Photo: Defenseman Jake McCabe is one of several Buffalo Sabres defensive prospects who are pushing for spots in the NHL. McCabe was a second round pick from 2012. (courtesy of Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire)
Once the Buffalo Sabres are done collecting their puzzle pieces, it will be a matter of figuring out how they will all fit together. The Sabres have the cornerstones in place with Sam Reinhart at center and Rasmus Ristolainen on defense, but the short-term focus is to make sure that every prospect in the organization takes a step forward.
Photo: Hulking forward Hudson Fasching (24) has been a standout in his freshman season with the University of Minnesota, managing 12 goals and 16 assists. Fasching was traded to the Buffalo Sabres on March 5th, 2014. (courtesy of Brian Ekart/Icon SMI)
There is no doubt the Buffalo Sabres have one of the deepest prospect pools in the league. Their prospect pool is extremely balanced, with players at various levels of competition from every corner of the hockey world.
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: 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.