The rankings from Hockey's Future take into account the overall quality of every team's pool of prospects. The Sabres were second in their fall rankings but moved to the top spot thanks in part to their continued stockpiling of talent amid one of their worst seasons ever.
The Sabres moved numerous veterans near the trade deadline to acquire Hudson Fasching, Nicolas Deslauriers and William Carrier. Fasching just finished his freshman season at the University of Minnesota, for whom he scored 14 goals and 16 assists in 40 games. Deslauriers scored his first-ever NHL goal after coming to Buffalo from the Los Angeles Kings. He skated in 17 NHL games after the trade and then joined the Rochester Americans for their AHL playoff run. Carrier scored 22 goals and 43 assists in 66 junior games this past season.
Ranked as Buffalo's top five prospects are players who all saw action with the Sabres this past season: Rasmus Ristolainen, Mikhail Grigorenko, Nikita Zadorov, Mark Pysyk and Jake McCabe. The fact that four of those five are defenseman was cited as one of Buffalo's strengths. The lack of forwards was cited as a weakness organizationally, as the site said Buffalo lacks for star power up front among its prospects.
Buffalo will look to add to this pool in this summer's draft, during which it holds the second overall pick and could pick up two more first-rounders depending on conditions relating to trades with the St. Louis Blues and New York islanders.
The Anaheim Ducks came in second in the rankings, followed by the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning.
- Buffalo Sabres Prospect Hudson Fasching Shines as Minnesota Golden Gophers Advance in NCAA Tournament
- Buffalo Sabres Trade Ryan Miller and Steve Ott to St. Louis Blues for Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart and Two Draft Picks
- Buffalo Sabres Prospects Earn Numerous Awards, Bright Future Ahead
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