Sabres’ Draft Picks in 2011 NHL Entry Draft
- 1st round, 16th
- 2nd round, 46th (traded to St. Louis for Brad Boyes)
- 3rd round, 77th
- 4th round, 107th
- 5th round, 137th
- 6th round, 167th
- 7th round, 197th
Sabres’ Mock Draft
1.16 C – Mark Scheifele – Barrie Colts – 66-22-53-75 -22 35 6.3 185, shoots right, 3.15.93, CSS ranking (16)
Scheifele’s first season in the OHL was quite successful. He finished second on his team with 75 points. As the season progressed, the Barrie Colts leaned on Scheifele more and more, and he did not disappoint. The Colts were the worst team in the OHL this past season, winning just 15 games out of 68. Their team will be depending on Scheifele heavily for the next couple years. Scheifele possesses a strong work ethic, is a good skater with quick hands, moves well for a big center and is defensively responsible. Scheifele has very good hockey sense and an ability to find the open man in the offensive zone, as can be attested by his 53 assists. Schiefele steadily rose up the ranks as the season went on and now finds himself as a top 20 pick for the draft. There’s a decent chance he won’t be around at #16 when the Sabres pick, but if he is available, it’s probably as good a selection as Buffalo can make at that spot.
3.77 C – Joseph Labate – Holy Angels Academy (MN) – 25-27-22-49 +27 42
6.4 195, shoots left, 4.16.93, CSS ranking (51)
There’s a good chance Labate will be drafted in the second round or early in the third (the draft spots for high school players are often unpredictable), but if he were to fall to the Sabres’ third round selection, Labate’s a player the Sabres should consider. Labate is a big center with good skating ability. He’s offensively geared with a good shot and has no fear of getting into the high-traffic areas and says he models his game after power forwards / centers like Joe Thornton and David Backes. Labate will be playing as a freshman at the University of Wisconsin this fall. He would help fill the prospect pipeline gap at center, especially among the lack of larger centers.
4.107 C – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Gatineau Olympiques – 67-32-47-79 +23 22
5.9 165, shoots right, 11.11.92, CSS ranking (not ranked)
Diminutive center in the Quebec junior league that quickly reminds you of Danny Briere. A very fast skater with a nose for the net, Pageau possesses a nasty wrister and he has pin-point accuracy on the shot. His speed allows him to skate around the defense from the blue line in and go one-on-one with the opposing team’s goalie. Despite being a small player, has no fear going into the slot, to the net, or high-traffic areas. For some reason or another, Pageau was not ranked by the CSS, however he has seen his stock rise dramatically in the past few weeks. Pageau led his team to a surprising run in the Quebec playoffs, leading the way with 13-16-29 in 24 games.
5.137 G – Benjamin Conz – SC Langnau
46 GP / 19 W, 26 L / 2.98 GAA / .906 Sv%
5.11 205, right glove, 9.13.91, CSS ranking (4*) *European Goalies
Conz has gone undrafted the past two seasons, however it looks as though the third time will be the charm for the Swiss goalie. Conz has been the starting goalie for the Swiss U-20 team the past two seasons. He was the named the “All-Tournament” goalie at the 2009-2010 WJC. He made a very good impression at the Buffalo WJC tournament this past winter. He faced more shots than any goalie at the Buffalo junior tournament and registered a 3-3 record along with a 2.97 GAA and .918 save percentage. He made 46 saves on 49 shots in a loss against Team Canada, and played very well in a 2-1 loss against the U.S.A. Draft projections have Conz being selected anywhere between the fourth and seventh rounds. The Sabres do need to draft at least one goalie. Conz would be a good enough fit to challenge or surpass the likes of Connor Knapp.
6.167 C – Thomas Tynan – Notre Dame – 44-23-31-54 +21 36
5.9 170, shoots right, 2.25.92, CSS ranking (not ranked)
Tynan was draft eligible last year but was passed over. He committed to Notre Dame and led the Fighting Irish in scoring in his freshman season. Tynan was tied for third in overall scoring in the CCHA this past season. Tynan was an integral part of a Notre Dame team that ended up making it to the Frozen Four. He has been invited to the U.S. National Evaluation camp as a candidate for the WJC U.S. U-20 team. Tynan’s name has been thrown around as a probable 6th round selection in the NHL draft. The Sabres could make out quite well here in stockpiling more offensive talent at the center position. If they can grab at least four centers in this draft, the cupboard will certainly no longer be empty.
7.197 D – Edward Wittchow – Burnsville H.S. (MN) – 25-9-14-23 +11 28
6.3 190, shoots left, 10.31.92, CSS ranking (111)
Wittchow reached a CSS final ranking of 111 after being left off the mid-term list. The Sabres need to spend at least one pick on a defenseman. Good size, quite a good skater. He’ll round out above 200 pounds down the road… played at a large Minneapolis area high school. Wittchow was selected 4th overall in May’s USHL draft. He’s the property of the Waterloo Blackhawks and will likely spend the 2011-12 campaign there.