Note: This article is part of a top-ten countdown of the Buffalo Sabres' top prospects. In order to be considered a prospect, the player has to 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.
When the Buffalo Sabres took Brayden McNabb in the third-round of the 2009 draft, they seemed to be following a pattern.
After the selection of 6'8" Tyler Myers in 2008, the selection of 6'4" McNabb seemed to show the Sabres wanted to get bigger on the back end. But, like Myers, McNabb's size certainly has not held him back offensively.
In his four seasons with the Kootenay Ice of the WHL, McNabb scored 50 goals and had 175 total points in 258 games, including a 72-point season in 2010-11. McNabb was also the Ice's captain during his final season.
That success carried over to the AHL with the Rochester Americans, where McNabb posted 30 points in 45 games during his rookie campaign. His production earned him a prolonged stint with the Sabres in December, where he scored 8 points in 25 games.
More important than his point production was his comfort level in his own zone and his physical play, something that the Sabres sorely needed at that time.
With the lockout dragging on, McNabb has started this season with the Amerks in the AHL, where he has impressed with six points in 10 games and a plus-minus rating of plus-four.
McNabb has a bright future with the Sabres, with the dream of having him and Myers on the same defensive pairing could cause opposing forwards to have nightmares.