In part one and part two of our 2014-15 preview of the Hockey East conference, Hockey’s Future looked at eight of the 12 teams in the conference. Part three of this NCAA hockey preview takes a closer look at the final four teams in that conference, including Northeastern, Notre Dame, Providence, and Vermont. Read more»
Over the past three NHL Drafts, the Buffalo Sabres have made 12 picks in the first two rounds, more than any other team over that period of time. It is a big reason why the Sabres are regarded to have the deepest pool of prospects in the league, but the organization has supplemented their high picks by unearthing potential gems in the later rounds, such as Cal Petersen or Sean Malone.
General manager Tim Murray was all business at his first NHL Draft, wasting little time making his picks. The Buffalo Sabres are quite deep at every position, but since the focus was on defensemen last year with Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov, the attention shifted toward forwards this year. The Sabres used seven of their nine draft picks on forwards, including four in the first two rounds.
The parent club was in shambles for much of the 2013-14 season, but the plight of the Buffalo Sabres did not adversely affect the development of their deep pool of prospects. Though the Rochester Americans felt the effects of Buffalo's roster shuffle throughout the season, the organization's prospects at the junior and amateur levels performed well, with the majority of them qualifying for the playoffs in their respective leagues.
If the decline of the Buffalo Sabres had to reach its darkest depths before progressing upwards, the 2013-14 season was certainly the franchise's lowest point. At various points throughout the season, the team was in a state of flux, either in the front office, behind the bench, or on the ice.