J.T. Compher (left) and Connor Hurley pose Sunday after being selected in the second round. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres purposely went heavy on college prospects during draft

NEWARK, N.J. – More on the Buffalo Sabres’ 2013 NHL Entry Draft selections the Times Herald couldn’t get to earlier:

The Sabres went heavy on college-eligible players by design, using five of their 11 picks on them.

“With so many picks and our contract situation, you don’t want to waste those picks because their contracts all come up at the same time,” amateur scouting director Kevin Devine explained Sunday on the Prudential Center floor after ... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov couldn't stop smiling after the Sabres selected him Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres grab defensemen early to start busy draft day, only pull off minor trade

NEWARK, N.J. – It was “pretty close,” general manager Darcy Regier said. The rebuilding Buffalo Sabres could’ve moved up to the No. 5 slot during the NHL Entry Draft, perhaps picked a familiar name the team’s fans had been drooling over.

Ultimately, however, the Sabres decided trading with Carolina wasn’t worth the steep cost. Instead, they kept the eighth overall pick, grabbing big defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen to start their busy day.

“We just thought we’d ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier should be busy today. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

With 10 picks and stars to deal, draft day could dramatically change rebuilding Sabres

NEWARK, N.J. – By tonight, following what promises to be a busy, even chaotic day at the NHL Entry Draft inside the Prudential Center, the Buffalo Sabres could be radically reshaped for the future.

With four of the first 52 picks in a deep draft, including the eighth and 16th selections, the Sabres should nab some elite prospects. But general manager Darcy Regier’s rebuild goes beyond simply adding draft picks.

Starting goalie Ryan Miller ... Read the full article

Darcy Regier is trying to be realistic about the Sabres landing an early draft pick. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Regier doubtful Sabres will land top pick; Miller and Vanek’s future still in air

BUFFALO – The Sabres hold four of the first 52 picks in this month’s deep NHL Entry Draft, including the eighth and 16th selections. They also have starting goalie Ryan Miller and ace scorer Thomas Vanek, two stars with a year left on their contracts, dangling.

Still, despite a slew of assets, Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said Thursday securing one of the top three selections – future stars Jonathan Drouin, Seth Jones and ... Read the full article

Kevin Devine has been busy this week at the NHL Scouting Combine. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres could target defenseman early in draft

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – If you’re expecting the Buffalo Sabres, a team with a dearth of proven scorers up front, to focus solely on a forward early during the upcoming NHL Entry Draft, think again.

“I think some things have changed,” amateur scouting director Kevin Devine said this afternoon during a break at the NHL Scouting Combine inside the International Centre. “The fact we moved some defenseman (at) the trade deadline, around there, two or three ... Read the full article

©2012

Grigorenko could crack Sabres’ opening-night lineup

BUFFALO – If all goes well, then come October, Mikhail Grigorenko, the prized center selected 12th overall Friday at the NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, will be the first 18-year-old playing regularly for the Sabres since Pierre Turgeon in 1987.

The Sabres, who introduced Grigorenko on Monday inside the First Niagara Center, plan to give the Russian every chance to make the big club instead of going back to the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts.

General ... Read the full article

Kevin Devine spends most of his time working on the NHL Entry Draft. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

More on Sabres’ final draft picks

PITTSBURGH – More on the Buffalo Sabres’ final five picks Saturday during the 2012 NHL Entry Draft:

Justin Kea, center, Sagina Spirit, Ontario Hockey League, third round, 73rd overall

Despite only three goals and 11 points in 65 games to go with his 76 penalty minutes, amateur scouting director Kevin Devine believes Kea has strong upside.

“If you look at his stats, they’re not very good,” he said. “Halfway through the season they fired ... Read the full article

The Sabres moved up to take Zemgus Girgensons 14th overall. ©2012, Jim Naprstek, Dubuque Fighting Saints

Sabres leave draft excited about early picks

PITTSBURGH – A blockbuster trade for established talent never materialized. Instead, the Buffalo Sabres dished two high choices to Calgary early, grabbed their second coveted center during a wild first round and kept on picking.

They selected six players in the final six rounds Saturday, the NHL Entry Draft’s second and final day – three centers, two defensemen and one goalie – and left the Consol Energy feeling good about their eight total choices.

The ... Read the full article

The Sabres were thrilled slick Russian Mikhail Grigorenko fell to them at No. 12. ©2012, Quebec Remparts

Sabres draft 2 centers during wild first round

PITTSBURGH – The defensemen kept going and going at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft; seven straight after the Montreal Canadiens selected center Alex Galchenyuk third overall, in fact.

For the Buffalo Sabres, a team targeting a talented center, the planets aligned Friday night inside the Consol Energy Center.

They got two.

Incredibly, picking 12th, the Sabres grabbed a Russian, Mikhail Grigorenko, a slick playmaking center from the QMJHL’s Quebec Ramparts ranked No. 3 ... Read the full article

The Sabres selected Tyler Myers 12th overall in 2008, the last time they had two first-round picks. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Keeping high picks might be Sabres’ best draft choice

PITTSBURGH – A year and zero playoff games later, Darcy Regier still has the keys, full reign to aggressively pursue elite talent and make the Buffalo Sabres a contender again.

If you believe the general manager, then he’s in the mix and will be active on the Consol Energy Center floor this weekend during the NHL Entry Draft, which starts tonight when the Sabres pick twice – 12th and 21st, compliments of ... Read the full article