The Buffalo Sabres will likely be among the most active teams once the Olympic roster freeze thaws. New general manager Tim Murray will have 10 days to decide what to do with his coveted assets. It’s being reported that upwards of 12 teams have kicked tires on Matt Moulson.
It’s also believed that Murray will move goaltender Ryan Miller, and has examined the possibility of flipping Steve Ott as well. For a rebuilding team like Buffalo, draft picks are the currency that pays the way to respectability. As such, any team inquiring about these players will likely be asked to give up first-round draft selections.
The Sabres might not have an interest in 2014 picks though.
After that chat with Tim Murray, it sounds like the Buffalo Sabres are asking for 1st round picks in 2015 Draft — and not this year’s draft
— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) February 6, 2014
It’s purely speculation on our part, but could the Sabres be trying to position themselves to select Connor McDavid? That would certainly make sense. He’s the highest-touted prospect since Sidney Crosby, and it’s believed that he’ll eventually develop into one of the best players in the NHL.
Aside from that, the 2014 draft class is a tad bit weaker than usual, and Buffalo may just like more players that will be available a year from now. The Sabres will have one of the top three picks this year and could very well select just as high next year.
It wasn’t Murray’s regime that made the picks, but Buffalo was able to bring on two first-round picks early on in the 2013 draft and three second rounders. Buffalo could have two selections to make in the first round this year as well, having acquired the New York Islanders‘ selection in Thomas Vanek deal.
It seems that Murray has a plan, and that plan seems to be making two or three selections in the first round for three or maybe even four consecutive years.