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Buffalo’s prospect pool is looking pretty good

Aug 2, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT

Rasmus Ristolainen Getty Images

When the Buffalo Sabres traded captain Jason Pominville to Minnesota last season, many looked at it as the start of an overdue rebuild . While GM Darcy Regier didn’t agree with that insinuation, the prospects that deal brought back (Johan Larsson and Matt Hackett) helped enrich an already exciting group of NHL hopefuls.

Don’t believe it? Take a look at Hockey’s Future who, before this year’s draft, ranked the Sabres as having the eighth best group of prospects in the league. When you look at some of the best prospects, Buffalo is poised to make some noise down the road.

Their forwards include guys like Larsson, 2012 first-round picks Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons, and 2011 first-rounder Joel Armia. Even Marcus Foligno is just 21 years-old and found his way into the Sabres lineup full-time last season.

On defense and in goal, Buffalo is teeming over with potential.

The blue line sees the likes of Brayden McNabb, Mark Pysyk, Jake McCabe, as well as a pair of 2013 draft picks in Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov getting Sabres executives excited. Goalies like Hackett and Andrey Makarov will keep things busy in the AHL.

Things might be tough on the ice for the Sabres this season, but if Buffalo fans are patient they may be rewarded for it. At the very least, road trips to Rochester might be in order to get a look at what the future holds.

  1. bruinssuck - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Mikhail Grigorenko not Mikhail Grabovski !! XD

  2. buffal0sportsfan - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    First of all about time there is a sabres post. Second that is true while gerbe and pommers were fan favorites they weren’t producing and the depth of young talent the sabres had led to the departures of both. Same thing with Regier and Leopold just they weren’t as popular

  3. shutmdownd - Aug 2, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    I pretty much agree with you’re comment but I feel like I had to at least put up an argument for Pominville, between him and vanek, I really think they were the only semi consistent players on the team last year, that being said, I’m glad they moved him for what they got in return…

    • buffal0sportsfan - Aug 2, 2013 at 4:41 PM

      I see where you are coming from I still have my pominville jersey he was one of my favorites but since Vanek produced some before the deadline and they probably thought that since he was good at the beginning he could be good all year

      • buffal0sportsfan - Aug 2, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        And yes the return of Hackett a highly rated goalie and Larsson who I have read good reviews of him was worth it.

      • lordfletcher - Aug 3, 2013 at 12:28 AM

        Hackett is overrated (the Wild’s 3rd best goalie prospect at the time) but Larsson could be the real deal. He will either be a #2 or bust, I lean towards 2nd line two way 55 point skater.

        I think getting the 1st rounder from the Wild was the icing on the cake. I love getting Poms as a Wild fan but the 1st sure made it costly. I would love to have Zadorov!!!!! Never should have given that up, even if it costs the Wild not getting Poms and him going to Vancouver whom I believe was higly interested as well.

        -Go Wild!

  4. s2mikey - Aug 2, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    Like I said in other Sabres threads, this team always seems to have prospects, promises, and are rebuilding. Right. Half of these prospects won’t make it and the other half will leave for greener pastures or just winning pastures. I’m a Sabres fan but honestly I’m tired of watching other teams play monster hockey and buffalo sucking all the time. Miller is a joke and a waste of cap space. Vanek scores when it hardly matters. The team has no identity. But, yeah, lots of prospects. Terrific. Another wasted season for Sabres fans. Getting tired of it.

    • lordfletcher - Aug 3, 2013 at 12:31 AM

      well… are you not tired of losing in the playoffs as well?

      There comes a time when you have to ask, if this is all the current roster can accomplish. If that is a yes (and under standards)… make trades and build thru the draft.

      I think Buffalo has built the best since 2010. EDM has made okay selections, I feel they should have traded down last year if not the year with Hall too… but apples to apples. Buffalo fans, just remember it can always be worse. Bright days ahead I feel! Get the sunglasses ready

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