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: Finnish defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was the first of 11 players to have the Buffalo Sabres call their name at the 2013 NHL Draft (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The 2013 NHL Draft was considered by many to be the deepest draft in the last decade, with potential franchise players not just available at the top of the order, but all the way through the first round and into the second.
Photo: Selected 23rd overall in 2010, defenseman Mark Pysyk is one of several talented puck-moving defensemen in the Buffalo Sabres prospect pool. (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
With only two playoff appearances in the past six seasons, it is abundantly clear the Buffalo Sabres need to retool their roster and head in a new direction. Finishing last in the Northeast Division, the team's worst showing since the 2003-04 lockout, general manager Darcy Regier is preparing to usher in the post-Lindy Ruff era of Sabres hockey.
Photo: Defenseman Alex Lepkowski had a strong playoff run with the Barrie Colts of the OHL. The 20-year-old was a defensive mainstay for the Colts, who finished one win away from a berth in the 2013 Memorial Cup. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL images)
After finishing last in the Northeast Division for the first time since 2004 and missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season, the Buffalo Sabres are hitting the reset button. The first move was saying goodbye to head coach Lindy Ruff after 1,165 games behind the bench, then shipping captain Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild for two prospects and two picks.
Photo: Brian Flynn has been one of the few pleasant surprises for the Buffalo Sabres this season. An undrafted free agent, Flynn managed six goals and five assists in 26 NHL games this season. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
It is an ongoing process for the Buffalo Sabres as they patiently wait for their prospects to develop. Most of their young players are already playing for the Sabres or their AHL affiliate in Rochester, and the ones still in college have improved by leaps and bounds. Below are the winners of the Buffalo Sabres Prospect Awards.