Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

June 18, 2012

Four early picks should give the Sabres draft options

(Continued)

BUFFALO —

The Sabres have nine picks, the most since 2010, and two first-rounders for the first time since 2008, when they scored huge hits with defenseman Tyler Myers 12th and center Tyler Ennis 26th.

The 21st pick came from Nashville for center Paul Gaustad. The 44th selection arrived with Regehr from Calgary. The Sabres haven’t picked in the second round since choosing center Luke Adam 44th in 2008. They have two second-rounders for the first time since 2007.

The Sabres select again at 73, 133, 163, 193 and 204 (via Florida). They traded their fourth-rounder to the New York Islanders for defenseman Christian Ehrhoff’s rights.

Some have panned this draft as weak. The view may depend on your position, said Kevin Devine, the team’s director of amateur scouting. A team with a lottery pick might not receive the same impact as past years.

“I think it’s a fairly good draft,” Devine said. “There’s as many as 20 players deep in the first round where you can get a real good player.”

However, consider the following:

–There’s little consensus on the top five picks, Devine said.

“We’re not averse to moving up,” he said. “But this year’s draft, it’s the first that I can remember where there’s not really that consensus top five out there. If you polled all the head scouts in the National Hockey League, you’d probably have 30 different lists.”

If the Sabres move up, it’ll likely be from that 21st pick.

“For us to try to move up to the top five, the price it’s going to be, I’m not sure it’s worth it because I’m not sure if those players are going to distinguish themselves any differently than some of the players that might be around nine,” Devine said. “If we’re sitting at 12 and we really like a guy and we see him falling, then there’s a possibility that we’ll move up.”

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