Photo: Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (55) remains is the top prospect for the Buffalo Sabres. Ristolainen has split the 2013-14 season between the NHL and AHL. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
With over 40 prospects currently in their system, and at least 10 picks in the first two rounds of the 2014 and 2015 NHL Drafts, the Buffalo Sabres are aggressively re-building. Two players graduate from the fall Top 20 rankings – former University of Maine standout Brian Flynn is now a fixture with the big club and winger Corey Tropp is now a Columbus Blue Jacket after being waived in November.
Photo: Defenseman Brady Austin has provided a steadying presence along the London Knights blue line. Austin started the 2013-14 season with the Belleville Bulls, but was traded to the Knights on October 9th. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Saying the Buffalo Sabres are off to a tumultuous start would be an understatement. With just six wins in 30 games, their point percentage of .233 projects to be the worst in franchise history. The Sabres have recently put together better performances under interim head coach Ted Nolan, but remain dead last in the NHL.
Photo: Forward Zemgus Girgensons is one of four teenagers to play for the Buffalo Sabres this season. The Latvian-born Girgensons was selected 14th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
Currently amid a full-scale rebuild, the Buffalo Sabres have 43 prospects in their system, including seven first-round picks, giving them both quantity and quality at every position. The Sabres also have many prospects already contributing at the NHL level, including forwards Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko, and Johan Larsson.
Photo: Forward Mikhail Grigorenko is expected to have a strong 2013-14 season with the Buffalo Sabres. Grigorenko played in 25 games with the Sabres last season, managing a goal and four assists. (courtesy of Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Buffalo Sabres continue their re-build with a sense of optimism this coming season. Mikhail Grigorenko steps in full-time as one of the team's top centers while Finnish power forward Joel Armia prepares to test his scoring abilities on North American ice.
Photo: Nikita Zadorov was one of two defensemen the Buffalo Sabres selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
With the eighth and 16th overall picks, the 2013 NHL Draft was the third in six years where the Buffalo Sabres have selected twice in the opening round. This year, general manager Darcy Regier decided to load up on the blue line, adding some much needed size and grit.