Weight: 195 lbs.
2013-14 team: Wisconsin/Buffalo
Acquired: Taken in the second round (44th overall) in the 2012 draft
Last year's ranking: 10
McCabe earned quite the reputation among Sabres fans before he ever played a game in the blue and gold. He captained a gold-winning team USA at the World Juniors and had quite the impressive career at Wisconsin. After the conclusion of his senior year with the Badgers he signed his entry-level deal with Buffalo and finished out the season.
In his final season with Wisconsin he was named to the All-Big Ten first team and an NCAA West first team All-American. After the signing he didn't blow anyone socks off, but McCabe had a pretty solid eight games in Buffalo. Solid is a good way to describe McCabe, who's known as a versatile two-way defender. He's also not afraid to hit either, and his on-ice smarts have been noted by various talent analysts.
Although he did well for a first year player, McCabe looked a little raw the eight games. He'll likely follow the path that Chad Ruhwedel did a year before him. In Ruhwedel's second year with the organization, this season, he spent a majority of the year in Rochester for the first time. That's likely where McCabe will hone his work this season.
McCabe is a player you can seriously consider as part of the youth core, which is why he is this far up on our rankings. In addition to Ruhwedel and the other young defenders that have yet to be ranked, Tim Murray has a lot to be looking forward to on the blueline.
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