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A Closer Look at the Buffalo Sabres’ 2014 NHL Draft Picks

June 29th, 2014 at 12:00 PM
By Paul Lane Sabres 101

The Buffalo Sabres drafted seven forwards, one goalie and one defenseman in the 2014 NHL draft. Here is a closer look at the newest players in the organization.

Brendan Lemieux - Top Prospects Game from Flickr via Wylio? 2014 5of7, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio


The Sabres made Sam Reinhart the second overall pick. He spent four years in the WHL, posting 36 goals and 69 assists in 60 games last season. He was the junior league's player of the year in 2013-14. Reinhart is expected to compete for one of Buffalo's top two center positions in 2014-15.

"Hockey sense, seeing the play three, four, five seconds before it happens," Sabres GM Tim Murray said of Reinhart's best attributes. "I just think he has an ability to make wingers better. So now our job is to make sure that we have the proper guys to play with him.


Buffalo's first pick of the second round was winger Brendan Lemieux. Son of former NHL player Claude, Brendan has spent the last two seasons in the OHL. He had 27 goals and 26 assists in 53 games last season while posting 145 penalty minutes. Lemieux expected to be a first-round pick and said that will give him more motivation going forward:

"They just gave one of the more fiery guys in the draft more fire."

Murray expects nothing less:

"We like the style of game he plays. It's a chippy, intimidating style. But in saying that, he's not a one-dimensional player. he can score goals. He can shoot the puck. He goes to the net. He goes to the dirty areas."

The Sabres traded down five picks, acquiring the Washington Capitals' 44th overall pick. WIth it, Buffalo took center Eric Cornel. He has 25 goals and 37 assists in 68 OHL games last season.

Then five picks later, Buffalo took Czech-born left wing Vaclav Karabacek. He had 21 goals and 26 assists in 65 games as a rookie in the QMJHL last season. 


Buffalo went on the defensive in the third round, taking a goalie and defenseman. They took goalie Jonas Johansson 61st overall. Buffalo's second Swedish-born goalie named Jonas (he's joined by incumbent starter Jhonas Enroth) has spent his career in the Swedish leagues and was part of Sweden's silver medal-winning team at the 2014 World Junior Championship.

With the 74th overall pick also acquired from Washington, Buffalo took blueliner Brycen Martin. He registered six goals and 31 assists in the WHL last season and admitted to needing to bring more consistency to his game.


Buffalo went back on the offensive in the later rounds. They tool high school left wing Maxwell Willman 121st overall. He scored 21 goals and 23 assists in the Massachusetts high school leagues last season. He plans to attend Brown University in the fall.


Buffalo dipped back into the high school ranks one round later, taking center Christopher Brown from Michigan. The 151st overall pick had 26 goals and 58 assists last season and will play in the USHL next season before enrolling at Boston College for 2015-16.


Buffalo ended the draft by taking another Swedish player. Right wing Victor Olofsson scored 32 goals and 31 assists in 44 games in the Swedish junior leagues last season.

Tags: Brendan Lemieux, Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL, NHL Draft, Sam Reinhart, tim murray

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