Connor Knapp: Buffalo Sabres' Top Prospects (No. 9)
(Note: This will be a top-ten countdown of the Buffalo Sabres' top prospects. In order to be considered a prospect, the player has be eligible for the Calder Trophy this season, which means they cannot have played more than 25 games in the NHL in any season prior. This removes Corey Tropp, Luke Adam, Jhonas Enroth and Cody Hodgson from contention.)
The Buffalo Sabres' goaltending depth has not been the strongest in the league since the departure of Marty Biron in 2006-07.
Ryan Miller is one of the league's best goalies but has lived with the likes of Jocelyn Thibault, Patrick Lalime and Mikael Tellqvist as his backups since Biron's departure.
Yes, Jhonas Enroth is a solid backup and may become the goalie of the future for the Sabres, but he has been inconsistent and was all but forgotten in the stretch run last season during the team's playoff push.
So the best news for Sabres fans is that there may be help on the way.
Connor Knapp was drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 NHL Draft and played four seasons for the Miami (Ohio) University RedHawks of the CCHA. In that time, Knapp won 46 games for the RedHawks, and led them to a NCAA Championship in 2009, where they eventually lost to Boston University.
Knapp was the 19th rated North American goaltender in 2009 by NHL Central Scouting and was ranked the seventh best college prospect that year.
At 6'5", Knapp has a size advantage over many goaltending prospects. His big frame and good positioning are what got him drafted by the Sabres.
Knapp's quickness has been called into question, however, and that will likely be his make-or-break factor when it comes to succeeding in the NHL.
Knapp has yet to be signed to an entry-level deal by the Sabres but likely will be soon. He no longer has any college eligibility, so the AHL or ECHL would be the next step for him.
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