Zadorov, Nikita

In his first Ontario Hockey League season, Zadorov led all rookies with a plus-33 rating and ranked second among first-year defensemen in points (6-19–25), helping London finish first in the 2012-13 standings (50 wins, 105 points). It was the seventh time in the last 10 seasons the Knights have posted more than 100 points.”

NHL Draft prospects: No. 8 Nikita Zadorov

Zadorov made huge strides in his first season with the Knights, developing a reputation as a physical, two-way defender. He jumped up in the rush at a moment’s notice and displayed soft hands around the goal area. He can make a strong first pass and start the rush offensively. Zadorov plays a solid defensive game, underlined by a bruising and punishing physical style. He has the size, at six-foot-four and 200 pounds, that can stand to add another 30 pounds of muscle once he fills out. He’s far from a finished product, but his development is on the right track towards becoming a big-time defender.”

Nikita Zadorov

Zadorov is a project 2-way defenseman. He has a hard shot from the point, lays open ice hits and uses his premier size all over the ice. He’s an average skater who likes to rush the puck. (EP, 2013)

Rasmus Ristolainen Highlights

Sabres pick #8 Rasmus Ristolainen

“Good pick!  Risto is exactly what the Sabres are missing in their pipeline.”

Rasmus Ristolainen brings Pronger

“Ristolainen, No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking of the top draft-eligible European skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft, doesn’t shy away from the fact he enjoys that style of play, either. But he also supplies a solid offensive element.”

Rasmus Ristolainen

“One of the best defensemen of his age group, Ristolainen was/is a top-prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft. He is a calm player with good two-way ability and a mature style of play, though his defensive awareness still needs work. Ristolainen moves the puck with confidence and though he’s not a big-time hitter, he plays the body and likes to get physical in front of the net. He also has good mobility. Ristolainen has an excellent frame and has gained a lot of strength while playing in SM-liiga. He is good with the puck and solid defensively and has also displayed ability to work the powerplay in Finland’s SM-liiga.”

2013 NHL Draft Profile: Rasmus Ristolainen, towering Finn blueliner

“Rasmus Ristolainen is a big, powerful Finn. He plays with an edge and makes his opponents earn possession and space against him. He’s a tough character to play against and has a little nastiness to his game. Ristolainen possesses a good shot from the point.”

Miller, Vanek expected to stay with Sabres through draft

‘“I entered this weekend recognizing that they both are in the last year of their contracts, and I have a responsibility to see what that means both with those players and also within the marketplace,” Regier said. “Unless you’re a highly competitive team, it’s very difficult to have players on your roster whose contracts are going to expire if you either choose not to or don’t have the ability to re-up them.’

Cup winner Fucale catches Sabres’ eye

‘That can only mean Fucale, the 18-year-old who backstopped Halifax to the Memorial Cup. How curious are the Sabres about Fucale? He told The News at Friday’s draft prospects luncheon in Weehawken, N.J., that the only two teams that brought him in for private combine workouts were the Sabres and Montreal Canadiens. The Sabres haven’t spent a first-rounder on a goalie since taking Mika Norenen in 1997.’

NHL prospect Bailey has a pro pedigree

‘“He’s a high riser,” said Kevin Devine, the Sabres’ director of amateur scouting. “Most teams have him going somewhere in the second round. He’s a big kid that works very hard, needs to fill out his frame, get adjusted to the Canadian game a little more, get a little bit more physical. He’s got lots of potential.”’

With 10 picks and stars to deal, draft day could dramitically change rebuilding Sabres

‘This is all new, you know. Two full seasons into Terry Pegula’s ownership, the Sabres were supposed to have won a Stanley Cup.’

Sabres have draft hits and misses in recent years

‘Since most NHL Entry Drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Buffalo Sabres’ first-round picks from 2005-10 and some notable hits and misses.’

Sabres have good forwards coming up, but…

‘So overall Buffalo seems a have a few good, solid prospects on the way, but nobody seems to be a difference maker and that folks is what Darcy Regier has to get either through the draft or through trade.’

NHL draft a mystery, even to prospects

‘It’s possible Shinkaruk or Monahan could hear his name called when Buffalo picks eighth. They attended the Sabres’ scouting combine and interview session this month and walked away feeling both sides benefited from the experience.’