It’s been almost ten years since the Tampa Bay Lightning opened the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by selecting Steven Stamkos first-overall. Two picks later, now-Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian, then a bright-eyed 17-year-old coming out of the OHL, was selected by the Atlanta Thrashers.
Overall, for the Buffalo Sabres, the 2008 NHL Entry Draft didn’t fare very well. The majority of players the Sabres and Darcy Regier (GM at the time) never made it to the NHL. The exceptions: first-round picks Tyler Myers and Tyler Ennis.
Of course, neither are with the Sabres anymore.
Myers was picked 12th overall out of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets organization. Ennis joined him 14 picks later. From there, the two took different paths en route to the NHL.
Myers would play one more season for the Rockets before joining the Sabres in the 2009-10 season. He was a big (literally, and figuratively) part of the team’s defense core and often played a lot of minutes. Myers also won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2010.
He was eventually traded to Winnipeg in February 2015 in the deal that brought Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian to Buffalo. Myers appeared in 395 NHL games for the Sabres over the years.
Ennis, meanwhile, also spent one more season in the WHL with Medicine Hat, but then joined the Portland Pirates for most of the 2009-10 season. He wouldn’t join the NHL full-time until the following season.
After a lengthy career in Buffalo, Ennis was traded to Minnesota in June 2017. He appeared in 432 games for the Sabres between 2009 and 2017, racking up 244 points.
Other than the two Tylers, there’s not a whole lot to speak about.
The Sabres picked up Luke Adam in the second round, and he’s perhaps the only other notable name drafted by Buffalo in 2008. Adam mostly played in the AHL with Portland/Rochester but did spend some time each season between 2010 and 2014 with the NHL club. He eventually went to Columbus’ organization, and now plays with Adler Mannheim in Germany.
Other players drafted by Buffalo ten years ago: Corey Fienhage, Justin Jokinen, Jordon Southorn, Jacob Lagace and Nick Crawford. None of them ever appeared in a game for the Sabres - or any other NHL team, for that matter.
As for what they’re up to now? Fienhage hasn’t played professionally since 2016; Jokinen didn’t play professionally after college.
Southorn spent this past season with Astana Barys in the KHL, while Lagace plays in Sweden with Mora IK. Crawford played in Denmark with Esbjerg EfB Ishockey this past season.
Other than the big three (Stamkos, Drew Doughty and Bogosian), who else was notably drafted in 2008? Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was picked up by St. Louis fourth overall; the Senators selected Erik Karlsson three spots below Myers. Jordan Eberle went to Edmonton with the 22nd pick, and John Carlson to Washington 27th overall.
Braden Holtby was selected by Washington in the fourth round, while Cam Atkinson went to Columbus in the sixth round.
A lot can happen in ten years, and of course, hindsight is 20/20. What will the Buffalo Sabres draft class of 2018 look like? We’ll find out in just a few short weeks - but really, over the years, as they grow and develop into (hopefully) solid NHLers.