Posts Tagged ‘2011 NHL Entry Draft’

More fireworks

It looks as though the days of the meek and mild Buffalo Sabres are over.  No longer a franchise that doesn’t rock the boat, and skims along as safely as possible, Buffalo made a big splash with the trade acquisition of Robyn Regehr this past weekend.

Regehr gives the Sabres just the kind of shut-down defenseman they have been sorely lacking.  His addition is huge for Buffalo and it will show once the season starts.  Regehr will quickly become a fan favorite.  Buffalo GM Darcy Regier found his bag of “Jedi Mind Tricks” and performed one on Calgary.

The Sabres are now talking about acquiring another veteran defenseman, either through free agency or a trade.  Buffalo would have at least three strong components on the blue line with Tyler Myers, Regehr and a possible near-future acquisition.  Ryan Miller should be sleeping easier.

 

Fireworks should be going off on Friday when free agency begins.  The Sabres are looking to sign a big name scoring center, which is a surprise to no one.  Do they believe that Brad Richards would be a good fit?  Will they go in a different direction?  Would they possibly make a trade to bring in a first-line center?  At the very least, it looks like the Sabres will not be on the sidelines come July 1st.

 

Buffalo’s draft this past weekend looks quite strong as of now.  Things can certainly change over the next 3-4 years but I like a lot of the players they picked.  Maybe Joel Armia pans out as a legit scoring threat as a first-line right wing down the road.  The Sabres took a couple of promising centers (Dan Catenacci and Colin Jacobs) that were projected to go earlier than where they were selected.  I like that they took some chances on players like goalie Nathan Lieuwen in the sixth round and Wisconsin high school center Brad Navin in the seventh round.  Both players are a bit on the “boom or bust” side of things, but why not take some chances like that in the later rounds?

The Sabres re-stocked their cabinet for centers with Catenacci, Jacobs and Navin joining Kevin Sundher, Steve Shipley and “sometimes center” Luke Adam.  Wouldn’t hurt to add a couple more centers in the 2012 draft.

The Sabres now look to be lacking mostly at left wing among the minor pros and juniors.  Marcus Foligno, Jacob Lagace, Riley Boychuk and Cedric Henley make up the LW group.  There needs to be an influx of youngsters at that position over the next couple of years.

Buffalo has a strong grouping of prospects.  Jhonas Enroth heads up the goaltending part of things… Mark Pysyk, Brayden McNabb, Drew Schiestel, T.J. Brennan and Jerome-Gauthier Leduc highlight the blue liners… Armia, Zack Kassian, Adam, Foligno, Catenacci, Sundher, Jacobs and Corey Tropp head up the forwards.  It may not be as talent-rich as some other clubs, but it’s a grouping that has to rank in the top half of the league.

 

 

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Sabres Select Brad Navin in 7th Round

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.

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Sabres Select Nathan Lieuwen in 6th Round

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.

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Sabres Select West Seneca Native Alex Lepkowski

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.

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Sabres Select Colin Jacobs in the 4th Round

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

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Sabres Select Daniel Catenacci in 3rd round

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.

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