Draft over

Archive:
NHL Draft

Devante Stephens was drafted in the fifth round. ©2015, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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SUNRISE, Fla. – For a few days during his year away from the NHL, Buffalo Sabres coach Dan Bylsma helped out a former teammate, Kelowna Rockets coach Dan Lambert, and ran some practices for the Western Hockey League team.

At least one youngster, Devante Stephens, a 6-foot-1, 171-pound defenseman the Sabres drafted in the fifth round, 155th overall on Saturday, caught his eye. Bylsma didn’t know it then, but Buffalo had a strong interest in the 18-year-old.

Stephens sat out early last …

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Tim Murray talks to the media Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

SUNRISE, Fla. – Tim Murray isn’t one for reflection. The gruff Buffalo Sabres general manager usually focuses on one task before quickly moving to the next one.

But at some point today, after an arduous NHL Draft weekend in which he added major assets, Murray will hop on a plane home to Buffalo and feel a sense of satisfaction.

Murray enjoyed arguably the best two days of any GM by drafting future cornerstone Jack Eichel second overall, acquiring coveted center Ryan O’Reilly …

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Joe Cecconi couldn't hide his excitement Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

SUNRISE, Fla. – Youngstown native Joe Cecconi said he started getting “a little bit scared” as the NHL Draft wore on Saturday. The defense prospect still hadn’t been picked almost halfway through the fifth round.

“I was like something might not happen, I might not get chosen,” a smiling Cecconi said after the Dallas Stars selected him 133rd overall inside the BB&T Center. “But seeing Dallas was up and they called my name, the dream has started.”

Cecconi, who spent last season …

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Brendan Guhle enjoyed his visit to Buffalo. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

SUNRISE, Fla. – Brendan Guhle left the NHL Scouting Combine earlier this month in Buffalo feeling good about his future. The defenseman had some impressive pre-draft workouts and felt he interviewed well with the Sabres. He also enjoyed seeing sights around the city during his brief stay.

The 6-foot-1, 184-pound Guhle left Buffalo feeling good about his chances of returning.

Lucky for him, he’ll be visiting again real soon. The Sabres selected the 17-year-old in the second round, 51st overall, with their …

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Dan Bylmsa was all smiles this morning.©2015, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

SUNRISE, Fla. – Coach Dan Bylsma and general manager Tim Murray disagree over how much the Buffalo Sabres improved in about a whirlwind nine-hour span Friday.

Murray, in keeping with his personality, would only say the Sabres got a little bit better.

“I said, ‘Tim, I think we got more than a little bit better,’” Bylsma said this morning at the NHL Draft inside the BB&T Center. “He said, ‘No, we just got a little bit better.’ That’s certainly true. From the …

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Jack Eichel said Friday was emotional. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

SUNRISE, Fla. – For more than two months, Jack Eichel wouldn’t say much about his future. Of course, the 18-year-old knew the Buffalo Sabres would select him second overall at the NHL Draft. But the Boston University superstar played it cool, saying things like “if the Sabres draft him.”

But deep down, Eichel had a special feeling about the Sabres. He felt a warm welcome from the community and fans when the Sabres hosted the NHL Combine earlier this month.

So when …

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Ryan O'Reilly might get a new contract soon. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

SUNRISE, Fla. – If the Buffalo Sabres win the Stanley Cup someday, remember Friday as the perhaps one of the most pivotal days in the franchise’s 45-year history.

In addition to drafting center Jack Eichel second overall, the rebuilding team swung two significant trades, including a blockbuster deal with the Colorado Avalanche that brought center Ryan O’Reilly to Buffalo.

After two wretched seasons in which they finished 30th and became the NHL’s laughingstock, the Sabres sent a strong message to the rest …

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Robin Lehner has a history with Tim Murray. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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SUNRISE, Fla. – Parting with the 21st pick in a deep NHL Draft wasn’t easy for Tim Murray. With the Buffalo Sabres locked into picking Jack Eichel second overall Friday, the general manager recently told his scouts to focus on the team’s other first-round pick.

Murray wanted them to go deep and dig into those prospects.

But the Sabres desperately needed a goalie for next season. Murray had choices. Plenty of established ones – perhaps five or six – are available this …

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Jack Eichel talks after getting drafted. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

SUNRISE, Fla. – For more than two months, Jack Eichel wouldn’t say much about his future. Of course, the 18-year-old knew the Buffalo Sabres would select him second overall at the NHL Draft. But the Boston University superstar played it cool, saying things like “if the Sabres draft him.”

But deep down, Eichel had a special feeling about the Sabres. He felt a warm welcome from the community and fans when the Sabres hosted the NHL Combine earlier this month.

So when …

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Jack Eichel must decide whether to turn pro or stay in college. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

SUNRISE, Fla. – After more than two months of waiting, Jack Eichel is officially property of the Buffalo Sabres.

The rebuilding team selected the 18-year-old Boston University center second overall tonight at the NHL Draft inside the BB&T Center.

Stay tuned for updates. Eichel could announce soon if he’ll turn pro or return to college.

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