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2020-'21 Sabres Prospects


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5 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Perfect example, Dylan Cozens. That was the right value for where they took him. Casey Mitts, right value for where they took him. Ryan Johnson... holy ***** that was one of the dumbest things I have ever watched. 

JJ Peterka, I don't know if I would move up to get him because there would have been a player of value there at their pick but it cost basically nothing so that is okay. 

Nylander, terrible value when Sergachev was there

Quinn, I like Quinn but Rossi was a better value. This is the one that I worry about right now because Quinn will need to continue that trajectory he is on to eclipse 

Now that can change and all these could but right here today at this snapshot and if we look back the Sabres have not maximized the value of their draft picks. They have been actually fairly bad at it. It isn't just about the players under 23. We are talking about 28 picks from 2016-2019 and we are talking about what? maybe 4 or 5 players from all of that, sure that might be a league average but shouldn't we be striving to be better than league average? In 2020 we had only 5 picks and only 2 in the top 100. Both those players hit, that's a great draft. In 2019 we had 3 with a 4th pick at 102. Out of those, there is 1 guy that I think shakes out to an NHL player. Looking right now.... that draft should have 3 players Cozens, Robertson, Beaucage as potential NHL guys. It stuff like that that bothers me. 

I don’t deny that they made mistakes, especially the Nylander pick but the rest is still incomplete. Until Robertson and guys like him become top six, they just guys who haven’t done it. 
The value you place is pure conjecture. I am more a TM, high risk, high reward guy which looks like it might net VO. Like he said, anyone can fill out the bottom six. 
You continually laugh at Johnson but I still read top four potential, power play specialist and got the 31st pick that’s high return.

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2 minutes ago, tom webster said:

2-7 don’t hit for anyone. They got VO, Toronto maybe hot Robertson. The only certainty with the NHL draft is the first two or three picks. After that depends on the year.

If the Sabre’s are a laughingstock it’s only because they traded ROR and didn’t develop Lehner. If the Lehner of the last two years was in nets and ROR was the 2nd center, this team is in the top ten overall and no one is talking about 2nd and 3rd round picks.

I would still be. You have to hit on those picks to stay good. 

Robertson is good, he'll probably make the Toronto team this year. 

It does not depend on the year, Carolina continually has drafted well for the last 3-4 years. Taking a look now, they draft really well and remind me a little of LA but I think Carolina is playing money puck with draft picks and I think we see it payoff. Sure some draft are just bad (2016 isn't great and 2012 was barf) but overall most drafts are decent if you can find the value. 

https://www.hockey-reference.com/teams/CAR/draft.html

 

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Just now, tom webster said:

I don’t deny that they made mistakes, especially the Nylander pick but the rest is still incomplete. Until Robertson and guys like him become top six, they just guys who haven’t done it. 
The value you place is pure conjecture. I am more a TM, high risk, high reward guy which looks like it might net VO. Like he said, anyone can fill out the bottom six. 
You continually laugh at Johnson but I still read top four potential, power play specialist and got the 31st pick that’s high return.

Ryan Johnson was overdrafted. PP specialist... on a team with Rasmus Dahlin... okay. Top four potential I think is a stretch, I think he could be your #4 but I really see him as a decent 3rd pairing guy that can fill in on that second pair if injuries occur. So the question is, do you want a #4 defender or a top 6 winger? Also I would note the top 6 winger we are currently talking about is a safer bet at this stage. Again, I can find Ryan Johnson's in the 3rd round. Cam Dineen, David Farrance for example. It is harder to get top 6 talent that late. 

Again, I think the Sabres might be on the path to fixing this. Quinn is a little worrisome but JJP made sense. Should be interesting to see what they do next draft when they have more picks. 

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6 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Sure they shouldn’t have rushed him to the NHL.  Some guys thrive others don’t. It’s why kids are waivers exempt so that GMs can move them up or down depending on their readiness of the NHL.  I think anyone who has written him off needs to study prospect history and look at the hundreds of prospect ls even those drafted in the top 10 who took years to develop.  Casey is 21, not 25.   Casey reminds me of Tim Connolly.

The Casey hate is strong the the Force.  

No.

Connolly had 2 very productive years in juniors before being drafted -- much more so than Mitts -- then joined the NHL in the year he was drafted and was an immediately productive player, with 34 pts in 81 games as a rookie, 41 pts in 82 games in his 2nd year and 45 pts in 82 games in his 3rd year.  He was immature, like Mitts, and had concussion issues, both of which, along with the lockout year, prevented him from reaching his potential until he was 24.  But he never looked completely lost at the NHL level like Mitts has.

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13 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

No.

Connolly had 2 very productive years in juniors before being drafted -- much more so than Mitts -- then joined the NHL in the year he was drafted and was an immediately productive player, with 34 pts in 81 games as a rookie, 41 pts in 82 games in his 2nd year and 45 pts in 82 games in his 3rd year.  He was immature, like Mitts, and had concussion issues, both of which, along with the lockout year, prevented him from reaching his potential until he was 24.  But he never looked completely lost at the NHL level like Mitts has.

Yes.  I wasn't looking at his simple stats.  I'm talking about style of play and progression as a player.  Connolly also did look lost at times for both the NYI and Sabres.  He was terrible away from the puck and worse in his own zone.  In his 1st 4 seasons he was a -63.  In fact he really never developed into a reliable two way player.  His Ozone starts even at the peak of his career was 55%.  

I don't know if Casey will ever develop into a 60 pts player like Connolly did.  However, I think he has 40-50 pt potential and if what Sexton and Taylor said is true and he becomes a reliable two way player, then he'll surpass Connolly in value as an NHL player.  

Casey's biggest issue is that he went from High School to College to the NHL in about 18 months.  He wasn't mentally or physically ready for that transition.  The talent is there and according to Sexton and Taylor so is the work ethic.  Makes you wonder how hot everyone would be for him if he started in the AHL and developed properly.  My guess is he'd be becoming off a dominate AHL season and people here would be pissed that Jbot didn't call him up sooner as they were with VO.

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18 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

Ryan Johnson was overdrafted. PP specialist... on a team with Rasmus Dahlin... okay. Top four potential I think is a stretch, I think he could be your #4 but I really see him as a decent 3rd pairing guy that can fill in on that second pair if injuries occur. So the question is, do you want a #4 defender or a top 6 winger? Also I would note the top 6 winger we are currently talking about is a safer bet at this stage. Again, I can find Ryan Johnson's in the 3rd round. Cam Dineen, David Farrance for example. It is harder to get top 6 talent that late. 

Again, I think the Sabres might be on the path to fixing this. Quinn is a little worrisome but JJP made sense. Should be interesting to see what they do next draft when they have more picks. 

If you are right and they missed a couple top six wingers and Johnson doesn’t pan, it’s unfortunate but it’s still to be determined.

As far as already having Dahlin, I never consider that. If he’s good he’s an asset and if they don’t need him he will be a chip at trade deadline.

One final point, you know better then most where Buffalo drafted is irrelevant. There is almost no statistically relevant difference between picks throughout each round after the top three or four.

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11 minutes ago, tom webster said:

If you are right and they missed a couple top six wingers and Johnson doesn’t pan, it’s unfortunate but it’s still to be determined.

As far as already having Dahlin, I never consider that. If he’s good he’s an asset and if they don’t need him he will be a chip at trade deadline.

One final point, you know better then most where Buffalo drafted is irrelevant. There is almost no statistically relevant difference between picks throughout each round after the top three or four.

Rounds or picks?  The cliffs in the draft are top 3, top 7, top 15, top 25, the second round and mid way through the 3rd.  After that it's a crap shoot.  Between mid 3rd to the end the player's chances of making the NHL for 100 games is about 18% after the mid 3rd down to about 11% in rounds 5-7.

This data comes from former TSN reporter Scott Cullen who used to write a great column about draft pick value.

Instead of the 100 games Cullen used, I'd like to know the stats for guys playing at least 3 full seasons in the NHL.  

To the end, I'm curious which of our guys in our current prospect pool people here think will play say 210 (120 games for goalies) NHL games (for Mitts and Thompson, lets say 210 more games)? Here are my guess

1) Cozens  100%

2) Quinn 100%

3) Mittelstadt 85%

4) Thompson 100%

5) UPL 90%

6) Routsalainen 50% - I'd have a higher % if not for COVID

7) Peterka 65%

8.) Samuelsson 90%

9) Johnson 85%

10) Asplund 65%

11) Laaksonen 35% - This number could easily rise if he adjust to NA hockey quickly

12) Bryson 45% - Made a good impression last year.  If he continues that progression, this number could easily be in the 80's by the end of next season.

13) Pekar 65% - He is a better version of Kaleta and he lasted 350 games

14) Portillo 35% - If things go well at Michigan this number could easily rise as well.

15) Murray 10% - Earned an AHL contract, but not sure he is an NHL player, but does have an opportunity

16) Borgen - 10% - He seems to be destined to be a AAAA player.  May have better luck in a different organization like Alex Biega (228 gms), Chad Ruhwedel (170 gms)

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1 hour ago, tom webster said:

2-7 don’t hit for anyone. They got VO, Toronto maybe hot Robertson. The only certainty with the NHL draft is the first two or three picks. After that depends on the year.

If the Sabre’s are a laughingstock it’s only because they traded ROR and didn’t develop Lehner. If the Lehner of the last two years was in nets and ROR was the 2nd center, this team is in the top ten overall and no one is talking about 2nd and 3rd round picks.

I believe that this is completely untrue, and a really bad way to evaluate drafting.

I understand that the draft lacks much certainly after the first 2-3 picks.  Drafting is hard.

However, there are teams that can semi regularly draft NHL caliber, and occasionally star, players in rounds 2-7.  Do you believe that this is simply because these teams are very lucky?  Do you believe that they are exhibiting some skill in drafting?  Do you believe that there is such a thing as being good at drafting, or is it just luck after the top-3? top-10? 1st round?

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6 minutes ago, Curt said:

I believe that this is completely untrue, and a really bad way to evaluate drafting.

I understand that the draft lacks much certainly after the first 2-3 picks.  Drafting is hard.

However, there are teams that can semi regularly draft NHL caliber, and occasionally star, players in rounds 2-7.  Do you believe that this is simply because these teams are very lucky?  Do you believe that they are exhibiting some skill in drafting?  Do you believe that there is such a thing as being good at drafting, or is it just luck after the top-3? top-10? 1st round?

I think you left out the player development part. This is where I think the most difference is between teams.

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1 hour ago, tom webster said:

2-7 don’t hit for anyone. They got VO, Toronto maybe hot Robertson. The only certainty with the NHL draft is the first two or three picks. After that depends on the year.

If the Sabre’s are a laughingstock it’s only because they traded ROR and didn’t develop Lehner. If the Lehner of the last two years was in nets and ROR was the 2nd center, this team is in the top ten overall and no one is talking about 2nd and 3rd round picks.

This is pretty generous.  I think they'd probably be a bubble playoff team but not top 10.

 

48 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Yes.  I wasn't looking at his simple stats.  I'm talking about style of play and progression as a player.  Connolly also did look lost at times for both the NYI and Sabres.  He was terrible away from the puck and worse in his own zone.  In his 1st 4 seasons he was a -63.  In fact he really never developed into a reliable two way player.  His Ozone starts even at the peak of his career was 55%.  

I don't know if Casey will ever develop into a 60 pts player like Connolly did.  However, I think he has 40-50 pt potential and if what Sexton and Taylor said is true and he becomes a reliable two way player, then he'll surpass Connolly in value as an NHL player.  

Casey's biggest issue is that he went from High School to College to the NHL in about 18 months.  He wasn't mentally or physically ready for that transition.  The talent is there and according to Sexton and Taylor so is the work ethic.  Makes you wonder how hot everyone would be for him if he started in the AHL and developed properly.  My guess is he'd be becoming off a dominate AHL season and people here would be pissed that Jbot didn't call him up sooner as they were with VO.

First bolded -- this is incorrect.  You are right that he was a lousy 2-way player early in his career (although it goes without saying that his plus-minus as a member of 2 terrible teams is pretty much a useless stat), but by the end of his tenure here, TC was the Sabres' best 2-way center and penalty-killing center. 

2nd bolded -- the likelihood of this happening is less than 10%.

3rd bolded -- this is a huge assumption that so far looks to be false.  Mitts has been utterly unable to adapt his game to NHL speed and talent levels.  He has not shown even a hint of being able to beat NHL defensemen by either skating or passing the puck.

4th bolded -- this is not supported by the quotes you posted.  Those quotes support him having a good attitude and wanting to be a good player and a leader -- not that he is willing to put the time and work in to get there.

I, and I think many others here, would like to see some kind of photo of him working out over the summer and looking ripped, instead of hanging out with his buddies on a boat and drinking beer, as evidence of his determination and work ethic. 

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Ryan Johnson is not a PP specialist in any way, shape or form. 
He’s a shutdown defenceman whose game is based on elite skating. His game looks a lot like Jokiharju’s did last year, with his strengths being preventing zone entries and getting the puck out of our zone.

Edited by dudacek
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Ideal situation for Casey is he comes to camp in the best shape of his life, is one of the best 12 and he gets sent down anyway, where he dominates and forces his way back up. Basically, that would definitely answer the questions @LGR4GM is posing.

Probably the second most interesting player in camp for me, after Dahlin

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38 minutes ago, Curt said:

I believe that this is completely untrue, and a really bad way to evaluate drafting.

I understand that the draft lacks much certainly after the first 2-3 picks.  Drafting is hard.

However, there are teams that can semi regularly draft NHL caliber, and occasionally star, players in rounds 2-7.  Do you believe that this is simply because these teams are very lucky?  Do you believe that they are exhibiting some skill in drafting?  Do you believe that there is such a thing as being good at drafting, or is it just luck after the top-3? top-10? 1st round?

Other then Tampa and Boston, no team has shown a consistent a as ability to draft NHL regulars in rounds 2-7. Make any list of your top 100 NHL players, maybe even top 200, I’ll bet 90% of them are first or second round. This is not the NFL, draft choices do not routinely work out.

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35 minutes ago, nfreeman said:

This is pretty generous.  I think they'd probably be a bubble playoff team but not top 10.

 

First bolded -- this is incorrect.  You are right that he was a lousy 2-way player early in his career (although it goes without saying that his plus-minus as a member of 2 terrible teams is pretty much a useless stat), but by the end of his tenure here, TC was the Sabres' best 2-way center and penalty-killing center. 

2nd bolded -- the likelihood of this happening is less than 10%.

3rd bolded -- this is a huge assumption that so far looks to be false.  Mitts has been utterly unable to adapt his game to NHL speed and talent levels.  He has not shown even a hint of being able to beat NHL defensemen by either skating or passing the puck.

4th bolded -- this is not supported by the quotes you posted.  Those quotes support him having a good attitude and wanting to be a good player and a leader -- not that he is willing to put the time and work in to get there.

I, and I think many others here, would like to see some kind of photo of him working out over the summer and looking ripped, instead of hanging out with his buddies on a boat and drinking beer, as evidence of his determination and work ethic. 

You don’t think ROR and elite goaltending gets them 7 or 8 more wins last year?

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1 hour ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

Rounds or picks?  The cliffs in the draft are top 3, top 7, top 15, top 25, the second round and mid way through the 3rd.  After that it's a crap shoot.  Between mid 3rd to the end the player's chances of making the NHL for 100 games is about 18% after the mid 3rd down to about 11% in rounds 5-7.

This data comes from former TSN reporter Scott Cullen who used to write a great column about draft pick value.

Instead of the 100 games Cullen used, I'd like to know the stats for guys playing at least 3 full seasons in the NHL.  

To the end, I'm curious which of our guys in our current prospect pool people here think will play say 210 (120 games for goalies) NHL games (for Mitts and Thompson, lets say 210 more games)? Here are my guess

1) Cozens  100%

2) Quinn 100%

3) Mittelstadt 85%

4) Thompson 100%

5) UPL 90%

6) Routsalainen 50% - I'd have a higher % if not for COVID

7) Peterka 65%

8.) Samuelsson 90%

9) Johnson 85%

10) Asplund 65%

11) Laaksonen 35% - This number could easily rise if he adjust to NA hockey quickly

12) Bryson 45% - Made a good impression last year.  If he continues that progression, this number could easily be in the 80's by the end of next season.

13) Pekar 65% - He is a better version of Kaleta and he lasted 350 games

14) Portillo 35% - If things go well at Michigan this number could easily rise as well.

15) Murray 10% - Earned an AHL contract, but not sure he is an NHL player, but does have an opportunity

16) Borgen - 10% - He seems to be destined to be a AAAA player.  May have better luck in a different organization like Alex Biega (228 gms), Chad Ruhwedel (170 gms)

I disagree with almost every percent after Cozens. Asplund only 65%?  Mittlestadt at 85%?  Borgen only 10%?  I’d swap Mitts and Rasmus and invert Borgen. He’s a lock for the NHL, especially in our pansy filled D corps. 

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Lehner is in no way shape or form an elite goaltender and he wasn’t playing elite goaltending. This past year he was playing very good. In front of a very good team. And player for player… Vegas had a way more solid team this season than the Sabres did when Lehner was on the Sabres. Even if you include ROR. 
If the Sabres had the “2020 level Lehner” back in 2017-2018 and ROR,  This team may have barely squeaked into the playoffs… Maybe. 

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1 hour ago, nfreeman said:

This is pretty generous.  I think they'd probably be a bubble playoff team but not top 10.

 

First bolded -- this is incorrect.  You are right that he was a lousy 2-way player early in his career (although it goes without saying that his plus-minus as a member of 2 terrible teams is pretty much a useless stat), but by the end of his tenure here, TC was the Sabres' best 2-way center and penalty-killing center. 

2nd bolded -- the likelihood of this happening is less than 10%.

3rd bolded -- this is a huge assumption that so far looks to be false.  Mitts has been utterly unable to adapt his game to NHL speed and talent levels.  He has not shown even a hint of being able to beat NHL defensemen by either skating or passing the puck.

4th bolded -- this is not supported by the quotes you posted.  Those quotes support him having a good attitude and wanting to be a good player and a leader -- not that he is willing to put the time and work in to get there.

I, and I think many others here, would like to see some kind of photo of him working out over the summer and looking ripped, instead of hanging out with his buddies on a boat and drinking beer, as evidence of his determination and work ethic. 

Sorry, but Hecht was the top 2 way center.  Roy was second, both saw more PK time and more defensive starts and it's not close.  Tim Connolly improved as I said, but not to the level of the other.  Nice try.

I'm shocked truly that a kid age 19  & 20 struggled in the NHL.  Shocked I say.  But it's wrong to say he hasn't shown the ability.  He has.  He had periods of good play in the NHL where he was playing 15-16 minutes a night.  He has 25 pts (with 12 goals) his first full season, something Johan Larsson has never even approached.  He has proven he can beat NHL D, he just hasn't proven he can do it consistently.  Unfortunately, when he started to really struggle with his confidence, they just diminished his PT instead of sending him down and allowing him to get his game back. 

I suggest you read the quotes again.  After a rough start, his game improved as they feed him more PT.  His defensive awareness improved and then his O came around.  That doesn't happen without being coachable, having the necessary talent and game IQ and without putting the work in.

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4 minutes ago, inkman said:

I disagree with almost every percent after Cozens. Asplund only 65%?  Mittlestadt at 85%?  Borgen only 10%?  I’d swap Mitts and Rasmus and invert Borgen. He’s a lock for the NHL, especially in our pansy filled D corps. 

You don't think Quinn is a lock to play 210 NHL games?  What has Asplund done to prove he is destined to be a full time NHL player?  I'd love to see Borgen make the club, but he has done nothing to force his way into the lineup.  As to Routsalainen, (I assume you mean him although he isn't named Rasmus) how many undrafted small forwards make and stay in the NHL?  I really like the kid and he is off to a great start in Europe with 5 goals in 7 games, but there is no clear role for him in Buffalo this season and no clarity if the AHL will play.  With each passing year it gets more likely he remains in Europe.  

As to the others, what are your numbers and why.  List them and tell us why you differ.  This is all speculation anyway, but it's an interesting to see how people here view our prospects.  You seem to have more faith in Borgen then I do.  That's great, but I'd love to know why.

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9 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

You don't think Quinn is a lock to play 210 NHL games?  What has Asplund done to prove he is destined to be a full time NHL player?  I'd love to see Borgen make the club, but he has done nothing to force his way into the lineup.  As to Routsalainen, (I assume you mean him although he isn't named Rasmus) how many undrafted small forwards make and stay in the NHL?  I really like the kid and he is off to a great start in Europe with 5 goals in 7 games, but there is no clear role for him in Buffalo this season and no clarity if the AHL will play.  With each passing year it gets more likely he remains in Europe.  

As to the others, what are your numbers and why.  List them and tell us why you differ.  This is all speculation anyway, but it's an interesting to see how people here view our prospects.  You seem to have more faith in Borgen then I do.  That's great, but I'd love to know why.

Bruh I work 60 hours a week with a 6 year old.  I prepare every meal for my family and have an unhealthy alcohol and drug habit. The last thing I got time for is listing every Sabre’s draft pick for the last decade and determining their fate.

ill just go with your numbers...

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4 minutes ago, inkman said:

Bruh I work 60 hours a week with a 6 year old.  I prepare every meal for my family and have an unhealthy alcohol and drug habit. The last thing I got time for is listing every Sabre’s draft pick for the last decade and determining their fate.

ill just go with your numbers...

I get it.  I was there once my self without the drugs and alcohol.  I used to work like a dog, get involved in my kids sports and other organizations etc..  Now the kids are living on their own and I have more time to argue on Sabrespace.  Enjoy you kid, they grow so fast.

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1 hour ago, MakeSabresGrr8Again said:

I think you left out the player development part. This is where I think the most difference is between teams.

I agree in part.  This can certainly be a factor as well.  I don’t necessarily think it’s a larger factor that drafting, but it’s part of the equation.

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Casey Mittelstadt has shown more inside and outside the NHL than Rasmus Asplund a lot more.

He was not an NHL player last year, but I am amazed at how many people think he has shown nothing.

He scored 12 goals in the season he turned 20. Do you know how many players turning 20 scored 12 this year? One: Svechinikov.

Six players from his draft class have scored more NHL goals than he has.

He sucked last year and has a lot of work to do. But his story has yet to be written.

Edited by dudacek
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14 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

  Enjoy you kid, they grow so fast.

Ain't this the truth. I have three grown sons that live within five minutes from my house. We spend most weekends together. Golfing, fishing,  taking the boat out,  brunch,  cookouts....  I couldn't be happier. 

 

But, I sure do miss when they were little. 

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1 hour ago, tom webster said:

Other then Tampa and Boston, no team has shown a consistent a as ability to draft NHL regulars in rounds 2-7. Make any list of your top 100 NHL players, maybe even top 200, I’ll bet 90% of them are first or second round. This is not the NFL, draft choices do not routinely work out.

I do understand that mid-late round NHL picks usually do not work out.  I just said that some teams can semi regularly find NHL players there.

I don’t agree that it’s only Tampa and Boston who are able to do this, but even if it was, what’s wrong with wishing that Buffalo was able to do that as well?  I want Buffalo to draft well.

I agree that 90% of the top 100-200 players are probably 1st/2nd round picks.  It’s that other 10% that we are talking about.

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18 minutes ago, Curt said:

I do understand that mid-late round NHL picks usually do not work out.  I just said that some teams can semi regularly find NHL players there.

I don’t agree that it’s only Tampa and Boston who are able to do this, but even if it was, what’s wrong with wishing that Buffalo was able to do that as well?  I want Buffalo to draft well.

I agree that 90% of the top 100-200 players are probably 1st/2nd round picks.  It’s that other 10% that we are talking about.

We all want them to be better. The fact is that have have hovered around average for years. To read some of the posts around here you would think they’ve been historically bad.

Fact of the matter is that there is a lot of luck involved. Bad timing and some terrible decisions. Some things out of there control, some things in their control. There is a reason that most front office guys who were successful in one place don’t find the same success in another place.

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