Photo: Mikhail Grigorenko remains the top prospect for the Buffalo Sabres. Drafted 12th overall in 2012, Grigorenko has played 17 games in the NHL this season. (courtesy of Cliff Welch/Icon SMI)
The Buffalo Sabres prospect pool is in a state of transition, with many of their top prospects, such as Mikhail Grigorenko and Marcus Foligno, now contributing to the NHL roster. Many of the Sabres other prospects, such as Andrey Makarov and Daniel Catenacci, are dominating their respective competition levels and appear poised to move on to the professional level next year. In general, the Sabres have good depth at every position, though they are deepest at center and on defense.
Photo: Forward Tyler Ennis (left) and defenseman Tyler Myers (right) were both selected in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft. Both are considered key components of Buffalo's young core. (courtesy of Jerome Davis/Icon SMI)
It was clear by the end of the 2007-08 season that the Buffalo Sabres needed to reload. The team missed the playoffs after making it to the Eastern Conference Finals the year before and finished fourth in the Northeast Division, their lowest finish since the 2004-05 NHL lockout.
Photo: University of Minnesota forward and Buffalo Sabres prospect Christian Isackson is making a good impression in his sophomore season with the Golden Gophers (courtesy of University of Minnesota Athletics)
With 15 drafted players on their roster, the University of Minnesota features more NHL prospects than any other NCAA team this season. So it is easy for lesser-known players to receive smaller amounts of attention. But sophomore and Buffalo Sabres prospect Christian Isackson is emerging from the shadows of the team’s top players and is beginning to establish himself as a rising star in the Golden Gophers’ talent-laden lineup.
Photo: USA defenseman and Winnipeg Jets prospect Jacob Trouba capped off a fine showing at the 2013 WJC with a gold medal and tournament All-Star team selection (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)
The USA completed their comeback from a poor showing at last year's U-20 World Junior Championship to win the gold medal at the 2013 edition of this event.
Photo: Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen turned in a good performance at the 2013 World Juniors, which should help solidify his standing as a top defensive prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The 2013 World Junior Championship tournament did not go as Team Finland had hoped, with that country playing in the relegation round and finishing a disappointing seventh. While winning a medal seemed like a daunting task for Finland given the amount of talent available to all of the teams this year, it was generally felt that the team would at the very least compete in the playoff round.