Pre-Draft Mailbag

A few days ago, we asked you on Facebook if there was anything you’d want answered before this weekend’s NHL Entry Level Draft. We ended up getting a handful of responses, and we thank you for that. Below is our first-ever mailbag. We hope you enjoy!

Just a quick side note, before someone starts yelling, Ville Leino is ineligible to be bought-out because of surgery that took place following the season.

If you were Colorado, would you trade the 1st overall pick for two 1st’s, Miller, and Pysyk or Mcnabb? – Matthew Gordon

Matt, that is an excellent question. I would say no, but please allow me to elaborate. From Colorado’s point, that is a big haul for the first overall pick. You get a proven goaltender for at least a year, two first round picks that you could use to improve your defense and you get a young, NHL-ready defenseman. So that obviously sounds very enticing. Although, with the first overall pick, you’re looking at either Nathan MacKinnon or Seth Jones. Colorado gets MacKinnon, with an offensive prowess he’ll bring to the NHL at such a young age, or Jones, who could be your number one defenseman for the next 15 years. Now, here’s my question for you, and the reason why I am split on this: if you were Colorado, would you trade Nathan MacKinnon/Seth Jones for that package? Now you know why I’d pass.

Who do you think Sabres will draft at their 8th spot ? – Sam Simko

Sam, I truly think it is up in the air right now. I personally would enjoy to see the Sabres take someone like Elias Lindholm at the 8th spot. If the Sabres move up/down, obviously that thought changes. My thought is that if the Sabres stay put at 8th and 16th, they’ll take a forward/defenseman or defenseman/forward. If either player impresses at training camp, you could be seeing them in Buffalo this season. You always have to remember that this is a rebuilding franchise, so get excited about seeing the future unfold in front of your eyes!

 I don’t understand the logic behind trading Miller and/or Vanek. Obviously I understand the theory behind trade them before they walk (Drury/Briere) but why let go of veteran, seasoned, experienced players? Who’s going to fill their positions? Enroth is a good goalie but I’m not sure that he is ready for the starting position. & as for Miller, where is he going to go where he would have a substantially better chance to win a cup in the next 4-5 years? MOST of the teams that are Cup or even playoff contenders already have a proven goalie signed so he could end up on a team that is in the same position/predicament as Buffalo, I realize that Miller isn’t a cheap contract-but you get what you pay for. – Michelle Spalding

Michelle, this question is an excellent one, which is why I made sure to answer it here. First off, the Buffalo Sabres are a rebuilding franchise, looking to put themselves in the best possible position moving forward. With Ryan Miller (33 next month) and Thomas Vanek (30 next January) on this team, keeping them around now makes them better next season, but might not make them better in the long run. Not to mention, there is NO guarantee that either player wants to be in Buffalo long-term. The Sabres have a wealth of younger players in the system, so if Ryan Miller was to be traded, you’ll see more of Jhonas Enroth and Matt Hackett, who was acquired to most likely be the future goaltender. If Vanek was to be traded, you would see a young forward (Girgensons, Larsson and Sundher are good examples and centers who play on the wing) who would step up and absorb the minutes and responsibility. That is how you build a successful young hockey team. As for Enroth, he is under a two-year contract, so I am not too sure what the franchise sees him as right now. To me, Enroth seems like a bridge goaltender until Matt Hackett is ready to take over. As for Miller, anybody who looks to acquire him will be on the fringe of being a Cup contender or they’ll be a Cup contender looking to bolster up. That is why you hear teams like the Islanders having interest in Miller’s services. Miller has been great for the Sabres organization, but he really serves no purpose in Buffalo if the team is trying to develop. In my opinion, Miller better serves the organization if he is traded for building blocks, than if he stays and fulfills the final year of his contract.

Any other questions? Feel free to ask us on Facebook, or on Twitter!

Ryan Wolfe
Ryan Wolfe
Administrator/Writer at Sabres Hockey Central.
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