Sabres In Focus

Jordan Leopold- Jordan Leopold was drafted in the 2nd round (44th overall) by the Anaheim Ducks back in 1999. Leopold has played with four different teams prior to being signed by the Sabres. The offensive defenseman will be 30 by the start of the 2010-2011 season.

He won the Hobey Baker Award in 2002 while playing for the NCAA. Leopold has hit 20 points in four of his seven seasons in the NHL so far. His career best performance came back in the 2003-2004 season when he played all 82 games and collected 33 points. Continue reading

Andrej Sekera- Slovakian blueliner Andrej Sekera has played parts of four seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, but has yet to prove anything to anyone. Sekera is a talented skater and passer and could be the offensive defenseman the Sabres have needed since Brian Campbell left in 2008. Sekera is currently penciled in as the Sabres’ 6th and final defenseman, but it is in his hands to maintain that role going into the 2010-11 season.

Sekera spent six years in the Dulka Trencin in the Slovak league before moving to North America to pursue a career in the NHL. He played Major Junior hockey with the Owen Sound Attack before being drafted in the 3rd round (71st overall) in the 2004 entry draft. While in the OHL he was named to the all Rookie team in 2005 and the First All-Star team in 2006 as well as being named the leagues top defenseman. Continue reading

Derek Roy- Derek Roy was drafted 32nd overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Roy has been with the organization ever since, but some fans believe he could perform better than he has. Despite having at least 60 points in each of the past four seasons, fans are wanting more.

When NHL play resumed after the lockout, Roy failed to make the Sabres team. He remained with the Rochester Americans, but only for a short time. Roy was called up and finished the season with 46 points, and added 16 more in the playoffs.

The next year Roy became a part of the President’s Trophy winning season for the Sabres. He upped his points to 63 that year. Continue reading

Matt Ellis- Matt Ellis earned the least amount of money out of the entire Sabres team this past season, collecting $500,000. Despite being a fourth line starter, Ellis plays his hardest every single game. He is an average player who gives it his all when he is on the ice.

Ellis had played for Detroit and Los Angeles before the Sabres claimed him off of waivers on October 1st, 2008. This past season, Ellis played 72 games and scored three goals (one game winner) and 10 assists.

Ellis played three seasons for the Grand Rapid Griffins (Detroit Red Wings) in the American Hockey League. In the 2004-2005 season, Ellis scored four short-handed goals, matching a Grand Rapid Griffins record. The next year he had three short-handed goals, followed by five more the next year, earning him the nickname “shorty”. Continue reading

Mike Grier- Grier was drafted by the St.Louis blues in the ninth round of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. Although he was drafted, he wasn’t expected to make that team. It was a long shot for him to do so. While playing at Boston University, Grier’s rights were traded to the Edmonton Oilers, giving him an opportunity to play at the NHL level.

Once he completed college, Grier became a solid winger for the Oilers. He collected 32 points in 79 games during his first season with Edmonton, plus four points during the playoffs as well.

Grier stayed with Edmonton for six seasons as he continued to be a solid player. He eanred 44 points in the 1998-99 season, playing all 82 games in what was arguably his best season with the Oilers. Continue reading