Additional Buffalo Sabres Info
The Buffalo Sabres finished the 2018-2019 season with 76 points, good for the fourth-worst record in the Eastern Conference. Nothing else to see here so let’s move onto what turned out to be a rather interesting offseason for the Sabres.
For the draft, the Sabres held two first-round draft choices, seventh selection overall, and 31st selection overall. At number seven, they went with center/right winger Dylan Cozens from Lethbridge of the Western Hockey League. He will inject life into an offense which was not very good, finishing 23 in the league a year ago in goals per game as a team. At number 31 they went with defensemen Ryan Johnson from Sioux Falls of the United States Hockey League, and he will help fix a defense that finished 24th in goals allowed.
The Sabres also made three trades of note this offseason. First, they acquired defensemen Colin Miller from the Las Vegas Golden Knights for two draft choices. Second, they acquired former Hobey Baker Award winner Jimmy Vesey from the New York Rangers for a 2021 third-round draft choice. Third, they traded right winger Alexander Nylander to the Chicago Blackhawks for defensemen Henri Jokiharju. In free agency, the Sabres added defensemen John Gilmour, center Curtis Lazar, goalie Andrew Hammond, and center Jean-Sebastian Dea.
These players were added to what is already a very good young roster, anchored by All-Star center Jack Eichel, who finished with 82 points a year ago. There is also 2018 first overall selection Rasmus Dahlin who had 44 points a year ago as a rookie defensemen. 2019-2020 could very well be the breakout season for this Sabres team.
The Buffalo Sabres 2016-2017 season didn't go according to expectations, finishing the season with just 78 points, and the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres first order of business this offseason was to re-sign goaltender Linus Ullmark to a two-year contract extension. Next they made the big trade with the Wild, acquiring right winger Jason Pominville and defensemen Marco Scandella for forward's Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligino as well as a 2018 third-round draft choice. For the draft, the Sabres wanted to boost their offense, which ranked 24th in goals scored, so they drafted center Casey Mittelstatdt from Eden Prairie. Unlike other teams who finished at the bottom of the standings, the Sabres don't plan on staying down for very long.
The Buffalo Sabres were founded in 1970 during a time of rapid NHL expansion. If you look at the NHL landscape over the last 50 years or so, you will find a small handful of teams that have had great success. On the other end of the spectrum, there are those teams that can't seem to find any sort of success, at all. The Sabres would be somewhere in the middle. Throughout their history the Sabres have won their division six times- 1975, 1980, 1981, 1997, 2007, and 2010. The Sabres have also won the Eastern Conference twice- 1975 and 1999. However, they were unable to turn either of those Stanley Cup Finals appearances into wins. They lost to the Flyers in six games in 1975, and in 1999 they lost to the Dallas Stars in six games as well. The Sabres do have one Presidents Trophy to their name, in 2007, when they finished the regular season with 53 wins and 113 points overall.
The last time the Buffalo Sabres participated in the Stanley Cup playoffs was 2011, when they lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in seven games. Since that game loss, the Sabres have had a slow grind to the bottom as they have been rebuilding. This past season, they finally bottomed up, finishing with 54 points, good for the worst record overall in the NHL. They Sabres ended up drafting second. However, after four years of rebuilding, the Sabres are finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, drafted second overall was an 18-year-old center from Boston, Massachusetts named Jack Eichel. Connor McDavid went first overall to the Edmonton Oilers. Scouts have said these are the two most talented players to enter the NHL since Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. Only time will tell if they are right.