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: Vancouver Canucks propsect Bo Horvat, the second OHL player chosen at the 2013 NHL Draft, had his day made more memorable due to his inclusion in the Cory Schneider deal (courtesy of CHL Images)
Since the NHL Draft was instituted in 1969, the Ontario Hockey League has proven to be the richest source of future talent in the world. And with six of the previous seven first-overall selections coming from the middle Canadian Hockey League association, there was no reason to believe that the province of Ontario (and parts of Michigan and Pennsylvania) wouldn’t be fertile soil again for the next generation of professionals.
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.
Photo: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds defenseman Darnell Nurse is at the top of the OHL rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
In five of the last six years, an OHL forward has been taken first overall in the annual NHL Draft. And in 2011, forward Gabriel Landeskog was the second selection when the Edmonton Oilers broke from tradition and selected the WHL’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins with the top pick.
Photo: Top 2013 NHL Draft prospects Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Drouin, Nathan MacKinnon, and Seth Jones will learn where they begin their professional careers at this month’s draft (courtesy of Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Stanley Cup Finals are still underway between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks, but much of the attention around the NHL has turned to the 2013 NHL Draft, scheduled for June 30th at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.