Tonight's game with St. Louis got me thinking about the draft because the outcome of the Blues season will have an impact on the Sabres off season.
In case you forgot, when the Sabres traded Ryan Miller to St. Louis, the deal included an important condition. The Sabres get the Blues first round pick in this year's draft if they reach the Western Conference Finals(and Miller plays most of the minutes). Even if the Blues don't get that far in the playoffs, Buffalo would still get the pick, which will be at the bottom of the round, if Miller re-signs or is traded before the draft.
If any of those conditions are met, the Sabres will have two first round picks this year. They might have three depending on what the Islanders do with the pick due the Sabres from the Thomas Vanek deal.
As miserable as this season has been, if the Sabres can take advantage of their stockpile of draft picks, they can set themselves up for a long run of success.
Thanks to former General Manager Darcy Regier and current GM Tim Murray, the team has done something no other franchise has done in 40 years. When you take into account the last two drafts and add in the next two, the Sabres have a total of 17 picks in the first or second round. It will be 18 if the conditions are met from the Ryan Miller trade.
No franchise has had that high a number of early picks in the draft since the Montreal Canadiens in the 1970's.
Here is a recap:
In 2012, Buffalo used first round choices on Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons. The second round pick was Jake McCabe, who will make his Sabres debut tonight.
Last year's draft produced Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov in the first round with J.T. Compher, Connor Hurley and Justin Bailey coming in round two.
In this year's draft, the Sabres have their own first round pick but might have two more from the Islanders and Blues. Buffalo has three picks in round two.
For the 2015 draft, the Sabres have their own first round selection and another from St. Louis and a third if the Islanders defer. The Sabres have two second round choices as well.
Add it all up and its eight first rounders and nine second rounders for sure with the possibility of one more first rounder.
This is also unprecedented as far as franchise history goes. The Sabres have never had more than 14 early picks over a four year stretch of the draft.