The pick is due to the Sabres as part of the Thomas Vanek trade. The trade required New York to surrender its first-rounder either in the 2014 or 2015 draft, with the Islanders retaining the right to choose. The Islaes later dealt Vanek to the Montreal Canadiens at the trade deadline. He's expected to enter free agency after the season rather than re-sign with Montreal. The Sabres also got Matt Moulson in the deal but flipped him to the Minnesota Wild.
The Islanders are keeping their pick, which is the fifth overall, apparently banking on the fact they will be better in the 2014-15 season. This is a risky move, of course, given the tattered condition of New York's roster and the fact that Connor McDavid is available in the 2015 draft. So, should the Islanders and Sabres both flounder again next season, Buffalo would get an extra shot in the McDavid lottery, since the Islanders would be forced to surrender the pick no matter what happens.
Buffalo is still picking second this year, with the Florida Panthers winning the draft lottery to get the first overall pick.
The draft takes place June 27-28 in Philadelphia.Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Connor McDavid, Hockey, New York Islanders, NHL, Thomas Vanek