The Buffalo Sabres are known for taking their draft picks and developing them within their system more than most clubs. Players like Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek were draft picks who played for Buffalo’s AHL affiliate and worked their way up to the NHL.
Since so much of the Sabres’ current success relies on their draft selections, I took a look at who they have drafted and which countries their draft picks are from.
I used a pool of 20 players—all of whom where drafted in 2001 or later—and looked at their nationalities to see if there was any kind of pattern.
Included in the pool of players are 10 players who are currently on the Sabres’ roster, seven who are top prospects within the organization, and three who are no longer with the club.
Out of the 20 players used in the pool, seven are from the United States—that’s 35 percent for those of you who aren’t very good with math.
Another seven of the players are from Canada—so 70 percent of the Sabres’ draft picks in this pool are from North America.
Of the other six players not from North America, two are from Sweden, two are from Slovakia, one is from the Czech Republic, and one is from Austria (just a hint, but the one from Austria’s last name rhymes with “panic”).
In the last three entry drafts, Buffalo has used its first pick on a player from North America. The last player drafted from outside of North America was Dennis Persson from Sweden back in 2006.
As previously stated, only three players of the 20 I used are no longer in the Sabres’ organization, which puts the retention rate at a whopping 85 percent.
Buffalo’s best selection since 2001 was obviously in 2008 when they traded up for the 12th pick and drafted rookie sensation Tyler Myers.
While many of the Sabres’ draft picks from 2001 to 2004—Roy, Vanek, Jason Pominville, Drew Stafford, Clarke MacArthur, Pat Kaleta, and Andrej Sekera—have developed into solid, everyday players, their more recent draft picks are still developing with their AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates.
Given the recent success of Myers and all of the buzz around players like Nathan Gerbe, Tyler Ennis, and Jhonas Enroth, it appears that Buffalo has even more talent on the rise.