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2014 - 2015 Sabres Prospects

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#1 Johnny DangerFace

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 10:07 PM

Prospect Information
Updated 12/16/2014

Prospect - A player under 25 who has not yet acquired a permanent spot at the NHL level and who's expected ceiling is at the NHL level.  Once a player has played a full season at the NHL level, and is not expected to have to earn a spot in the following year, then they are no longer a prospect.

Ranking System - This list is broken down into 5 sections (5 star players through 1 star players).  As the year goes on and players exceed, reach, or don't reach expectations, they can be moved into different categories.  


Posted Image

2014-2015 Last year of prosepect status = Chad Ruhwedel, Matt Hackett, Jordan Samuels-Thomas


5 Star Prospects (Elite Prospects)
These players are expected to be cornerstones of the franchise and help anchor either the first line or the top D pairing.  Expectations are to show elite talent and while establishing their presence as the best player on the ice.  

(1) Sam Reinhart
Center, 19, 6-1 185, Canadian

Player Type: Two-Way/Playmaker (RH)
Current League: WHL - Kootenay Ice (AHL Eligible = 2015 - 2016 season)
Contract: Entry Level = 3 Years Left, then RFA (Contract can slide one year if he plays less than 10 NHL games 2014-2015)
Acquired: Drafted 2014 Rd.1 (Pick 2)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(2) Rasmus Ristolainen
Defenseman, 20, 6-3 207, Finnish

Player Type: Physical Offensive Defenseman (RH)
Current League: NHL
Contract: Entry Level = 2 Years Left, then RFA
Acquired: Drafted 2013 Rd.1 (Pick 8)
Performance: Reaching Expectations


4 Star Prospects (High-Level Prospects)
These players while not considered elite prospects, are expected to be strong complimentary pieces in the top six or a top 4 defenseman.  Expectations are to be one of the top players on their teams and consistently being a focal point while producing at a high rate.  

(3) Mikhail Grigorenko
Center, 20, 6-3 200, Russian

Player Type: Scorer/Playmaker (LH)
Current League: AHL
Contract: Entry Level = 1 Year Left, then RFA
Acquired: Drafted 2012 Rd.1 (Pick 12)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(4) Nikita Zadorov
Defenseman, 19, 6-5 230, Russian

Player Type: Physical Two-way Defensemen (LH)
Current League:NHL (AHL Eligible = 2015 - 2016 season)
Contract: Entry Level = 3 Years Left, then RFA (Contract can slide one year if he plays less than 10 NHL games 2014-2015)
Acquired: Drafted 2013 Rd.1 (Pick 16)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(5) Joel Armia
Right Winger, 21, 6-3 187, Finnish

Player Type: Scorer/Power-forward (RH)
Current League: AHL
Contract: Entry Level = 2 Years Left, then RFA
Acquired: Drafted 2011 Rd.1 (Pick 16)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(6) Mark Pysyk
Defensemen, 22, 6-1 188, Canadian

Player Type: Offensive Defensemen (RH)
Current League: AHL
Contract: Entry Level = 1 Year Left, then RFA
Acquired: Drafted 2010 Rd.1 (Pick 23)
Performance: Reaching Expectations


3 Star Prospects (Medium-Level Prospects)
The hope of a 3 star prospect is that develop into something a little more and can establish themselves as 4 star prospects by the time they are ready for the NHL.  As they are now though, they are complimentary pieces that would have a role on a team on the second or third line or a bottom four defensemen.  Expectations are to be one of the better players on the team and showing they could have a productive role in the NHL.

(7) Jake McCabe
Defensemen, 21, 6-1 200, American

Player Type: Two-way Defensemen (LH)
Current League: AHL
Contract: Entry Level = 2 Years Left, then RFA
Acquired: Drafted 2012 Rd.2 (Pick 44)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(8) Hudson Fasching
Right Winger, 19, 6-3 215, American

Player Type: Scorer/Power Forward (RH)
Current League: NCAA - University of Minnesota (Sophomore)
Contract: Unsigned = Rights owned while in NCAA
Acquired: Trade with Kings (Drafted 2013 - Rd.4)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(9) Johan Larsson
Center, 22, 5-10 200, Swedish

Player Type: Two-Way Forward (LH)
Current League: AHL
Contract: Entry Level = 1 Year Left, then RFA
Acquired: Trade with Wild (Drafted 2010 - Rd.2)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(10) JT Compher
Center, 19, 5-10 180, American

Player Type: Playmaker (RH)
Current League: NCAA - Univ. of Michigan (Sophomore)
Contract: Unsigned = Rights owned while in NCAA
Acquired: Drafted 2013 Rd.2 (Pick 35)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(11) Nicholas Baptiste
Right Winger, 19, 6-1 200, Canadian

Player Type: Scorer/ Physical Two-Way Forward (RH)
Current League: OHL - Erie Otters  (AHL Eligible = 2015 - 2016 season)
Contract: Unsigned = Rights owned while in OHL
Acquired: Drafted 2013 Rd.3 (Pick 69)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(12) Brendan Lemieux
Left Winger, 18, 6-1 185, American

Player Type: Power Forward/Agitator (LRH)
Current League: OHL - Barrie Colts  (AHL Eligible = 2016 - 2017 season)
Contract: Unsigned = Rights owned while in OHL
Acquired: Drafted 2014 Rd.2 (Pick 31)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(13) Justin Bailey
Right Winger, 19, 6-3 190, American

Player Type: Scorer/Power-Forward (RH)
Current League: OHL - Kitchener Rangers (AHL Eligible = 2015 - 2016 season)
Contract: Entry Level = 3 Years Left, then RFA
Acquired: Drafted 2013 Rd.2 (Pick 52)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(14) Connor Hurley
Center, 19, 6-0 178, American

Player Type: Playmaker (LH)
Current League: NCAA – University of Notre Dame (Freshman)
Contract: Unsigned = Rights owned while in NCAA
Acquired: Drafted 2013 Rd.2 (Pick 38)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(15) William Carrier
Left Winger, 19, 6-2 196, Canadian

Player Type: Playmaker/Two-Way Forward (LH)
Current League:AHL
Contract: Entry Level = 3 Years Left, then RFA
Acquired: Trade with Blues (Drafted 2013 - Rd.2)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(16) Linus Ullmark
Goalie, 21, 6-3 198, Swedish

Current League: SHL - MODO
Contract: Entry Level = 3 Years Left, then RFA
Acquired: Draft 2012 Rd.6 (Pick 163)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(17) Eric Cornel
Center, 18, 6-2 188, Canadian

Player Type: Two-Way Forward (RH)
Current League: OHL - Peterborough Petes (AHL Eligible = 2016 - 2017 season)
Contract: Unsigned = Rights owned while in OHL
Acquired: Draft 2014 Rd.2 (Pick 44)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(18) Gustav Possler
Left Winger, 20, 6-1 181, Swedish

Player Type: Scorer (LH)
Current League: SHL - MODO
Contract: Unsigned = Rights owned for 3 more years
Acquired: Draft 2013 Rd.5 (Pick 130)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(19) Vaclav Karabacek
Left Winger, 18, 6-0 183, Czech Republic

Player Type: Scorer (LH)
Current League: QMJHL - Gatineau Olympiques (AHL Eligible = 2016 - 2017 season)
Contract: Unsigned = Rights owned while in QMJHL
Acquired: Draft 2014 Rd.2 (Pick 49)
Performance: Reaching Expectations


2 Star Prospects (Low-Level Prospects)
A 2 star prospect's developmental path still can land them in the NHL, but their roles are limited to the bottom 6 or 3rd pairing defensemen.  Expectations are to continue to show above average skills that could translate into a bottom role for an NHL team.

(20) Nicolas Deslauriers
Left Winger, 23, 6-0 200, Canadian

Player Type: Two-Way Forward (LH)
Current League: NHL
Contract: 2 Years Left, then RFA (1-way)
Acquired: Trade with Kings (Drafted 2009 - Rd.3)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(21) Cal Petersen
Goalie, 20, 6-1 174, American

Current League: NCAA - Univ. of Notre Dame (Freshman)
Contract: Unsigned = Rights owned while in NCAA
Acquired: Draft 2013 Rd.5 (Pick 129)
Performance: Exceeding Expectations

(22) Chad Ruhwedel
Defensemen, 24, 5-11 187, American

Player Type: Defensive Defensemen (RH)
Current League: AHL
Contract: Two years remaining, then RFA
Acquired: 2013 Free Agent
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(23) Jonas Johansson
Goalie, 19, 6-4 193, Swedish

Current League: SHL - Brynas
Contract: Unsigned = Rights owned for 3 more years
Acquired: Draft 2014 Rd.3 (Pick 61)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(24) Andrey Makarov
Goalie, 21, 6-1 193, Russian

Current League: AHL
Contract: Entry Level = 2 Years Left, then RFA
Acquired: 2012 Free Agent
Performance: Exceeding Expectations

(25) Tim Schaller
Left Winger, 24, 6-2 209, American

Player Type: Grinder (LH)
Current League: AHL
Contract: Entry Level = 1 Year Left, then RFA
Acquired: 2013 Free Agent
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(26) Brycen Martin
Defensemen, 18, 6-2 188, Canadian

Player Type: Offensive Defensemen (LH)
Current League: WHL - Swift Current Broncos
Contract: Unsigned = Rights owned while in QMJHL
Acquired: Drafted 2014 Rd.3 (Pick 74)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(27) Justin Kea
Center, 20, 6-4 211, Canadian

Player Type: Grinder/Two Way Forward (LH)
Current League: ECHL
Contract: Entry Level = 3 Years Left, then RFA
Acquired: Drafted 2012 Rd.3 (Pick 73)
Performance: Reaching Expectations


1 Star Prospects (Non-Prospects)
These players are not on the NHL path at there current stage, but the hope is that they exceed expectations and elevate their game and become a a higher-ranked prospect with NHL potential.  Expectations are to continue to show no NHL potential while showing at least the ability to one day be productive in the AHL.

(28) Philip Varone
Center, 23, 5-10 186, Canadian

Player Type: Playmaker (LH)
Current League: AHL
Contract: Entry Level = 1 Year Left, then RFA
Acquired: 2011 Free Agent
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(29) Matt Hackett
Goaltender, 24, 6-2 173, Canadian

Current League: AHL
Contract: One year remaining, then RFA
Acquired: Trade with Wild (Drafted 2009 - Rd.3)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(30) Nathan Lieuwen
Goaltender, 23, 6-5 181, Canadian

Current League: AHL
Contract: 1 year remaining, then RFA
Acquired: Drafted 2009 Rd.6 (pick 167)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(31) Christopher Brown
Center, 18, 6-0 183, American

Player Type: Scorer/Playmaker (RH)
Current League: USHL - Green Bay Gamblers (Boston College in 2015)
Contract: Unsigned = Rights owned while in NCAA
Acquired: Drafted 2014 Rd.6 (Pick 151)
Performance: Exceeding Expectations

(32) Victor Olofsson
Right Winger, 19, 5-11 187, Swedish

Player Type: Scorer (LH)
Current League: SHL - MODO
Contract: Unsigned = Rights owned for 3 more years
Acquired: Draft 2014 Rd.7 (Pick 181)
Performance: Exceeding Expectations

(33) Jean Dupuy
Left Winger, 20, 6-3 194, Canadian

Player Type: Grinder (LH)
Current League: OHL - Greyhounds
Contract: 3 Years Left, then RFA
Acquired: Free Agent (2014)
Performance: Exceeding Expectations

(34) Daniel Catenacci
Left Winger, 21, 5-10 180, Canadian

Player Type: Scorer/Playmaker (LH)
Current League:AHL
Contract: Entry Level = 2 Years Left, then RFA
Acquired: Drafted 2011 Rd.3 (Pick 77)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(35) Brady Austin
Defensemen, 21, 6-4 230, Canadian

Player Type: Defensive Defensemen (LH)
Current League: AHL
Contract: Entry Level = 3 Years Left, then RFA
Acquired: Drafted 2012 Rd.7 (Pick 193)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(36) Anthony Florentino
Defenseman, 19, 6-1 210, American

Player Type: Physical Two-Way Defensemen (RH)
Current League: NCAA - Providence College (Sophomore)
Contract: Unsigned = Rights owned while in NCAA
Acquired: Draft 2013 Rd.5 (Pick 143)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(37) Max Willman
Left Winger, 19, 6-0 183, American

Player Type: Two-Way Forward (LH)
Current League: NCAA – Brown Univ (Freshman)
Contract: Unsigned = Rights owned while in NCAA
Acquired: Drafted 2014 Rd.5 (Pick 121)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(38) Sean Malone
Center, 19, 5-11 180, American

Player Type: Two-Way Forward (LH)
Current League: NCAA – Harvard (Sophomore)
Contract: Unsigned = Rights owned while in NCAA
Acquired: Drafted 2013 Rd.6 (Pick 159)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(39) Jerry D'Amigo
Left Winger, 23, 5-11 203, American

Player Type: Two-way Forward (LH)
Current League: AHL
Contract: 1 Year Left, then RFA
Acquired: Trade with Blue Jackets (Drafted 2009 Rd.6)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(40) Jordan Samuels-Thomas
Leftwinger, 24, 6-4 220, American

Player Type: Grinder/Powerforward (LH)
Current League: AHL
Contract: Entry Level = 3 Years Left, then RFA
Acquired: Trade with Jets (Drafted 2009 - Rd.7)
Performance: Reaching Expectations

(41) Kevin Sundher
Center, 22, 5-11 180, Canadian

Player Type: Playmaker (LH)
Current League: ECHL
Contract: Entry Level = 1 Year Left, then RFA
Acquired: Drafted 2010 Rd.3 (Pick 75)
Performance: Not Reaching Expectations

(42) Jerome Leduc
Defensemen, 22, 6-2 196, Canadian

Player Type: Offensive Defensemen (RH)
Current League: AHL
Contract: Entry Level = 1 Year Left, then RFA
Acquired: Drafted 2010 Rd.3 (Pick 68)
Performance: Not Reaching Expectations

(43) Colin Jacobs
Right Winger, 21, 6-1 210, American

Player Type: Two-Way Forward (RH)
Current League: ECHL
Contract: Entry Level = 2 Years Left, then RFA
Acquired: Drafted 2011 Rd.4 (Pick 107)
Performance: Not Reaching Expectations


Posted Image

Edited by Johnny DangerFace, 16 December 2014 - 06:07 PM.


#2 Ghost of Dwight Drane

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 10:13 PM

Thanks for putting in the effort!



#3 dudacek

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 10:28 PM

I don't agree with every fine point, but that's an outstanding piece of work Numark.
Thank you.

Observation of the day: The Sabres are going to have to do some trading up and take full advantage of loopholes like minor-league-only contracts to avoid squandering prospects against the 50-contract limit. And they needed Elmira to give everybody playing time.

Darkhorse prediction: Tim Schaller will see the NHL before many of the players ahead of him.

#4 inkman

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 11:10 PM

I just have a hard time considering that pool good or deep with Chad "costanza" Ruhwedal just out side the top 10.  He's just not that good.  



#5 shrader

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 07:05 AM

View Postinkman, on 21 May 2014 - 11:10 PM, said:

I just have a hard time considering that pool good or deep with Chad "costanza" Ruhwedal just out side the top 10.  He's just not that good.  

Let's face it, you're complaining about a guy who is listed at 13 in those rankings.  I'd venture a guess that most teams don't have a prospect pool that has more than five NHL level guys on it, let alone ten or 13.  If someone really is that far down on a list, you're looking at a 13th forward or a 7th defenseman.  Sure, someone could step up and surprise, but my money would never be on the oldest guy on the list (or one of the three oldest, I'm too lazy to look up the birthdays).


And looking over the list, the thought came to mind that I haven't heard much about contract signings for the 2012 draft class.  If my memory is correct, Kea already got one last year.  What about the rest of those guys?  Has there been any talk of who will/won't get a contract?

#6 LGR4GM

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 07:56 AM

View Postdudacek, on 21 May 2014 - 10:28 PM, said:

I don't agree with every fine point, but that's an outstanding piece of work Numark.
Thank you.

Observation of the day: The Sabres are going to have to do some trading up and take full advantage of loopholes like minor-league-only contracts to avoid squandering prospects against the 50-contract limit. And they needed Elmira to give everybody playing time.

Darkhorse prediction: Tim Schaller will see the NHL before many of the players ahead of him.
I've read a lot of good things about Schaller. We could use a possession bruising 4th line center.  That said he is one of those players I would like to see spend an entire season in Rochester.  I think more pro experience can only help him.

View Postinkman, on 21 May 2014 - 11:10 PM, said:

I just have a hard time considering that pool good or deep with Chad "costanza" Ruhwedal just out side the top 10.  He's just not that good.  
That may be true but we have 4 picks in the top 2rounds this year and 4 again next year.  I wouldn't worry about Ruhwedal. Besides like Shrader says, he would be a 7th defender in that depth chart which isn't really a problem.

The real problem as I see it going into this draft and season is that we have Grigs, Armia, Larsson as some of our top offensive prospects and I would say all of them are NHL ????? This team desperately needs forward talent still IMPO.  Fasching, Compher, Baptiste, Possler those guys look really good but are at least another 1-3 years away from seeing the NHL.

#7 X. Benedict

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 08:48 AM

View Postinkman, on 21 May 2014 - 11:10 PM, said:

I just have a hard time considering that pool good or deep with Chad "costanza" Ruhwedal just out side the top 10.  He's just not that good.  

The coming problem isn't the cap or the salary floor, it is how to keep all the future prospects under the 50 contract limit.
I think with a decent year between the A and the NHL...Rudy will be trade-bait.

#8 nfreeman

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 09:08 AM

That was a great writeup, Numark.  Thanks.

#9 Johnny DangerFace

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 09:24 AM

Also the rankings were done by a mix of ceiling/likelihood to reach ceiling.  So players like Larsson and Ruhwedel have lower ceilings than players around them in the rankings, but I feel they have a higher chance of reaching them.  It's not a ranking if the best or most valuable prospects.  But I'm no prospect expert, that's for sure!

#10 X. Benedict

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 09:44 AM

View PostNumark, on 22 May 2014 - 09:24 AM, said:

Also the rankings were done by a mix of ceiling/likelihood to reach ceiling.  So players like Larsson and Ruhwedel have lower ceilings than players around them in the rankings, but I feel they have a higher chance of reaching them.  It's not a ranking if the best or most valuable prospects.  But I'm no prospect expert, that's for sure!
I enjoyed your work. Nice.

#11 Taro T

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:17 PM

Numark,
Nice read.  1 q: what does your 1/5 - 4/5 rating mean?  Is that the %age of confidence you have in your projection or something else?  Thanks.

#12 Johnny DangerFace

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:37 PM

View PostTaro T, on 22 May 2014 - 05:17 PM, said:

Numark,
Nice read.  1 q: what does your 1/5 - 4/5 rating mean?  Is that the %age of confidence you have in your projection or something else?  Thanks.

So I put their potential (in my opinion), and then put what level of likelihood there is of them reaching the potential.  5/5 would mean a top 3-5 pick, while 1/5 is the lowest possible level!  

Don't think of it as percentages (80% likely, or 100% likely), as there is no such thing as 100% likely.  Just think of it as intervals, a 5/5 would be a sure-thing who is assumed will reach his potential (ekblad, mackinnon).  While ristolainen is the next interval down.


Top six forward examples:
5/5 = Mackinnon, Bennett, McDavid
4/5 = Virtanen, Dal Colle
3/5 = Grigorenko, Armia
2/5 = JT Compher
1/5 = Any 3rd rounder

Edited by Numark, 22 May 2014 - 05:42 PM.


#13 Taro T

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 06:03 PM

View PostNumark, on 22 May 2014 - 05:37 PM, said:

So I put their potential (in my opinion), and then put what level of likelihood there is of them reaching the potential.  5/5 would mean a top 3-5 pick, while 1/5 is the lowest possible level!  

Don't think of it as percentages (80% likely, or 100% likely), as there is no such thing as 100% likely.  Just think of it as intervals, a 5/5 would be a sure-thing who is assumed will reach his potential (ekblad, mackinnon).  While ristolainen is the next interval down.


Top six forward examples:
5/5 = Mackinnon, Bennett, McDavid
4/5 = Virtanen, Dal Colle
3/5 = Grigorenko, Armia
2/5 = JT Compher
1/5 = Any 3rd rounder
Thanks.

#14 BRAWNDO

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Posted 22 May 2014 - 06:30 PM

Hockey Future's Sabres Prospect Awards.

http://www.hockeysfu...rospect-awards/

#15 26CornerBlitz

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 04:14 PM

Ullmark signs three year ELC.

#16 X. Benedict

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 04:35 PM

View Post26CornerBlitz, on 27 May 2014 - 04:14 PM, said:

Ullmark signs three year ELC.

good job, gee'em-tee'em.

#17 mphs mike

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 04:39 PM

Thanks Numark - I was most interested in the contract status I was just wondering about Fasching after reading that e signed Deslauriers

#18 dudacek

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 05:53 PM

Fasching just finished his freshman college season. I think he'll play at least one more year in college.
(Then a year in the minors before becoming the Ken Hodge to Draisaitl's Esposito and McDavid's Bobby Orr. Because the off-season is a time to dream.)

#19 BRAWNDO

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 06:12 PM

Wonder if he starts in Elmira or Rochester and  does this mean anything for Hackett's Future in the organization?

#20 26CornerBlitz

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 06:16 PM

View PostBRAWNDO, on 27 May 2014 - 06:12 PM, said:

Wonder if he starts in Elmira or Rochester and  does this mean anything for Hackett's Future in the organization?

He'll spend another year in the SHL with Modo.

#21 Tank

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 06:38 PM

View Post26CornerBlitz, on 27 May 2014 - 06:16 PM, said:



He'll spend another year in the SHL with Modo.

Beat me to it. Then I'd guess he'll spend a year in Rochester.

#22 26CornerBlitz

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:01 PM

Update on Hackett:
@MattHackett31  10h
Back to buffalo surgery tomorrow

#23 dudacek

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 10:12 PM

Obviously not all these guys will make it, and some of them will be traded.
But projecting five years down the road:

First line potential:, 2014 Buf, 2015 NYI, 2015 Buf, Myers, Ristolainen, Zadorov,
Middle six potential:  Hodgson, Ennis, Girgensons, Armia, Grigorenko, Foligno, Fasching, Compher, Baptiste, Hurley, Bailey, Pysyk, McCabe, Ullmark
Bottom six potential: Deslauriers, Carrier, Larsson, Kea, Schaller, Catenacci, Ruhwedel, Makarov, Peterson

Throw in three seconds this year and the Blues first and two more seconds next year to get a blue chip goalie prospect and a few more defenceman.
That's 35 players with a legitimate shot at being useful NHLers, all the key roles covered, and a good mix of speed, size, skill and compete.

Even if only two-thirds of them make it, it will be pretty hard not to be a good team.

Edited by dudacek, 27 May 2014 - 10:13 PM.


#24 dudacek

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 10:27 PM

For example, it could come together like this:
Fasching/Eichel/Reinhart
Armia/Girgensons/Hodgson
Compher/Grigorenko/Foligno
Deslauriers/Larsson/Catenacci
Zadorov/Ristolainen
Myers/McCabe
Pysyk/Weber
Enroth
Ullmark

#25 Tank

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 10:34 PM

View Postdudacek, on 27 May 2014 - 10:27 PM, said:

For example, it could come together like this:
Fasching/Eichel/Reinhart
Armia/Girgensons/Hodgson
Compher/Grigorenko/Foligno
Deslauriers/Larsson/Catenacci
Zadorov/Ristolainen
Myers/McCabe
Pysyk/Weber
Enroth
Ullmark

That lineup, while there are a lot of unknown players with solid potential, looks terrible. But that's because they obviously won't have a lineup five years from now filled only of players already here or drafted in the coming years.

#26 dudacek

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 11:59 PM

View PostTankalicious, on 27 May 2014 - 10:34 PM, said:


That lineup, while there are a lot of unknown players with solid potential, looks terrible. But that's because they obviously won't have a lineup five years from now filled only of players already here or drafted in the coming years.

You're right about the lineup not going to be made up solely of Sabres draft picks.
But I am curious as to why you think it looks terrible.
It's obviously based on two thirds of the 35 players I had in my previous post meeting projections, and about to enter their prime

Loosely based on the stature and roles of former Sabres at their peak, to me, that lineup projects to something like this:

Grier/Lafontaine/Drury
McKegney/Peca/Hodgson
Barnes/Connolly/Dudley
Ruff/Hannan/Wood
Korab/Schoenfeld
Myers/Zhitnik
Hajt/Weber
Edwards

I know we're talking fantasy hockey here, but that's hardly terrible

Edited by dudacek, 28 May 2014 - 12:01 AM.


#27 TrueBluePhD

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 01:01 AM

View Postdudacek, on 27 May 2014 - 10:12 PM, said:

Obviously not all these guys will make it, and some of them will be traded.
But projecting five years down the road:

First line potential:, 2014 Buf, 2015 NYI, 2015 Buf, Myers, Ristolainen, Zadorov,
Middle six potential:  Hodgson, Ennis, Girgensons, Armia, Grigorenko, Foligno, Fasching, Compher, Baptiste, Hurley, Bailey, Pysyk, McCabe, Ullmark
Bottom six potential: Deslauriers, Carrier, Larsson, Kea, Schaller, Catenacci, Ruhwedel, Makarov, Peterson

Throw in three seconds this year and the Blues first and two more seconds next year to get a blue chip goalie prospect and a few more defenceman.
That's 35 players with a legitimate shot at being useful NHLers, all the key roles covered, and a good mix of speed, size, skill and compete.

Even if only two-thirds of them make it, it will be pretty hard not to be a good team.

I think Grigorenko and Armia both have top-line potential.  Maybe they're not entirely likely to hit that potential, but that's their ceiling.

#28 inkman

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 07:31 AM

View PostTrueBluePhD, on 28 May 2014 - 01:01 AM, said:

I think Grigorenko and Armia both have top-line potential.  Maybe they're not entirely likely to hit that potential, but that's their ceiling.
I think last season was a wash for both players.  Grigs never got solid footing anywhere other than the Q and Armia was injured while acclimating to the NA game.  This season will go a long way towards figuring these guys out.  I expect only one will make any contribution to the NHL though.

#29 LGR4GM

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 07:41 AM

View Postinkman, on 28 May 2014 - 07:31 AM, said:

I think last season was a wash for both players.  Grigs never got solid footing anywhere other than the Q and Armia was injured while acclimating to the NA game.  This season will go a long way towards figuring these guys out.  I expect only one will make any contribution to the NHL though.
I am of the same mind. Grigorenko was the 12th pick in that draft and most of the players from that draft around that pick are not NHL players yet.  Grigorenko needs a season in Rochester with absolutely no call up, let him stay with one team for the first time in 2 years.  Armia actually came on strong towards the end of the year and again I am not surprised by his production. I think Armia could be an injury call up later in the year but again if he spent the entire season in Rochester I can live with that.  Keep in mind Grigs just turned 20 and Armia is just about to hit 21. They have plenty of time to make it to Buffalo.

#30 dudacek

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:39 AM

I expect Grigo to be inconsistent early, then step up in the back half of the season, maybe even earning a call-up.
Armia, I expect to have a good season in the AHL and become a Sabre down the stitch after we trade Stewart/Stafford.

#31 inkman

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 11:05 AM

View Postdudacek, on 28 May 2014 - 08:39 AM, said:

I expect Grigo to be inconsistent early, then step up in the back half of the season, maybe even earning a call-up.
Are you hoping or expecting?  I just haven't seen anything that tells me this kid is going to be a good professional hockey player.  

Armia has shown moves and play making ability.  Grigs went from being an on ice disaster to a 4th liner in the AHL.

#32 LTS

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 11:36 AM

View Postinkman, on 28 May 2014 - 07:31 AM, said:

I think last season was a wash for both players.  Grigs never got solid footing anywhere other than the Q and Armia was injured while acclimating to the NA game.  This season will go a long way towards figuring these guys out.  I expect only one will make any contribution to the NHL though.

I'll freely admit that I'm completely just throwing this out there.... but is Armia capable of playing a role like Patrick Sharp?  Because if so.. I'm good with that.  :)

#33 dudacek

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 12:43 PM

View Postinkman, on 28 May 2014 - 11:05 AM, said:


Are you hoping or expecting?  I just haven't seen anything that tells me this kid is going to be a good professional hockey player.  

Armia has shown moves and play making ability.  Grigs went from being an on ice disaster to a 4th liner in the AHL.

Expecting. Wipe out what we saw with the Sabres. That mess never should have happened.

He is a big kid with magic hands who had never faced any adversity prior to this year.
But I've seen signs he cares about being an NHL player.
He's still growing up and needs to realize how bad he wants it, and how much work is necessary to make that happen.

He dominated junior and was a point a game guy at the world junior level.
He played in the AHL as an underager and didn't look out of place.
Sure he didn't score, but he was responsible, and every once in a while he flashed a pass that no one else on that team was capable of.
I don't know if he will ever make it as an NHLer, but I will be surprised if he's not a good AHLer by the end of this year.


View PostLTS, on 28 May 2014 - 11:36 AM, said:



I'll freely admit that I'm completely just throwing this out there.... but is Armia capable of playing a role like Patrick Sharp?  Because if so.. I'm good with that.  :)
I've always thought Armia's best case scenario was Jeff Carter.

#34 Tank

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 01:02 PM

View Postinkman, on 28 May 2014 - 11:05 AM, said:


Are you hoping or expecting?  I just haven't seen anything that tells me this kid is going to be a good professional hockey player.  

Armia has shown moves and play making ability.  Grigs went from being an on ice disaster to a 4th liner in the AHL.

Grigs was a 4th liner because he joined the team so late in the season on a team that was making a run for the playoffs.

#35 nfreeman

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 01:09 PM

View PostTankalicious, on 28 May 2014 - 01:02 PM, said:

Grigs was a 4th liner because he joined the team so late in the season on a team that was making a run for the playoffs.

...or maybe he just didn't have enough game to carve out a bigger role for himself.

It's fair to presume that Cassidy wanted to win as much as anyone did, and if he thought more ice time for Griggy would've helped that effort, Griggy would've had a bigger role.

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 01:15 PM

View Postnfreeman, on 28 May 2014 - 01:09 PM, said:



...or maybe he just didn't have enough game to carve out a bigger role for himself.

It's fair to presume that Cassidy wanted to win as much as anyone did, and if he thought more ice time for Griggy would've helped that effort, Griggy would've had a bigger role.

He played well down the stretch. I'm not even sure that he was given just fourth-line minutes (I honestly don't know), but if he was he seemed to make the most out of them.

#37 26CornerBlitz

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 01:27 PM

View PostTankalicious, on 28 May 2014 - 01:15 PM, said:

He played well down the stretch. I'm not even sure that he was given just fourth-line minutes (I honestly don't know), but if he was he seemed to make the most out of them.

Grigorenko was really good in the Amerks final playoff game against Chicago and was rewarded with more ice time in the 3rd period.

#38 LGR4GM

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 01:28 PM

Grigorenko is 20. Let him be. Darcy Regier really ###### us all up with him.

#39 HopefulFuture

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 01:29 PM

Thank you Numark for the listing.

My personal opinion is Armia needs another year or more in the A. But will make the NHL.
Ullmark and Makarov look to be the real deals early on, I project them both in the NHL.
Grig's I'm not so high on, flip a coin on whether or not he makes it.
Risto, Zad's, McCabe and Pysyk definitely stick in my mind.
Baptiste, hmmmmm, I love what he did for his own stock these past 9 months or so, but I don't want to give myself false hope. Abstaining for now until I see more of the same in the form of consistency at his level of play.
The same with Possler, Compher and Fasching.

Larsson I see as a 3/4 liner, but I just don't see him sticking in the NHL, just an opinion of mine is all. More of a Luke Adam type.

The rest I'll need more information, abstain.

#40 dudacek

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 01:38 PM

The Amerks really went with four balanced lines during Grigo's stint.
What hurt Grigo's numbers was the fact he didn't get any power play time.
Which doesn't make sense because I think that will eventually become his specialty.
But it did make sense because Chadd already had two units that were working for him.

The kid didn't come up to fill a big hole in a struggling club.
He came up to a team that was on a great late run to play for a coach that was getting all his trusted players back.
Porter is the captain, Varone was their leading scorer. Schaller had the checking line role.
It's a wonder Grigorenko got the ice time he did.
And he was gaining more trust with his play - he was out there with everything on the line late in the deciding game.

Edited by dudacek, 28 May 2014 - 01:40 PM.






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