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Who could the Sabres target in late-1st round trade?



Buffalo Sabres’ general manager Tim Murray has repeatedly said the Sabres would like to trade back into the first round. They have currency to deal with three second-round picks to work with and oodles of cap space.

In the past, the late first round has been a place to grab underrated prospects – some of which have turned into the league’s stars.

Here are some of the best picks in the first between the 20th and 30th selection between 2003-2008

2003: Ryan Kesler, Mike Richards, Corey Perry
2004: Travis Zajac, Cory Schneider, Mike Green
2005: Tuukka Rask, T.J. Oshie
2006: Claude Giroux, Semyon Varlamov
2007: Max Pacioretty, David Perron
2008: Tyler Ennis, John Carlson

Some promising current NHL prospects and young players have been picked there as well. Marcus Johansson, Mark Pysyk, Charlie Coyle, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Brock Nelson, Oli Maatta, Tanner Pearson and so on…

So it is worth it to move up and increase the chances of grabbing a quality-to-star player late in the first.

Which teams could they trade with?

Minnesota (18th)

A team built to win now, the Wild could be looking to improve their depth around stars Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. While Minnesota has plenty of cap room to work with, they could also look to get out from under goalie Niklas Backstrom’s $3.4M hit. The Wild would be interested in at least getting current roster player and second rounder.

Tampa Bay (19th, 28th)

The Lightning have a barrel of young forwards who are NHL ready, including two of the top rookies in the NHL this year Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson. That means they could part ways with one of their two late-round picks for a player who fits a specific role on next year’s team. The Lightning lack depth on defense and severely lack a backup goaltender.

San Jose (20th)

The Sabres have stated they are willing to take on bad contracts to get to the cap floor. Sabres, meet Martin Havlat. The veteran forward is on the Sharks’ cap for $5.5 million next season. They have the fourth highest current cap number and they likely want to spend in free agency.. Taking his contract alone won’t be enough to get to 20th but with picks and prospects abound, the Sabres could make it happen.

St. Louis (21st)

The Blues do not have a contract the Sabres could take off their hand, but they are looking to stock up on depth to make a run toward the Cup next season. St. Louis made several bone-headed signings last off-season in Derek Roy and Brenden Morrow and may be looking for a younger player to fill out their lineup.

Pittsburgh (22nd)

Problem No. 1 for the Penguins during the post-season was depth. The Sabres have a group of forwards and defenseman who are either established NHL depth players or have potential to be a quality role player. There are also contracts the Sabres could take, such as Rob Scuderi’s $3.375M hit.

Colorado (23rd)

The Avs were one of the top teams in the NHL last year and are thinking Cup next season, but they are far from a perfect team. Colorado lacks defensive depth, which the Sabres have. Would they be willing to move down to the second round in exchange for a young defenseman?

Anaheim (24th)

The Ducks have two first-round picks and might be willing to part ways with their later pick to add more picks for the future or a young player. They are looking to win next year, but proved to be a notch below the LA Kings.

Which draft picks could they be targeting?

Jake Virtanen (Calgary Hitmen)

The power forward scored 45 goals in 71 games for Calgary. He is known as a smart player with speed and has been projected as a mid-round pick.

Alex Tuch (US National U18 Team)

With size at 6-foot-3, 215-pounds, Tuch plays below the circles and protects the puck well. He has been called “much more than a power forward” because of his quality makeup.

Ivan Barbashev (Moncton Wildcats)

The two-way winger has playmaking skills and projects as a forward who will be difficult to play against at both ends. He played a big role for Team Russia in the U-18 in 2012-13 and scored 68 points in 48 games for Moncton.

Brendan Lemieux (Barrie Colts)

A teammate of Aaron Ekblad’s, Lemieux projects as a hard worker who is not afraid to play a physical role. He was a secondary scorer for Barrie with 53 points in 65 games, it is the intangibles that make him a likely late first-round pick.

Sonny Milano (US U18 National)

TMilano is a terrific puck handler, who plays with potential 2015 top pick Jack Eichel. He has good speed and is elusive, making him a potential top six forward in the NHL.

Josh HoSang (Windsor Spitfires)

The top-end skater lit up the OHL for 85 points in 67 games. He has been ranked as high as nine and low as 33. Has “natural offensive ability” but there are question marks about his all-around game. Could be a late-round find.

3rd overall

The Sabres could be looking to get back into the first round to ultimately move up into the top five. While it does not happen often, pundits have said there is a good chance of trades toward the top of the draft this year. Could Buffalo move Tyler Myers and picks to get to No. 3? It seems anything is possible with Buffalo’s pool of assets to trade.
 

06/23/2014 9:12AM
Who could the Sabres target in late-1st round trade?
Please enter your comments below.
06/23/2014 9:15AM
ANALYTICS!
Wait no analytics? I AM CONFUSED!!!
06/23/2014 9:22AM
Sabres Fan in Kingston
Fasten your seat belts. It should be quite a week for the Sabres. I would very much like it if Tim Murray and company are bold enough to trade for the third pick.
06/23/2014 10:04AM
3 first rounders?
Take Ekblad if he's available, get back into the first round pick up Reinhart, Bennett, Dal Colle, or Draisatl. Maybe even trade into the late first round and grab Elhers, or Barbashev.
06/23/2014 10:33AM
Myers.....
The only way Myers is moved is if Ekblad is their to take. I'm sick of hearing the Sabres are deep at "D". They have prospects that have yet to show they're truly NHL ready. We need "D" who play with an edge in their game. Myers will never "develop" that. Either you have that or you don't.
06/23/2014 10:36AM
Live From my Armchair
Get Reinhart in the draft and sign Callahan and Moulson from free agency...we're talking business. Include Ennis in a trade along with a third rounder to maybe to land a late 1st rounder. Virtanen would be nice. Bringing Ott back would be nice as well.
06/23/2014 10:39AM
Stupid to trade back into the bottom of the 1st round
It's a complete and utter waste of time. If the Sabres have ambitions of trading back into the 1st then trade into the top 10. This draft class is weaker and the chances of getting an impact player beyond 15-20 are slim to none. Your flawed example Coller of Kessler couldn't be further from the truth. There is no Kessler beyond the top 10 in this draft. Now Ennis is accurate. Small, overrated, non-impact, one dimensional players like him will be a dime a dozen at #20 and beyond. Frankly the Sabres have had enough of those players in recent years. Here is the smart move...trade for Marchand, Ganger or Evander Kane if you are not going to trade to get back into the top 10 or 5. At least the Sabres would be getting a proven commodity at that point rather than drafting another middling medicority late in the 1st.
06/23/2014 10:46AM
What a waste of energy this is, more 3-4 year hopefuls.
The cupboard is bare, so lets trade for more long term prospects that have a 25% chance of even being a 3rd line player. All these picks already and who is ready to step in? This rebuild is a total disaster. Murray is a legend in his own mind. All he talks about is getting to the floor of the cap. Wow, that's promising! What happened to money bags Pegula, we re scraping the barrel again.
06/23/2014 11:04AM
NO MORE RUSSIANS PLEASE
Please.....no more Russians. Unless his name is Pavel Datsyuk.
06/23/2014 11:10AM
Call me what you want, just don't call me late for dinner
Tyler Myers, Cody Hodgson and a 2nd rd pick (#49) for Edmonton's #3 overall in 2014, 1st in 2015 and Gagner (take on his contract)
06/23/2014 11:40AM
Hockey Hotline
Is this supposed to be a hockey show or Rowan and Martins Laugh In? Sylvester and Peters are a Joke! Had to turn them off again. Very unlistenable. A laugh fest. Suggestion: Pull it off the air or get new hosts.
06/23/2014 12:24PM
Virtanen...
A "mid-round" pick? I know he's a first round talent, but that just sounded odd. If they don't trade for him, I want Alex Tuch...he's a beast.
06/23/2014 12:27PM
Milano and Tuch...
Milano is not the only linemate of Eichel, as Tuch plays the other wing for that line. Grabbing one of them, and ending up with Eichel next year as a "consolation prize," would not be such a bad thing.
06/23/2014 12:58PM
LOLing!!! NEW BOSS SAME AS THE OLD BOSS AT WALMART!!!
wow!!! Hartnell to Columbus FOR JUST A PLUMBER, APPARENTLY the Jackets are intent on building the LA KINGS- EASt!!!! ...MEANWHILE... BACK IN LAST PLACE WALMART; Tim Murray was last seen... comfortably SLEEPING IN DARCY'S OLD BED!!! LOLLOL!! WALMART="THEEEEEE BIGGEST NICKLE AND DIME LOoSER FRANCHISE IN ALL OF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS!" WHO'S ELITE? WHERE'S ELITE? HOW'S ELITE? I AM THE "ELITE ONE"! FORRRRRRRREEEEVR4!!!! SAY MY NAME!
06/23/2014 1:04PM
HOLY COW!!! OFFICIAL NHL MINIFIGURES FINALLY AVAILABLE!!!!!
I'm guessing the WALMART version of the minifigure is a LITTLE BIT S-M-A-L-L-E-R AND A LITTLE BIT C-H-E-A-P-E-R than the rest! WALMART= "THEEEE BIGGEST NICKLE AND DIME LOoSER FRANCHISE IN PRO SPORTS HISTORY!!!!!" HOW'S THE GOLF BEEN? FORRRRRRRRRRRRREM FOREVER REGERIUM-MURRAYIUM !!!! ELITE MY AZZZ!!!
06/23/2014 1:10PM
TARGET EITHER CAYDEN OR UNGST!!!
CAYDEN CORKUM, son of BOB or UNGST HECHT, son of "JOKIN" !!! THE "LAFFS" KEEP ON ROLLin AT WALMART- "THEEEEEE BIGGEST NICKLE AND DIME LOoSER ORGAN i ZATION IN THE ENTIRE PRO SPORTS WORLD!!!" ELITE ? ELITE ? WHERE'S ELITE? WHAT'S ELITE? WHO'S ELITE? MIKA NORENEN? FOREVERFOREMing !!!
06/23/2014 2:09PM
Stop dreaming.
I can tell you right now that by the time the 18th pick rolls around, Virtanen, Tuch, and Barbashev will be gone. Probably Ho Sang too. The Oilers want either Ekblad or Draisaitl. Their pick will only be available if both guys are gone, which means we'll have to draft Darisaitl for that to happen. I don't see it as Devine is in love with Reinhart. I don't think the cost of a move is worth it (unless it's just picks) to go below 15.
06/23/2014 2:09PM
Sad that the Sabres have to make an effort to get to the CAP floor
I distinctly remember Pegula bragging about this being a meca for high quality FA's. Where is all that money now? Now we don't even talk about bringing in quality veterans. Now we just hope and dream with lottery tickets where the odds are pretty low of success. The whole perspective of this team is off.
06/23/2014 2:27PM
Tuch seems like a fit
Virtanen likely goes in the first 15 picks. Lemieux is likely a guy to target in the 2nd round. Ho-Sang is scary because he's so soft and defensively horrible. I like Milano, but he might be gone and/or too small for Murray's taste. I like Barbashev, but Murray has stayed away from the Q and Russians in Ottawa, so who knows. Alex Tuch seems like a Murray kinda guy to me.
06/23/2014 3:50PM
Are you friggin' kidding me?
WHO CARES ABOUT THE LATE FIRST ROUND? Just get what you can with the second overall and move on to next season. Enos (yeah I spelled it that way on purpose) was a late first rounder and what the he11 good is he? If I want an absolute nothing to score a useless goal...well, he's the man along with Stifford. However, seeing as the goal of the Sabres is to bore the other team to tears and annoy the heck out of their stars with inferior hacks...I guess we don't need anything more than what we already have do we? I am so looking forward to hearing more from Kevin Sylvester and Andrew Peters about...oh yeah, no I'm not. Just move this useless team to Seattle and let them suffer with the non-tradition.
06/23/2014 10:17PM
No reason if ur not in the Top 5-7
Just take a chance with who you can get, no point moving back up unless u can get to the top 7 picks, Just move who u can around and plan for a big year next years draft
06/23/2014 10:59PM
What trades?
Murray just may be another Regeir. The silence is deafening.
06/24/2014 9:43AM
What's wrong with you people?
Half of the comments on here are Trolls or just completely uninformed Sabres fans who have no idea how the game and business of Hockey actually works. Some are complaining about the Cap floor...I guess you want us to sign/trade for a bunch of mediocre veterans so we can fight for the 8-10 spot like the glory days of Regier. Oh, and by all means you say just get rid of Tyler Ennis and Myers because those guys are terrible and it's not like there are 29 teams where they would be welcomed...(there are). As for, WAlLmArt....your sense of humor comes across as MeNTal iLLneSs. Chill out folks. This is a rebuild and fortunately Tim Murray knows a lot more about this game than most of us. There aren't many teams I would want to trade places with moving into the future.
06/24/2014 1:28PM
To the three guys above....
Hey Rome hack-off runner uppers Go practice your comedy on the Leafs web site, or at least come up with something new. Same stuff for 5 years its old and not funny. I refuse to believe that any one reads your whole rant. (feel free to rebutt with grammarand spell check comments) Thanks!!!!
06/24/2014 9:22PM
typing in caps
already made me think you were a f*cking idiot. actually reading what you wrote confirmed it.
06/25/2014 10:50AM
bold moves
ANA trades 10th; 24th; 38th; 55th 2014; Bryan Allen & Sheldon Souray to BUF for 2nd (overall) & 5th (121st) NJD trades 1st 2014 (30th) & 2nd 2014 (41st); Bryce Salvador; Anton Volchenkov & Dainius Zubrus to BUF for Jamie McBain; Mike Weber; & Cory Conacher. MTL trades 1st 2014 (26th); Daniel Briere; Travis Moen; & Rene Bourque to BUF for Brian Flynn; Luke Adam; Philip Varone & 2nd (49th) 2014 FLA trades 2nd 2014 (32nd) to BUF for G Matt Hackett & 3rd (61st)2014. This is the year of the power forward, draft as many as possible.
06/25/2014 9:25PM
Fast Fact
This ain't a rebuild...it's a Joke!
06/26/2014 6:28PM
Re: Hockey Hotline
Yea, its like two young kids having a farting competition and laughing at every one ripped.
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