite surprised about some of branches to the above roster tree. While I am a young Sabres fan (turned 24 in May), it was awesome to see that both Andrej Sekera and Derek Roy can relate in Sabres' transaction history to our first pick in the 1971 Entry Draft, Rick Martin. It was also cool to see how Ryan Miller can trace his transaction history back to another former goalie, Don Edwards. Also I never would have thought that former Sabre great Christian Ruuttu could be connected with Jochen Hecht.
Anyways, I had a lot fun tracking down the information on our current Sabres roster history. I hope you all will find enjoyment in it as well.