If the Sabres are indeed bottoming out and positioning themselves for a top 2 or 3 spot in next year's draft, what kind of player could they get?
According to former NHL General Manager and current TSN analyst Craig Button, the early portion of the 2014 draft will be all about big, powerful, skilled wingers. That works out well since the Sabres can use that.
TSN conducted a pre-season survey with 10 NHL scouts and four different players received at least one vote as the number one prospect.
Five of the ten scouts went with Sam Reinhart, a center with the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League. The son of former NHL defenseman Paul Reinhart, Sam is considered a skilled, point producing forward with an extremely high hockey IQ. Hockey runs in the Reinhart family. Sam's older brothers are Max, who plays for Calgary and Griffin, who is one of the Islanders best prospects. Reinhart was also rated the number one prospect by the International Scouting Service in their October rankings.
Aaron Ekblad is also receiving strong consideration as the number overall choice in the 2014 draft. He's a big defenseman who is reported to be a strong two way player. Ekblad was allowed to play in the Ontario Hockey League as a 15 year old and is a member of the Barrie Colts.
Other top prospects include: Prince Albert Raiders center Leon Draisaitl, Oshawa's Michael Dal Colle who can play center or wing, William Nylander, a forward who is playing in Sweden and Kingston center Sam Bennett who Button says should be under consideration for the top overall selection.
This is expected to be a good draft for Americans according to a report in USA Today. There could be as many as 25 U.S. born players taken in the first three rounds. The top American prospect is said to be Blake Clarke. The St Louis native is a forward for North Bay in the OHL.