Photo: Prab Rai, the Canucks' fifth round pick in 2008, has been limited by injury to just 31 ECHL games through three seasons thus far in his pro career. (courtesy of Kathleen Hinkel/Icon SMI)
Two players from the Vancouver Canucks 2008 NHL Draft remain in the system, defenseman Yann Sauve and center Prab Rai. Of the two, Sauve is the only one to get a taste of NHL hockey action, with a five game call-up in 2010. Perhaps one of the more prolific and discussed players drafted by the Canucks, Cody Hodgson’s arrival in 2008 provided local sports pages with material aplenty. Just as some drafts bring hope and anticipation, Vancouver's 2008 draft brought drama and intrigue, culminating in one of the biggest and most shocking trades in the NHL during the 2011-12 season.
Photo: Mark Pysyk is one of several talented defensive prospects the Buffalo Sabres have at the AHL level. (Abelimages/Getty Images)
The Buffalo Sabres' AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans, are one of the biggest beneficiaries of the NHL lockout. Though Cody Hodgson, Marcus Foligno, Brayden McNabb, and T.J. Brennan have, for the most part, been pillars for head coach Ron Rolston, the Amerks are currently sitting just out of playoff position. Hurting the Amerks is overall consistency and a lack of quality depth up front.
Photo: Defenseman Brayden McNabb (81) is one of several Buffalo Sabres prospects who would be competing for a spot in the NHL right now if not for the ongoing lockout. (Bill Streicher/Icon SMI)
The Buffalo Sabres have traditionally taken the long and steady approach to developing their projects, giving their prospects as much time as needed to develop into an NHL player. That patience has paid off, with many players drafted in the past five years making contributions at the NHL level last year, and are ready to this year, if or when the NHL lockout ends. Corey Tropp, Luke Adam, Brayden McNabb, Marcus Foligno, and a few others are among those who have proven that they can play in the NHL.