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: University of Wisconsin forward and Los Angeles Kings prospect Michael Mersch is expected to be one of the offensive leaders for the Badgers in his final NCAA season (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
The Big Ten is one of two brand new conferences debuting in the NCAA this season. There’s much anticipation and excitement surrounding this new conference and, with 50 NHL prospects playing in the Big Ten this season, it is certain to be among the most-watched conferences.
Photo: Forward Gustav Possler tries to score for Team Sweden during the 2013 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp in August. Possler was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The future of the Buffalo Sabres is now. Five of the six players drafted by the Sabres in the first round since 2010 – Mark Pysyk, Joel Armia, Mikhail Grigorenko, Zemgus Girgensons, and Rasmus Ristolainen – are expected to be key contributors this season.
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: 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.