Team Depth Chart of NHL Prospects
Strengths
  • Depth in goaltending
  • Many prospects ready for NHL
  • Depth at center
Weaknesses
  • Lack of depth and talent on wing

About Prospect Scores and Probability

Prospect Criteria

Legend of Players' Leagues
Pro
Playing in N.A. Pro (NHL, AHL, ECHL, etc.)
CHL
Playing in CHL (OHL, QMJHL, WHL)
NCAA
Playing in NCAA
Europe
Playing in Europe
Junior
Playing in Junior 'A' (USHL, BCHL, AJHL, etc.)
N/A
Not Categorized Yet

Goaltenders

League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Andrey Makarov Pro 7.0 D
2. Linus Ullmark Europe 7.0 D
3. Nathan Lieuwen Pro 6.5 C
4. Jonas Johansson Europe 6.5 C
5. Cal Petersen NCAA 6.0 C

Right Wing

League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Joel Armia Pro 7.0 B
2. Justin Bailey CHL 7.0 D
3. Nick Baptiste CHL 7.0 D
4. Hudson Fasching NCAA 7.0 D
5. Vaclav Karabacek CHL 7.0 D
6. Jordan Samuels-Thomas Pro 6.5 C
7. Judd Peterson NCAA 6.0 D
8. Victor Olofsson Europe 6.0 D
9. Colin Jacobs Pro 5.0 D
10. Christian Isackson NCAA 5.0 D

Left Wing

League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Brendan Lemieux CHL 7.0 C
2. Nicolas Deslauriers Pro 7.0 D
3. Daniel Catenacci Pro 7.0 D
4. William Carrier Pro 7.0 D
5. Gustav Possler Europe 7.0 D
6. Max Willman NCAA 5.5 C
7. Brad Navin NCAA 5.0 D

Centers

League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Sam Reinhart CHL 8.0 B
2. Mikhail Grigorenko Pro 7.5 C
3. JT Compher NCAA 7.0 C
4. Johan Larsson Pro 6.5 B
5. Connor Hurley NCAA 6.5 C
6. Sean Malone NCAA 6.5 C
7. Eric Cornel CHL 6.5 C
8. Justin Kea Pro 6.0 C
9. Phil Varone Pro 6.0 C
10. Tim Schaller Pro 6.0 C
11. Kevin Sundher Pro 6.0 D
12. Christopher Brown Junior 6.0 D

Defensemen

League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Rasmus Ristolainen Pro 8.0 B
2. Jake McCabe Pro 7.5 C
3. Nikita Zadorov CHL 7.5 C
4. Mark Pysyk Pro 7.0 C
5. Chad Ruhwedel Pro 7.0 C
6. Brady Austin Pro 6.0 C
7. Anthony Florentino NCAA 6.0 C
8. Brycen Martin CHL 6.0 C
9. Jerome Gauthier-Leduc Pro 6.0 D
10. Mark Adams NCAA 5.0 D

Buffalo Sabres Draft Review

by Ken McKenna
on

The 28-chapter book known as the 1999 NHL Entry Draft has been completed, with a possible title for the Buffalo Sabres’ chapter being “Good Things Come In Small Packages”. Certainly, Buffalo did not shy away from drafting players under 6′ tall, as they drafted six players (seven, if you count Mike Zigomanis, who is 6′ in his dreams only) under the six-foot benchmark. This trend toward smaller players seems to run counter to more recent Sabre drafts, and could signal a frightening return to the bad old days of the Gerry Meehan (former Sabre GM) era.

In an interview on the Empire Sports Network, current Sabre GM Darcy Regeir stated that the early part of the draft was used to acquire more skill, while the latter portion of the draft (rounds 4-9) would be used to acquire players with a little more size and toughness. Darcy was only partially correct in his assessment, however, which makes one wonder exactly whom was in charge of the Sabres’ draft table. In fairness to the Sabres, drafting 20th (or worse) in most rounds is a sure way to log a mediocre draft, so Buffalo’s recent success has its downside in lower draft picks. Still, the trend toward smaller players will likely be a little disconcerting to Sabre fans that have grown accustomed to Buffalo’s emphasis in recent drafts on choosing player’s with some size.
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Buffalo Sabres 1999 Draft Preview

by Ken McKenna
on

If there is one team in the NHL that is a testament to good drafting and player development, that team is the Buffalo Sabres. In addition to the Sabres’ appearance in this year’s Stanley Cup finals, their farm club the Rochester Americans made the 1999 Calder Cup finals in the AHL. The roster of both of these teams is dotted with Sabre draft picks, as well as young players acquired from other organizations.

The foundation for the current organizational success was built during the John Muckler era. Prior to Muckler’s stint as GM, the Sabres lacked a cohesive drafting philosophy, instead jumping from one drafting trend to another. The result of this haphazard approach to the draft was several lean years for the Sabre organization.

Once John Muckler assumed the GMs duties, however, the Sabre organization moved from chaos to cohesion, at least with respect to their drafting philosophy. The emphasis moved from the grab-bag approach of years past, to one that emphasized the drafting of bigger and feistier players (mostly Canadian) that possessed good skating ability. This approach landed current Sabres Curtis Brown, Wayne Primeau, Erik Rasmussen and Jay McKee. Darcy Regier has since taken over the duties as Sabres’ GM, and he appears to have taken the “If-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it” approach. Regier has taken only a slightly different tack in that the Sabres are drafting more Europeans than they had previously, but the emphasis on size, speed and character still remains.
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Sabres Report: Odds & Sods

by Ken McKenna
on

Back in the early 70s, the British rock band The Who released the album “Odds & Sods”, which was a collection of songs that had been left off of previously released albums for various reasons. In the spirit of that recording, I’ve decided to break from my usual Top 20 format to make this season wrap-up column a review of the playoff performances of certain Sabre prospects, as well as other random items from the post season.

The big news is, of course, that the Buffalo Sabres will be appearing in the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 24 years. Meanwhile, down the I-90, the Rochester Americans liked the idea of the Sabres appearing in the finals so much that they defeated the defending Calder Cup champs from Philadelphia to return to the Calder Cup finals for the 5th time this decade. Based on these events, it is clear that the Sabres organization has finally become one to be envied by the rest of the NHL for the first time since Punch Imlach was GM of the Sabres. The Sabres may not land their first Cup this year, as they are definite underdogs against Dallas, but they will almost certainly be contenders for the foreseeable future. Their contender status is the result of good drafting and shrewd trading, not to mention excellent coaching. Rather than praise those responsible for the Sabres success (others have done this better than I could), I will simply wish the Sabre organization good luck in the NHL and AHL finals, and, like all other Sabre fans, I’ll sit back and enjoy the moment.

CHL Playoffs and Memorial Cup Read more»

Sabres: Late-Bloomer Sylvester in the NHL Playoffs

by pbadmin
on

Some Sabres fans have been scratching their heads lately wondering who this #46 is on the right wing. When he made his NHL debut in a home game against the New Jersey Devils, it was for the most part unexpected. Most fans are somewhat familiar with young stud prospects Erik Rasmussen and Dominic Pittis, but have no idea who this 26 year-old Dean Sylvester is.

With Miroslav Satan sidelined and Coach Ruff sending inconsistent winger Michal Grosek a message by benching him, Sylvester found himself in the lineup for the last few games of the ’98-’99 season, and has seen considerable playing time in the 1999 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Dean Sylvester, at 6’2″ and 205 lbs, has the size to be a NHL forward. He was born in Hanson, Massachusetts and attended college at Kent State. After Kent State did away with their hockey program, Dean transferred to Michigan State for his senior year. As a senior, he was named to the Academic All-Big Ten Conference At-Large Team. After a strong senior year, he graduated at age 23 and was drafted 2ndoverall in the 1993 Supplemental Draft by the San Jose Sharks.

Sylvester is somewhat of a late bloomer, having just broken into the NHL at the age of 26. He was signed to a free agent contract by Rochester in July of ’98 after spending time in the San Jose minor league program with Mobile (ECHL) and Kansas City (IHL). He led Kansas City with 33 goals in the 1997-98 season and also scored 5 playoff goals in 11 games.
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Sabres Report: Update of the Top 20 prospects

by Ken McKenna
on

Spring is in the air, so that means that the 98-99 regular season has ended for most of the Buffalo Sabres prospects. This has been a great season to be covering the Sabre prospects, as there have been several outstanding performances by a number of the Sabre hopefuls. Indeed, the Sabres may well have more quality prospects than those of the other 26 (soon to be 27) NHL teams.

One prospect has moved on since my last update, as Alexei Tezikov was traded to Washington at the NHL trading deadline. While the Capitals will be receiving a quality prospect, this was a move the Sabres could afford to make. Buffalo has great depth amongst their prospects at the defensive position, so it made sense for the Sabres hockey department to deal from strength to try to shore up the teams’ offensive weakness (albeit on a temporary basis). In addition to receiving Joe Juneau from the Capitals, the Sabres also received the Caps ’99 3rd Round pick, which adds to their growing collection of ’99 draft picks (currently at 11 picks, with a possible 12th pick on the way from San Jose).
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