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The Sabres Draft Like Garbage: Here are the Receipts


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How poor drafting destroyed the franchise

https://theathletic.com/2499017/2021/04/06/how-buffalos-poor-drafting-decisions-destroyed-the-franchise-and-who-they-couldve-picked-to-save-it/

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Why aren’t the Sabres better by now? It’s because they don’t have many good players. Why don’t the Sabres have many good players? It’s because every single draft from 2012-to-2016 – the most important years of the team’s rebuild – was a total failure.

In terms of relative value acquired at the draft (player value minus expected player valued based on draft slot), Buffalo ranked dead last over what should’ve been a foundation-building five-year run. In that span, the Sabres were expected to accumulate 82.3 wins of value (based on GSVA, our player value model) which ranks first in the league. What they have actually received to date (and expected to over a player’s first seven seasons in cases where players have not yet played seven seasons) is 34.3 wins, which ranks 19th. It’s a 48-win deficit that’s nearly 15 wins worse than Florida, the next worst team. It’s the difference between 22nd and 30th.

...

It’s difficult to build a winning program under those circumstances, whiffing on pick after pick. The Sabres had 44 picks in those drafts and have 13 legitimate NHLers to show for it, six of which no longer play for the team. The ratio itself isn’t completely terrible as John Vogl noted last summer. But given the quality of those picks, it definitely feels light. It’s the quality of players selected that’s much more troubling though.

Get a subscription and read the it. As I have yelled into the void of this god forsaken place for years, the Sabres can't ***** draft. 

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One more quote for this dumpster fire, trash heap, stupidity based, moron induced team that drafts like a drunken frat boy trying to pick up a stripper who is actually a professor in their 8am monday class. 

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The current iteration of the Sabres is a true-talent 72-point team with a healthy Eichel and Jake McCabe. It’s a bad team, make no mistake. 

The version of the Sabres built with just average drafting habits – the one with Draisaitl, Horvat, Konecny, Garland, Wilson, Sergachev, Andersson and Vasilevskiy instead? That one is over 15 wins stronger this season, enough to put Buffalo’s true talent level north of 100 points. The Sabres would be a top 10 team, a dark horse

All the players listed in this alternate reality btw, are within 5 picks of where we selected a player typically in the 1st or 2nd round. 

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27 minutes ago, LGR4GM said:

How poor drafting destroyed the franchise

https://theathletic.com/2499017/2021/04/06/how-buffalos-poor-drafting-decisions-destroyed-the-franchise-and-who-they-couldve-picked-to-save-it/

Get a subscription and read the it. As I have yelled into the void of this god forsaken place for years, the Sabres can't ***** draft. 

Yes, they've been horrible for decades and it speaks volumes.  Maybe Pegula finally realized that since they can't draft worth sh!t, why bother spending big bucks funding a large scouting organization that still can't draft work crap and save a few bucks to fund the yacht.  Horrible!

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21 minutes ago, Carmel Corn said:

Yes, they've been horrible for decades and it speaks volumes.  Maybe Pegula finally realized that since they can't draft worth sh!t, why bother spending big bucks funding a large scouting organization that still can't draft work crap and save a few bucks to fund the yacht.  Horrible!

Well, if the Rangers game attendance is any indication, ole Terry and Kim will be selling yacht tickets for harbor tours lol

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The biggest problem with anything like this is there are far too many variables not being taken into account.

Was Tom Wilson seen as far better than Grigorenko or Girgensons at the time? 

Hindsight is 20/20 and judging their drafting based on what we know 4 years or more after the point is rather pointless. 

Nylander over Sergachev, McAvoy, or Chychrun is a solid criticism because even at the time it was deemed a risky/disliked pick.

Reinhart was ranked higher than Draisital in most scouting lists. 

Grigorenko was considered by central scouting to be better than all but about 5 players overall.

 

While this does mean their scouting failed; it isn't as if they drafted random players that a large number of other teams wouldn't of taken. We have an average to below average track record. But that's it.

 

 

Edited by thewookie1
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18 minutes ago, tom webster said:

So if we are playing fantasy, the Sabres don’t trade for ROR or Kane, finish at the bottom again, draft either Matthew’s, Laine or PLD, still have Compher, Lemieux and a couple other first round picks, Lehner isn’t an alcoholic and nobody cares about all the guys they should have drafted.

For those who think the Sabres have drafted horribly for decades, check out an article by dobber prospects in May of 2020 listing them as tied for third in the league in return over expected return for draft years 2000-2009. 
Furthermore, I contend that we will look back at the last four drafts favorably as well.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for LGRM’s knowledge and passion when it comes to prospects but it’s way too early to judge the last three or four drafts.

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Yeah it sucks, hindsight is 20/20 tho especially when it comes to the NHL draft where you're picking teenagers.  

At the time, nobody had a real issue with any of those picks.   Look how many teams passed up on Brayden Point.   

I think it's more to do with developing these kids properly and not eroding their confidence by asking them to do too much before they're ready.   

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Completely inept drafting is as good a reason as any as to why we find ourselves in this sorry situation now.

For decades, "scouts" have been jobs given to ex-hockey players, often from within the same organization, as a way to keep them gainfully employed in their retirement years.  It was a bigger thing 20 or 30 years ago when players didn't make nearly as much as they do now.

I often wonder how many "scouts" actually know what the hell they are doing or even take the job seriously.

Further, how many of these guys are looking at analytics and have a clue what that's all about? 

If anyone in the Sabres organization looked at analytics, Risto, for example, would have been gone 5 years ago.

I actually don't blame Pegula for completely blowing up the scouting department as it was said to be one of the biggest/most expensive in hockey and it clearly sucked.

But they need more than what they have now.  Analytics needs to be a major part of player evaluation, combined with traditional player evaluation techniques as well.

 

 

Edited by Kruppstahl
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7 minutes ago, pi2000 said:

Yeah it sucks, hindsight is 20/20 tho especially when it comes to the NHL draft where you're picking teenagers.  

At the time, nobody had a real issue with any of those picks.   Look how many teams passed up on Brayden Point.   

I think it's more to do with developing these kids properly and not eroding their confidence by asking them to do too much before they're ready.   

Good point.

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50 minutes ago, Brawndo said:

So having someone has been in the Scouting Department since 2014, be Director of Amateur Scouting is a really bad idea 

Yup. But the Pegulas don't see it and won't see it because if you show them something shiny they get distracted and forget about what was happening. 

50 minutes ago, thewookie1 said:

While this does mean their scouting failed; it isn't as if they drafted random players that a large number of other teams wouldn't of taken. We have an average to below average track record. But that's it.

 

 

We have the worst drafting in the league. Calling it average is false and the our record proves that alone. 

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45 minutes ago, thewookie1 said:

The biggest problem with anything like this is there are far too many variables not being taken into account.

Was Tom Wilson seen as far better than Grigorenko or Girgensons at the time?

This is where the draft consensus does fans a disservice.

Even is Grigs and Girgs were ranked higher by "the consensus" the Sabres by scouts to identify the best players, and Wilson is/was clearly better.

Your scouts are supposed be able to go off the board and identify that Blake Wheeler was actually better than the guys ranked ahead of him.

This is not a case of the Bruins actually being more lucky than smart by picking Marchand in the the 3rd.

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18 minutes ago, pi2000 said:

Yeah it sucks, hindsight is 20/20 tho especially when it comes to the NHL draft where you're picking teenagers.  

At the time, nobody had a real issue with any of those picks.   Look how many teams passed up on Brayden Point.   

I think it's more to do with developing these kids properly and not eroding their confidence by asking them to do too much before they're ready.   

*Liger has entered the chat

You ***** kidding me? I have a big problem with a lot of the picks. It hasn't gotten better in 2017-2020 either. I can name 4 picks over 3 drafts that are complete WTF! 

Laaksonen instead of Farrance

Johnson instead of Robertson

Samuelsson instead of Berggren

Quinn over Rossi or Jarvis. 

And I am a random mofo on a computer figuring out in real time they ***** up. This team has its head up its ass. 

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31 minutes ago, tom webster said:

For those who think the Sabres have drafted horribly for decades, check out an article by dobber prospects in May of 2020 listing them as tied for third in the league in return over expected return for draft years 2000-2009. 
Furthermore, I contend that we will look back at the last four drafts favorably as well.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for LGRM’s knowledge and passion when it comes to prospects but it’s way too early to judge the last three or four drafts.

The Sabres have drafted terrible for a decade.

I have a real good idea how the last 3 drafts are going to turn out. 2018 is a dumpster fire with Dahlin the only anything we got. 2019 actually was probably our best draft in a decade, Ryan Johnson will still be an NHL player even if the pick is a mistake. Cozens and Portillo really make that class look good. The rest are longshots. 2020 is a mixed bag with the Quinn pick being questionable at best, Peterka being good, and then no other pick until round 5 so meh. 

There is some signs our drafting is starting to improve but that Quinn pick is the real canary in the coal mine for drafting under Adams. 

So we are better but we will learn a lot this draft with a full slate of picks. 

Edited by LGR4GM
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1 hour ago, pi2000 said:

Yeah it sucks, hindsight is 20/20 tho especially when it comes to the NHL draft where you're picking teenagers.  

At the time, nobody had a real issue with any of those picks.   Look how many teams passed up on Brayden Point.   

I think it's more to do with developing these kids properly and not eroding their confidence by asking them to do too much before they're ready.   

I think you're sniffing up the right tree. I've always wondered how anyone can look at a player the Sabres passed up who ended up in a good hockey place and say — "hey! look! he's good, we screwed up!" Bring Braden Point to Buffalo. What does he become?

The problem is soooo much deeper than drafting. I still don't know what's wrong with dad, but he's been walking around the house in some really white, really big sneakers lately.

Edited by PASabreFan
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....and now you know why I despise former GM TM.  

@LGR4GM I'm going to disagree on your assessment of the Jbot's drafts and not sure why you're avoiding discussing 2017 where we have two players already with 3 more possible (2 of which are probable).  2018 wasn't great, but Samuelsson is a good player and will be a good NHLer.  You like Borgen yet dismiss the better version named Samuelsson.  2019 has 1 NHLer already with 3 more possible, including Portillo who had a 1.67 gaa and 935 save % in his first college season.  

2017 - Casey (NHL), UPL (AHL/Taxi Squad), Laaksonen (AHL and thriving), Bryson (NHL) and Weissbach (now signed and similar skill set to R2)

2018 - Dahlin (NHL), Samuelsson (AHL and thriving).  Pekar (AHL, has much work to do to become an NHL depth player) Kukkonen (Liiga - jumped to Liiga full time this season with good results)

2019 - Cozens (NHL), Johnson (college and thriving), Portillo (college and thriving), Rousek (vastly improved in the Czech league)

2020 - Quinn (AHL), JJP (Germany)  

The most valid complaint about the drafts is no high impact later picks which is a fair assessment.  However there is good depth here especially with 2 really really good goaltending prospects.  Quinn is a pick just like Reinhart.  Solid safe choice, but others will probably be better.  You argue that they should have picked someone else for Johnson, Laaksonen, Samuelsson and Quinn.  Sure maybe if you were GM, but it's not like they didn't get solid players.  Johnson, Samuelsson, Laaksonen and Quinn will all be solid to very good NHL players and Quinn could end up being a star.  Johnson and Samuelsson both had late 1st rd grades according to most of the rankings I track.  Quinn was supposed to be a top 10 choice.  Laaksonen was only out of left field choice and he seems to be on track.  Considering the last time we had a 3rd rd pick make an impact in the NHL was Brayden McNabb (2009) who TM promptly traded for some magic beans just as he was blossoming into an NHL player, Laaksonen was an excellent pick.

Yes we'd be better off with more star power, but our pipeline is better and deeper then when TM left town as we are seeing with the Sabres playing better with the influx of kids.

 

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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1 hour ago, LGR4GM said:

*Liger has entered the chat

You ***** kidding me? I have a big problem with a lot of the picks. It hasn't gotten better in 2017-2020 either. I can name 4 picks over 3 drafts that are complete WTF! 

Laaksonen instead of Farrance

Johnson instead of Robertson

Samuelsson instead of Berggren

Quinn over Rossi or Jarvis. 

And I am a random mofo on a computer figuring out in real time they ***** up. This team has its head up its ass. 

 

A lot of confidence here over nine players yet to play an NHL game.

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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

This is where the draft consensus does fans a disservice.

Even is Grigs and Girgs were ranked higher by "the consensus" the Sabres by scouts to identify the best players, and Wilson is/was clearly better.

Your scouts are supposed be able to go off the board and identify that Blake Wheeler was actually better than the guys ranked ahead of him.

This is not a case of the Bruins actually being more lucky than smart by picking Marchand in the the 3rd.

But that is what I'm getting at. If you draft the consensus pick and they bomb then you are average. You can be much better or worse than average but average in terms of who you draft and when would be based on the player's consensus thoughts not that of the future. We may actually be arguing completely different topics. I'm trying to say that their picks were average or below average at the time they drafted said player. The scouts did a bad job finding the best players yet came to similar conclusions to the public consensus. So whatever the public consensus was is the basis of their picks in the immediate time.

Our scouts failed to do anything special but they did accomplish the bare minimum of their job description. 

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