Weight: 169 lbs.
2013-14 team: Buffalo
Acquired: Taken in the 1st round (26th overall) in the 2008
Last year's ranking: 2
After weeks of anticipation we've finally made it to number one. Topping this year's list is Tyler Ennis, who jumped Cody Hodgson from last year's list.
Ennis lead the team in goals last season and continued to establish himself as one of the team's top forwards. He's arguably solidified himself as the team's top overall center, at least for this season. He started the season a little slow, but turned on the guns in the second half and earned himself a hefty five-year, $25 million deal
He's not the biggest, but his agility and playmaking skills have helped him excel at the NHL level. He may not only be the best player for the Sabres under 25. He's in the conversation for being the team's best player period. That's not the most impressive feat in the world on the current Sabres, but it's an accomplishment none-the-less. He was named the team's MVP at the end of last season.
His overall play pushes him ahead of Hodgson. Ennis' possession stats are positive compared to many of his teammates while facing the opponent's top line. There is no need to hide him from tough situations like frequently needed with Hodgson.
His position as the team's top center may be a short lived one. Sam Reinhart, Zemgus Girgensons and next year's top pick could push him back to wing. He's still a very talented and young forward that can be valuable for the team in the years to come. Ennis may not be a player you can build around per se, but fits the mold as a secondary scorer on an elite team.
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