Florida selected Aaron Ekblad No. 1. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald

GM Tim Murray believes draft lottery changes aren’t targeting Sabres

PHILADELPHIA – The Buffalo Sabres’ chances of winning the Connor McDavid sweepstakes could be taking a small hit.

General manager Tim Murray said Friday the NHL will likely alter its draft lottery next year.

What’s going to happen?

Murray said the odds of the league’s worst team getting the No. 1 pick will drop from 25 percent to about 19 or 20 percent. The tradeoff? The 30th team can’t fall past the No. 2 ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart answers questions tonight. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sam Reinhart knew Sabres had interest for long time

PHILADELPHIA – Sam Reinhart said he had been “prepared for it for a long time.” The slick 18-year-old center knew the Buffalo Sabres wanted to draft him with the No. 2 pick.

“I’ve certainly visualized myself in this uniform,” Reinhart said tonight inside the Wells Fargo Center after the Sabres made him the first forward taken at the NHL Entry Draft.

If Reinhart has his way, he’ll be wearing that Sabres uniform on opening night ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart is the Sabres’ highest draft pick since 2003. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres take Sam Reinhart with No. 2 pick

PHILADELPHIA – Not surprising, the Buffalo Sabres selected slick center Sam Reinhart with the No. 2 pick tonight at the NHL Entry Draft inside the Wells Fargo Center.

The Sabres desperately need elite talent up, and Reinhart, a star with the Western Hockey League’s Kootenay Ice, could be a franchise forward someday.

The Florida Panthers selected stud defenseman Aaron Ekblad No. 1 overall. Ekblad’s the first defender taken first since the St. Louis Blues took ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart could be a franchise-level talent someday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Slick draft prospect Sam Reinhart could be sure thing for Sabres with top pick

PHILADELPHIA – If the past tells us anything, some of these shiny NHL Entry Draft prospects, the ones expected to save their team’s sagging fortunes after getting picked early tonight, will be busts at the next level.

“We know that one or two of them aren’t going to have an impact in the National Hockey League,” Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray said last week. “It’s which one or two. We hope we know which ... Read the full article

Aaron Ekblad could be selected No. 1 overall. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sam Bennett, Aaron Ekblad and Sam Reinhart all in mix to be top pick as NHL draft approaches

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – For the next few weeks, their skills, personality, body type – everything about them – will be dissected. Twenty-six days before the NHL Entry Draft, there’s still no consensus No. 1 overall pick.

To many observers, three coveted youngsters – center Sam Bennett, defenseman Aaron Ekblad and center Sam Reinhart, the top North American prospects, according to NHL Central Scouting – are vying for the pick owned by the Florida Panthers.... Read the full article