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01-10-2014, 10:39 AM
  #1
ADoubleD
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Sabres Drafting

I was looking at the Sabres draft history, and boy is it awful. Hopefully combining Murray's ability as a talent evaluator with our scouting department and Kevin Devine's ability will help us be one of the better drafting teams in the league. I mean if you really want to know why the Sabres have been so mediocre over the past ten years or so just look at their 2000-2010 drafts.

In those ten years they only drafted five top 6 forwards. Vanek, Pominville, Roy, Stafford, and Ennis. You could argue MacArthur became a top 6 guy but he was never one here. Kassian may develop into one, and he did get us Hodgson so that's a solid pick. But overall they've been pretty bad if you ask me. No franchise players, no #1 centers, and only one arguably elite player in Vanek.

Then on D they've only drafted three top 4 dmen. From 2000-2007 the only top 4 dman they drafted was Sekera. Then in 08 they got Myers, and in 2010 they picked Pysyk. I'm not counting Ballard or Hejda because they never even played a game for us. No elite dmen drafted although I guess you could argue that Myers could be one, but who knows with him. Now McNabb still has potential, but I think that's pretty much it out of those drafts.

You might say it's too early to count out some of the guys from the 2010 class and maybe even the 09 and 08 classes, but I disagree. Those guys haven't shown any indication that they're going to be become really good NHLers. The 2011-2013 drafts look to be much stronger for us so far, and hopefully that remains the case going forward with our new front office running things.

I think Murray made a great point about how drafting well allows you to make good trades, and I couldn't agree more. It's interesting looking back on our last 13 years of drafting and it's easy to see why we haven't made many big trades because we haven't had the players to make them with, or guys coming up to replace the guys that we traded.

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01-10-2014, 10:46 AM
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haseoke39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADoubleD View Post
I was looking at the Sabres draft history, and boy is it awful. Hopefully combining Murray's ability as a talent evaluator with our scouting department and Kevin Devine's ability will help us be one of the better drafting teams in the league. I mean if you really want to know why the Sabres have been so mediocre over the past ten years or so just look at their 2000-2010 drafts.

In those ten years they only drafted five top 6 forwards. Vanek, Pominville, Roy, Stafford, and Ennis. You could argue MacArthur became a top 6 guy but he was never one here. Kassian may develop into one, and he did get us Hodgson so that's a solid pick. But overall they've been pretty bad if you ask me. No franchise players, no #1 centers, and only one arguably elite player in Vanek.

Then on D they've only drafted three top 4 dmen. From 2000-2007 the only top 4 dman they drafted was Sekera. Then in 08 they got Myers, and in 2010 they picked Pysyk. I'm not counting Ballard or Hejda because they never even played a game for us. No elite dmen drafted although I guess you could argue that Myers could be one, but who knows with him. Now McNabb still has potential, but I think that's pretty much it out of those drafts.

You might say it's too early to count out some of the guys from the 2010 class and maybe even the 09 and 08 classes, but I disagree. Those guys haven't shown any indication that they're going to be become really good NHLers. The 2011-2013 drafts look to be much stronger for us so far, and hopefully that remains the case going forward with our new front office running things.

I think Murray made a great point about how drafting well allows you to make good trades, and I couldn't agree more. It's interesting looking back on our last 13 years of drafting and it's easy to see why we haven't made many big trades because we haven't had the players to make them with, or guys coming up to replace the guys that we traded.
On the elite forwards thing, I really do think where they drafted is pretty determinative. Anyone can point to handful of elite guys (really only a handful) in the NHL who popped up in the later picks, but boy are they unlikely.

I do think you need to consider guys who never played for us in determining our drafting success. So Ballard, Hejda, don't throw those guys out of the analysis.

That said, I don't know where I land on this analysis. I would need to really sit down and crunch numbers about where we drafted and the comparative success of other teams that were consistently in our average position.

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01-10-2014, 10:46 AM
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I think it should be worth noting that draft position matters too. 11 of the current top 20 points leaders were all top 3 picks in their draft year. A few others in the top 20 are beneficiaries of being linemates of the 11. It would have been nice if Darcy was aggressive in moving up in the first round of draft. Continually picking in the teens or worse doesn't help much.

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01-10-2014, 10:52 AM
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ZZamboni
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Did you contrast and compare the other 29 teams drafts against the Sabres?

Your opinion seems to be in a vacuum of only what the Sabres did. I bet most if not all other teams over the same time period have a similar track record of successes and failures.

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01-10-2014, 10:54 AM
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It's only worth looking at 2008 to present, because that is when Devine and the current scouting staff really started to take shape. Everything prior is irrelevant. Devine and his staff have done really well IMO.

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01-10-2014, 11:14 AM
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Havok89
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Since Kevin Devine:

Myers, Pysyk, McCabe, McNabb, Ristolainen, Zadarov

Ennis, Foligno, Armia, Grigorenko, Girgensons, Catenacci, Compher, Hurley, Bailey, Baptiste, Possler.

I really like this prospect pool. Considering Ristolainen is the only pick in the top 10. It's ovbious we're missing elite scoring ability. We should be able to get that in the next two drafts with three first round draft picks, and pieces to use to move up in the draft as well.

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01-10-2014, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stokes84 View Post
It's only worth looking at 2008 to present, because that is when Devine and the current scouting staff really started to take shape. Everything prior is irrelevant. Devine and his staff have done really well IMO.
I agree 100%

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01-10-2014, 03:10 PM
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jc17
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All teams are terrible at drafting if you look at it like that. Teams miss on players all the time, drafting is more of a miss than hit process.

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01-10-2014, 08:11 PM
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Darcy was terrible at his job, so of course we didn't draft well.

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01-10-2014, 08:59 PM
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Actually Buffalo did a pretty good job when compared to other teams.

You also have to take into account where the team drafted and the liklihood of actually getting a top 6/top 4 player.

Buffalo drafted only once in the top 5 and that was at 5 in 2003 where they drafted Vanek.

the rest of the time they drafted outside of the top 10.

I look only at the 1st 3 rounds....anything 4th round or later---you are just flat out lucky if you draft anything that makes anything beyond a brief call up to the NHL.

1999-2001 Buffalo was in the middle of the pack. If you want to count Novotny as a success (given he was named to the Olympic team) that would push them into the top 10.

2002-2004 they were one of the top drafting teams with only having a pick at #5 while the teams ahead of them had multiple years of drafting in the top 5. They picked 6 solid NHL players (top 9/top 6/starting goalie). The best team Washington drafted 7.

2005-2007 buffalo was one of the worst drafting only producing 3 players---Weber, Tropp, and Enroth.

2008-2010 Buffalo was back to being one of the best teams (w/Florida and Islanders ahead of them) based on some of this is based on potential of the draft picks.

Looking at 2011-2013---all based on potential---buffalo has 12 picks which was highest except for Edmonton's 13. Looking at a score based on where the picks were Buffalo has the highest score of any other team during that period.

2014-2016---Buffalo as of now has 9 picks of their own + 5 acquired picks= 14 picks in the 1st 3 rounds with likely more to be gotten through trades of Ott/Mouslon/Miller/Talinder (I think they could get a 3rd for him) /Stafford (He would get at least a 3rd round pick in a trade)

This scoring is not taking into account where they drafted or the quality level of the player drafted.

the belief for forwards is roughly:

top 8 ---1st liners
9-22--2nd liners
23--3rd round---3rd liners.

for defense

1-20 top pair
21-40 second pair
41- 3rd round 3rd pair


Its much easier finding quality defense in the 2nd round than it is to find quality forwards.


Last edited by Djp: 01-10-2014 at 09:13 PM.
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01-10-2014, 09:06 PM
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Moskau
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karate Johnson View Post
Darcy was terrible at his job, so of course we didn't draft well.
Darcy's job wasn't to draft.

By the way it's great that you're back to posting after we hire a new GM just to grace us with your hilarious posts.

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01-10-2014, 09:25 PM
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6 players who are playing in the top 6 for various nhl teams
5 top 4 Dmen playing for various nhl teams
In 10 years that isn't horrible, our highest pick was 5th, pretty good IMO.

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01-10-2014, 09:32 PM
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sjci
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Devine has been with the Sabres for 16 years! This is his 3rd year as AGM, but he was Director of Amaetur Scouting for 8 years before that. So Devine's been a major hands on guy with the draft since about 2003-2004

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01-10-2014, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Moskau View Post
Darcy's job wasn't to draft.

By the way it's great that you're back to posting after we hire a new GM just to grace us with your hilarious posts.
Thanks man! I hope you enjoy them!

Go Sabres!

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01-11-2014, 11:00 AM
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Bobby Bottle Service
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Which years were the "video scouting is so good, who needs to see kids in person" era?

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01-11-2014, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Havok89 View Post
Since Kevin Devine:

Myers, Pysyk, McCabe, McNabb, Ristolainen, Zadarov

Ennis, Foligno, Armia, Grigorenko, Girgensons, Catenacci, Compher, Hurley, Bailey, Baptiste, Possler.

I really like this prospect pool. Considering Ristolainen is the only pick in the top 10. It's ovbious we're missing elite scoring ability. We should be able to get that in the next two drafts with three first round draft picks, and pieces to use to move up in the draft as well.
Defensively there are 2, possibly 3 1/2 D man there in Myers, Ristolainen and Zadarov. I consider Pysyk, McCabe and McNabb potential 3/4 pairing guys.

Every one of the forward names you list are supporting cast members, the OP is correct in that those supporting players will need elite talent to play with to possibly reach their maximum potential.

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01-11-2014, 11:17 AM
  #17
MARCUS FOLlGNO PHD
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Actually they're one of the better drafting teams in the league over the past ten years

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01-11-2014, 12:17 PM
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always thought Sabres had more of a "getting the most potential out of prospects" problem, rather than a drafting issue. if anything, considering how they would shoot themselves in the foot at the end every season by jumping 3-4 places backwards in the draft, they've drafted pretty well for how far back they've typically been placed.

Danny Pallie, Taylor Pyatt, etc. (don't forget the Kennedy shove-off, he's playing in PHX right now)

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01-11-2014, 09:08 PM
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There was a similar thread awhile back where someone else posted the pick information below.

2002
1: Keith Ballard and Daniel Paille*
2: None
3: Michael Tessier*** and John Adams***

2003
1: Vanek
2: Branislav Farby***
3: Clarke McCarthur

2004
1: Drew Stafford
2: Michael Funk**
3: Andrej Sekera

2005
1: Marek Zagrapan***
2: Phillip Gogulla***
3: MA Gragani*

2006
1: Dennis Perrson***
2: Enroth & Weber
3: None

2007
1: Traded
2: TJ Brennan** & Drew Schiestel***
3: Tropp

***Zero NHL games player
**LEss than 50 NHL games played

To which my opinion was that in the big picture those picks aren't that bad and would probably be considered above average for their returns based on the draft positions.
The first rounders were taken 11, 20, 5, 13, 13 and 24. We had one top ten selection in Vanek and he is a proven first line scorer. Three of the other picks were serviceable NHLers worthy of a roster spot and two were duds.
The second rounders had two hits, three misses and the jury is still out on Brennan.
The third rounders had two hits, three misses and maybe another hit with Tropp. (he has since been waived but he's still on an NHL roster)
Do you know how many teams would give anything to draft NHL caliber players in the second and third rounds in the 40-50% range? There is only one superstar out of all of those draft picks and there was only only one top ten pick out of all of those draft picks. This is the problem the team faces today with a lot of NHL worthy players on the team or in the system but not really any superstars. We need to tank for two seasons and hope that there are a few offensive superstars in the next two drafts.

For the more recent drafts we have

2008 (overall #)
1: Myers (12), Ennis (26)
2: Adam (44)
3: Fienhage (81)

2009
1: Kassian (13)
2:
3: McNabb (66),

2010
1: Pysyk (23)
2:
3: Gauthier-Leduc (68), Sundher (75), Matt Mackenzie (83)

Again the team drafted in a mediocre position but it's hard to complain about three of the four first round picks with the odd man out being Kassian whom another team saw enough potential in to give us Hodgson. Three of the four third rounders are probably busts but in the 2009 draft they managed to get Foligno in the fourth round. NHL drafts are somewhere between the NFL and MLB in terms of time needed for player development and how hard it is to judge talent. If we kept drafting in the top five each year and were unable to build a winner that's on the GM and scouts but considering the draft position I think most outsiders would look at the big picture and say our drafts have been successful. I think everyone has finally seen the light and are warmly embracing the two year tank as a way of solidifying the future of the team.


Last edited by yahhockey: 01-12-2014 at 03:27 PM.
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01-11-2014, 09:39 PM
  #20
Djp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yahhockey View Post
There was a similar thread awhile back that included the picks below.

2002
1: Keith Ballard and Daniel Paille*
2: None
3: Michael Tessier*** and John Adams***

2003
1: Vanek
2: Branislav Farby***
3: Clarke McCarthur

2004
1: Drew Stafford
2: Michael Funk**
3: Andrej Sekera

2005
1: Marek Zagrapan***
2: Phillip Gogulla***
3: MA Gragani*

2006
1: Dennis Perrson***
2: Enroth & Weber
3: None

2007
1: Traded
2: TJ Brennan** & Drew Schiestel***
3: Tropp

***Zero NHL games player
**LEss than 50 NHL games played

To which my opinion was that in the big picture those picks aren't that bad and would probably be considered above average for their returns based on the draft positions.
The first rounders were taken 11, 20, 5, 13, 13 and 24. We had one top ten selection in Vanek and he is a proven first line scorer. Three of the other picks were serviceable NHLers worthy of a roster spot and two were duds.
The second rounders had two hits, three misses and the jury is still out on Brennan.
The third rounders had two hits, three misses and maybe another hit with Tropp. (he has since been waived but he's still on an NHL roster)
Do you know how many teams would give anything to draft NHL caliber players in the second and third rounds in the 40-50% range? There is only one superstar out of all of those draft picks and there was only only one top ten pick out of all of those draft picks. This is the problem the team faces today with a lot of NHL worthy players on the team or in the system but not really any superstars. We need to tank for two seasons and hope that there are a few offensive superstars in the next two drafts.

For the more recent drafts we have

2008 (overall #)
1: Myers (12), Ennis (26)
2: Adam (44)
3: Fienhage (81)

2009
1: Kassian (13)
2:
3: McNabb (66),

2010
1: Pysyk (23)
2:
3: Gauthier-Leduc (68), Matt Mackenzie (83)

Again the team drafted in a mediocre position but it's hard to complain about three of the four first round picks with the odd man out being Kassian whom another team saw enough potential in to give us Hodgson. Three of the four third rounders are probably busts but in the 2009 draft they managed to get Foligno in the fourth round. NHL drafts are somewhere between the NFL and MLB in terms of time needed for player development and how hard it is to judge talent. If we kept drafting in the top five each year and were unable to build a winner that's on the GM and scouts but considering the draft position I think most outsiders would look at the big picture and say our drafts have been successful. I think everyone has finally seen the light and are warmly embracing the two year tank as a way of solidifying the future of the team.


The number of 3rd rounders that actually turned into a top 6/top 4 player is minimal....

2008---Adam Henrique....a couple others may amount to something but still early.
2007---none
2006---Marchand, Clutterbuck, Mason
2005---Fransen, Quick, Letang
2004---Franzen, Edler, Sekera
2003---Carcillo, MacAurther
2002---Filpulla, Lombardi, Nielsen,
2001---Plekanic, Sharp

There were others who made it to the NHL but I categorize them as 3rd/4th liners or bottom pairing Dmen.


Its rare to get players of note outside of serviceable depth players.

getting players that amount to top 6/top4 very rare. Its more common to get goalies later but that is because many teams wait until 3rd-5th rounds to draft most decent goalies.

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01-11-2014, 09:40 PM
  #21
Djp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Bottle Service View Post
Which years were the "video scouting is so good, who needs to see kids in person" era?
This was during the 2005-2007 draft period when scouting was cut. It affected the draft success.

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01-11-2014, 10:01 PM
  #22
Djp
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Quote:

Myers, Pysyk, McCabe, McNabb, Ristolainen, Zadarov

Ennis, Foligno, Armia, Grigorenko, Girgensons, Catenacci, Compher, Hurley, Bailey, Baptiste, Possler.
Quote:
Originally Posted by static80 View Post
Defensively there are 2, possibly 3 1/2 D man there in Myers, Ristolainen and Zadarov. I consider Pysyk, McCabe and McNabb potential 3/4 pairing guys.

Every one of the forward names you list are supporting cast members, the OP is correct in that those supporting players will need elite talent to play with to possibly reach their maximum potential.

I agree the defense projects as solid top 6.


I see Armia, Possler, and Baptiste as being potential top 6 players. Girgensons could as a power forward type in the top 6 with the right center.

I think Hurley has the potential upside of a top 6.

I think Grigs has top 6 talent.

I agree Buffalo needs to get some top line talent. I think Grigs could be a #1 center. Just need patience with him.

I would've rather gotten a certain top 5 pick from NYI this year.

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01-11-2014, 10:03 PM
  #23
stokes84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Djp View Post
This was during the 2005-2007 draft period when scouting was cut. It affected the draft success.
They still rely heavily on video scouting.

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01-11-2014, 10:08 PM
  #24
1972
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They still rely heavily on video scouting.
Id be surprised, video scouting is next to useless.

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01-11-2014, 10:11 PM
  #25
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Quote:
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They still rely heavily on video scouting.
That's a great time to provide the article that says this. I and I'm sure others would love to read about this. I was under the impression they added many many scouts and therefore the reliance on video scouting has reduced. And now they rely on video no more or less than most other teams.

But again, provide the article you read that in. Thanks.

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