The Sabres were right back at it on Saturday, kicking off the NHL Draft's second round with the selection of Brendan Lemieux, son of former NHLer, Claude. Similar to his father, Brendan brings a tough and antagonistic playing style to Buffalo, leading Barrie (OHL) in penalty minutes during the 2013-14 season with 145. Lemieux can also find the net, picking up 27 goals last season, plus seven in 11 playoff games.
Although happy to be joining the Sabres, Lemieux fully expected to hear his name called during the first round in Philadelphia. "Things have a way of working out," he said. "I think it could be a blessing in disguise that I had to wait it out. I'm proud to be picked as the first pick of the second round, and I'm just going to use it as fuel now."
Regarding the teams that passed on him during the first round, Lemieux didn't mince words. "I'm definitely going to love going into their arenas and making it hard on their guys," he said. "They decided to pass me over so I'm just going to use this as fuel. They gave one of the more fiery guys in the draft, I'd like to say, a lot more fire."
Lemieux, 18 years old, is 6'0" and 206 pounds. Like the Sabres' first-round selection, Sam Reinhart, Lemieux comes from a hockey family. His father was part of four Stanley Cup champions, including the 1995 New Jersey Devils. Claude Lemieux scored 13 goals during the '95 postseason, an effort that earned him the Conn Smythe Trophy.
"He's definitely not quiet, he's a leader," Claude said of his son. "He's a winner, he loves to win and he plays the game the right way. It's the kind of player you need when you're in a rebuilding mode. You want to have these character players."
"It's like a recipe," the elder Lemieux added. "You need a little bit of everything. You can't just have potatoes in your beef stew. You gotta have a little bit of spice, and he'll definitely bring that."
Buffalo traded its next pick, 39 overall, to Washington in exchange for the 44th and 74th selections. With that 44th overall slot, the Sabres went with another center, Eric Cornel from Peterborough of the OHL. Cornel, 6'2" and 184 pounds, netted 25 goals and 62 points for the Petes last season and played much of the year on their top line alongside the 10th overall pick in the draft, Nick Ritchie.
"Talking with my agent, he said there's a lot of up-and-coming young guys [with the Sabres], a lot of opportunity," said Cornel. "I've been [to Buffalo] a couple of times. It's a really good sports town. I'm just pretty excited to be a Sabre."
With their third pick of the second round (49 overall), the Sabres landed right wing Vaclav Karabacek, coming off a postseason that saw him rack up six goals and six assists for QMJHL's Gatineau.
Buffalo added a goaltender with the first selection of round three (61 overall). Jonas Johansson, a 6'3" netminder out of Sweden, is now a member of the Sabres. Johansson recorded a 2.32 GAA and .911 save percentage in 23 games for Brynas Jr. Later in the third, with the 74th overall pick, Buffalo went defense for the first time in the draft, selecting Brycen Martin from Swift Current of the WHL. Martin recorded 37 points, including 31 assists, in 2013-14.
"I play a two-way style. I kind of lean toward more of an offensive style," Martin said regarding his strengths. "I like to run the power play and whatnot, so more of a two-way offensive defenseman. I like to jump up in the play."
After sitting out the fourth round, the Sabres used the first selection of round five on American center Max Willman, committed to Brown University and set to join the Bears this fall. Willman scored 21 goals last year for prep school Williston-Northampton in Easthampton, Massachusetts. Buffalo went with another high schooler in the sixth round, Chris Brown from Cranbrook Kingswood in Michigan. Brown is committed to play in 2014-15 at Boston College.
With their final pick of the day, 181 overall in the seventh round, the Sabres went with 5'7" right wing Victor Olofsson, who scored 32 goals in 44 games last season for Modo Jr. in Sweden.
Sabres Go With Lemieux To Start Round 2
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GREAT second pick
This guy will fit in perfectly with Nolan, a tough guy who can score. Add this to filling a huge hole at scoring center with Reinhart and it's a pretty darn good draft even if none of the later picks pan out. I really like this pick though, and it makes me feel a lot better about Murray - I can see he understands it takes a lot of different types of players to make a great team.
July 1st is where the real excitement begins
39 million to spend. Let's Go and finish up cleaning out the rest of the rubble from last season. Leino already out and plenty left to remove or just plain forget about. Any trades yet?
Eric Staal headed to Buff??? Evander Kane as well???
More to come...
sounds like a solid draft
the Draftees all look good and hopefully most will eventually play for the Sabres- but I think Murray outthought himself? no one really wanted any part of his deals- he may be bold n decisive but sometimes turns some people off-Murray did well drafting but failed in generating any trades like he boasted about?
NHL will be watching
Should Lemiuex make the Sabres and Kaleta is still here, he will be a marked man. Shanny and Colie still have pull in the NHL discipline office. Campbell cried to Shanny to amped up on Kaleta after he beat the snot out of his son Gregory a couple yrs. back.
When does the trading begin for the Sabres?
The Sabres missed the boat is not taking MacInnis.
If they're so focused on blood lines, MacInnis should have been the choice with their 39th choice (they shouldn't have traded it). This kid had been projected by some to go in the first round.
Just gonna do the right thing finally
All the hype that Murray was ready to make trades. What a lyin' fool. Maybe I ought to do the right thing and tell them to shove my seasons tickets. Simply cancel out. They're gonna tank anyway no matter what the league does to try and stop it. Well, we still have free agency and plenty to spend. (close to 40 million) Never mind, I'll just cancel and stop wasting my time. Four tickets are not cheap. I can't see paying for another season of suck. What a shame they have to run business like this. You'd swear that Larry Quinn is still around along with Darcy. I had it!
And when will the Sabres be competitive? And this is the only way to do it? lol!
The draft lottery is designed for nonsense like this. What about Sabre fans, is this what we get for the 5 years this will take? Proud no more, Sabre nation is a 3rd world country.
The Sabres need these kind of players if they want to win a cup. His father drove people nuts but had skill too and it sounds as if he's a chip off the old block. Good selection.
This organization is a Joke. A complete Joke. Our best defenseman gets bought out and they keep Mr Minus Weber and the two pylons Ruhwedel and Pysyk. What a Joke!!! Why is Stafford, Foligno and Ennis still around? J.O.K.E.
Do you pay any attention at all to the words Tim Murray is saying? It's crystal clear that Ehrhoff didn't want to be part of a rebuild. It's also crystal clear they couldn't trade him without a significant cap hit later. The buyout was smart business by a GM who knows what he's doing. I give Murray all the credit in the world for this buy out. He's now sent a message to all of his players that if they don't want to be here, nothing is keeping them here. He wants guys who are committed to building a winner. I don't know what else a fan could ask for! Is it going to be painful for another year or two? Of course. But for the first time in years, I'm encouraged that this team is finally moving in the right direction!
When he was not picked in the 1st round I told my family he needs to be the Sabres 1st pick in the 2nd round. He has the blood lines. He is a beast. He can score. He has even more fuel now due to not being picked in the 1st round. Unfortunate for the teams that did not draft him they are going to be really sorry. Go Sabres!
RE:And when will the Sabres be competitive? And this is the only way to do it? lol!
Actually... it's called WALMART! THEEE BIGGEST NICKLE AND DIME LOoSER FRANCHISE IN PRO SPORTS HISTORY!"
long way away(Aus.)
like the picks so far,the way Lemieux's father played, it's a good choice, more people like that