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JW Draft Tracker: Could the Sabres trade down?



When picking at the top of the NHL Entry Draft it's quite normal to field a few phone calls from teams looking to jump up for a top prospect.  Should Tim Murray bite, and move down?  Jeremy White runs through a few scenarios.

Gare Joyce, of Sportsnet, is reporting that there are multiple offers for the top two spots in the Entry Draft. Both Florida and Buffalo will have a decision to make on whether to stand pat, or slide down and stockpile assets.

Joyce writes:

"Murray is listening to offers — if somehow he were able to convert his available assets (including his chip from the Blues) into two picks in the first 20 or better next month, he’d move on it. It will have to be a first-liner to get his attention if a prospective trade partner puts an established veteran in play."

If the Sabres are indeed interested in trading down they'd be getting something in return.

If it's for an established veteran - It'd depend on the player.  I'm not sure why the Sabres would be interested in a "veteran" when they're clearly going to stay low in the standings for at least one more season.  They're not gunning for 8th place.  In addition, if you're a team that's dumping off this veteran player, I'm not sure you'd do it for a Top 2 pick (Ekblad or one of the Sams) considering each player might be best served with another year in juniors.  Ekblad, described as very NHL ready, might be kept in Barrie (depending on which team takes him).

If it's for more picks - The Sabres have already sent out a mass mailing pointing out their collection of 17 first and second round picks, and how it dwarfs any collection of picks any team in NHL history has had.  Would Murray be looking for an additional first or additional seconds?  It's possible.  Murray is quick to point out that building this team will be more about the picks at the top of the draft, it'll also be about hitting on the 2nd round picks.  JT Compher is a Sabres 2nd round pick who appears to be a lock to make the team down the line.  Take a look at the LA Kings and they way they've built their team.  Drew Doughty (2nd), Anze Kopitar (11), and Dustin Brown (13) are all huge pieces the Kings have taken in the first round...but the 2nd round has been good to LA as well.  Tyler Toffoli, Kyle Clifford and Slava Voynov were all taken in the 2nd.  Wayne Simmonds (a 2nd) and Brayden Schenn (a 1st) were the pieces to pull in Mike Richards.  If Murray is thinking of stockpiling and adding an additional picks here in 2014, at some point he has to swing it for something.

If it's a 1st in 2015 - Well then...that gets interesting right?  What if the Leafs want Sam Bennett, and they want him badly?  Is anyone else interested in another lottery ball in 2014?  I am.  Get me 15 of them.  It'd be tremendous to root against the Leafs next year if they were willing to give up a 1st to move up.

If it's the Sabres convincing Florida to trade out - There are two ways to do this.  Murray could try to slide up to #1, or he could try to pull that #1 pick off the board while keeping #2.  I get the feeling he's ready to be active, and as bold as necessary.  I'd be very surprised if he's willing to include any asset from the 2015 draft.

So what do you think?  Should the Sabres trade down?

My gut reaction is... Hell no.  You were the worst team in the league to get this reward.  Take Bennett, Reinhart, or Ekblad.

Jeremy White
@JeremyWGR
whitey@wgr550.com





 

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