All the good things, all the bad things, let's talk about...age.
The draft has come and gone. Everyone gets really excited, especially Sabres fans about picks and prospects. Then we see trades of 1 player for 4 players, or whatever. Prospects don't always pan out, plain and simple.
What's my point?
Well, I illustrated in a post how all the top 16 goalies in terms of GP last year were 26 and older.
Let me say this too:
Guess how many of the top 20 point getters were 26+? 13/20. That's 65%
I'm writing this post because I think there is a big misnomer on how young the league is getting. Are there young stars? Hell yes. Tons of them. Who rules the league? Take a look at the stats. It's mostly the old guys. Those aged 26+. If we can call them old.
Top 16 goalies all 26+
Top in points: 13/20 26+
Top 10 D-men in points? 6/10 26+
The majority lies in 26+.
I see many people saying you need to be young. Smart, good teams are older. They just are.
Stanley Cup skaters:
COL: 15/23 26+
TBL: 14/21 26+
I'm just here to warn you all. The prospects take time to develop. The guys we drafted this year are 18. That means they are most likely 8 years away from being big difference makers, even if they ever reach that point.
Unfortunately for Buffalo, the draft and develop path is basically all we got. In the past, we pulled of shrewd trades: Hasek, Briere, Drury, Satan all come to mind.
In this salary cap world, we need to draft. And most of all...be patient.
Guess how many 26+ guys we have this year? Okposo, Skinner, Oloffson, Tuch, Girgensons, Hino, Boosh. Not exactly a who is who of grizzled vets. If you counted right, that's 7 26+. Not nearly as many as those teams competing in the Stanley Cup.
Patience everyone. It sucks.