With the 197th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft the Buffalo Sabres selected left shooting center Brad Navin. Navin has good size, 6’2″ and 183 pounds. He’s a prep school player who has signed a letter of intent with the Wisconsin Badgers.
The Buffalo Sabres selected goalie Nathan Lieuwen with the 167th pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The deeply religious Lieuwen is a big goalie, listed at 6’5″ and 192 pounds. Former winner of the WHL playoff MVP award. He has suffered with concussions, two on the ice, one from an off ice roll over accident in 2007.
With the 137th selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft the Buffalo Sabres picked defense man West Seneca native Alex Lepkowski. Lepkowski is a 6’4″ 210 pound physical defense man.handbook
With the 107th pick the Buffalo Sabres selected right shooting center Colin Jacobs. Jacobs is a native of Dallas Texas and ironically is a product of a hockey community that got its start from the Stars’ Cup win over the Sabres in 1999. Jacobs is a power forward with good size (6’1″, 197 pounds), good snarl (he doesn’t shy from fighting), has a good shot from the point and is used often on the power play.
“He gets better every game out. He pays attention to the defensive side at both ends of the rink. He helps out down low. He’s learning to use his size much better and has good positioning. He’s playing on a low-scoring
team, but he’s getting more effective offensive instincts each game. He’s always around the puck, plays well in traffic and the corners. He’s strong on the puck.” – B.J. MacDonald, NHL Central Scouting
“Jacobs is a gutsy, two-way player that will do whatever it takes to make his team more competitive and win games. … He isn’t the fastest but he is often the hardest working and he knows how to translate that into success. He often knows exactly where to be to get the puck and when he does have the puck he is confident and possesses some raw but adequate puck skills. He isn’t afraid to drive the difficult areas of the ice to make a play. He projects as a defensive checking-line player but does have some goal scoring potential that has yet to be truly developed.” International Scouting Services 2011 Draft Guide
“Has a good mixture of size, some skill, a rough and tumble style. Strong skater with a powerful stride. Likes to mix it up and hestiate to drop the gloves. Texas native is very immature from a hockey perspective, but beginning to gain better perspective of the game. At his best when given a clearly defined role. … Hard worker and diligent about rounding out his game.” – Red Line Report 2011 Draft Guide
The Buffalo Sabres used the 77th overall pick in the 2011 NHL draft to select left shooting center Daniel Cetanacci. Cetanacci is listed at 5’9″ and 186 pounds. He led the Sault in assists and points last season (45 and 71). He’s an extremely fast skater, he took that honor in the 2011 top prospects game. His father played for the St. Louis Blues, his brother in the OHL. Catenacci is a good all around player with good ability to create offense.
The drama with Calgary is over. Robyn Regehr agreed to waive his NTC early this morning according to TSN. TSN also reports Ales Kotalik will go to Buffalo with Paul Byron and Chris Butler going to Calgary. If true the deal would add roughly $7 million in salary to the Sabres’ roster (4 for Regehr, 3 for Kotalik). Regehr will be a welcome addition but I do wonder why Kotalik is being brought back. Kotalk is an expensive $3 million hit considering how ineffective he has been in the NHL since 2008. He’s struggled with injuries, work ethic, the ability to produce. Most likely the Flames wanted to shed cap space and this was the price of it. The Sabres could do what the Flames did with Kotalk and put him in the AHL to avoid the cap hit.
The hangup with Robyn Regehr looks to have come to an end. We are to assume that Regehr will be coming to Buffalo along with shoot-out champion, and former Sabre, Ales Kotalik. Supposedly the Sabres are moving Paul Byron, Chris Butler and a second-round pick in 2012 to Calgary.
With that soap opera behind us, the Sabres and fans can now devote more attention to the draft today, as it ended up being obstructed Friday with the Regehr trade being in limbo for most of the day and evening.
When the Sabres did make their pick at #16, they took Finnish RW Joel Armia. Armia played in Finland’s top league with Assat Pori. He scored 18 goals and had 29 points. Armia has good skating ability for a big kid (6’3, 195) and finds ways to make room for himself in the offensive zone.
Armia’s best quality is his shot. He has an excellent wrist shot that finds the net. His bread-and-butter in pro hockey, and has been up to this point, is scoring goals. The Sabres need more offense and Armia can be a player down the road to supply that.
He’s not afraid to get into traffic when in the slot or near the net. Definitely has an eye for scoring goals and doesn’t seem to shy away from the high traffic areas in that regard.
Looks a bit like a swift-skating Dave Andreychuk. Armia gets some garbage goals at times, but how often have the Sabres in recent years been surrounding the opposing net, only to be possessing an uncanny inability of parking home goals? Maybe Armia will help in that area.
Armia’s drawbacks are occasional lacks of intensity, motivation and not owning much of a sense for any form of defensive hockey. Sounds a bit like Thomas Vanek when he was at the University of Minnesota, and was tagged a one-dimensional offensive player.
Overall, the Armia selection is a good pick. He would have been drafted in the next 3-5 selections had the Sabres taken another player. Buffalo should be focusing on centers today, and also their BPAs on their lists. Sabres head scout Kevin Devine has insinuated that the team may move up to the second round today. There’s several quality offensive players (centers) to be had in the second round. Let’s see if Buffalo gets creative.
I am sure everyone has taken a look at the Upcoming Schedule for the Sabres. Here is a quick summary of what we can look forward to this season:
- Sabres Open up the Season Overseas with a Home Game vs the Ducks in Helsinki, Finland and a Road Game vs the Kings from Berlin, Germany.
- The Sabres will not play for almost a week when they host the Home Opener on October 14th vs the Carolina Hurricanes.
- On November 2nd the Sabres will have a Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Rematch when they host the Philadelphia Flyers.
- 6 Days Later the Winnipeg Jets will make their first visit to Buffalo since their move from Atlanta. The Jets will also be in Buffalo on January 7th.
- On November 12th will be the first meeting of the Season between the Sabres and the Stanley Cup Champions Boston Bruins.
- On Thanksgiving Eve the Stanley Cup Boston Bruins will make their first trip of the season to Buffal0.
- On December 2nd The Detroit Red Wings will be into for the first of 2 regular season meeting between the Sabres and Wings. The Sabres will be in Detroit on January 16th.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs and fans will invade the HSBC Arena for the first time on On December 16th. The Leafs will also be in town on January 13 and April 3rd.
- The Sabres will start a season long 7 game road trip on January 14th with a trip to Long Island to take on the Islanders. The Trip will continue with stops in Detroit, Chicago, Winnipeg, St. Louis, New Jersey, and Montreal.
- On February 19th the Sabres will have their only afternoon home game of the season when they host Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
- The Sabres will go out west in late February that features trips to Anaheim, San Jose, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.
- The Sabres will close their season with a 2 game road trips to Philadelphia and Boston.
You can access the whole Sabres schedule on Sabres.com. It is only June, but the Hockey season is right around the corner.