The 2013 NHL Draft takes place this Sunday, and the Buffalo Sabres have a whole bunch of picks in the first two rounds - four, to be exact. There are a heck of a lot more than four players that will be taken in the first two rounds, however, so over the next few days, we're going to throw some previews out featuring some prospects that could be available with each of their first few picks. Today: No. 16.
Mantha is a scorer, pure and simple. 50 goals in 67 games is a heck of a season no matter what league you're playing in. Mantha adds a big body - 6'4'' - to his resume and he knows how to use it. A power forward in the making, he needs to improve his defensive game and show a more consistent effort to reach his ultimate potential, but if he can, there's a real NHL star in the making here.
As we're seen from many Swedish players over the years, Wennberg comes to the NHL with a very polished two-way game. He has a good mind for the game and excellent playmaking ability to go along with the ability to play all three forward positions. He showed a great compete level and steady improvement while playing against solid European competition. His excellent skating and cutting ability is the icing on the cake for this solid prospect.
Hey, I remember this guy p - we picked him in our SBNation mock draft! Check out our write-up here.
Mueller is a big, athletic left-handed defenseman who fits the Sabres recent mold of d-men who can skate and pass better than most. One of the best thing you can say about him is that he's steady in all situations, and has a good head of the game, using his body and defensive positioning to his advantage. He served as captain of the Swiss U-18 team, the cherry on top of this very solid blueliner.
A goalie? Yes, I had to include him on this list, because the Sabres might just be crazy enough to do it. Fucale was called "the best 16-17 years old goalie I've ever seen in 25 years of scouting" by TSN's Craig Button. He has franchise goaltender potential thanks to his great quickness, instincts, and most importantly, his mental makeup. Fucale is a guy who lifts his team when they need it most and puts mistakes behind him. I know the Sabres have a plethora of solid goalie prospects with Enroth, Hackett, Makarov, and Ullmark in the system right now, but this kid has a higher ceiling than all of them and could provide good insurance 3-5 years down the line if non of the above pan out.