Sabres stay focused on centers on day two of draft

With Friday’s fireworks in the rearview, Darcy Regier and his scouting staff went to work with six picks in rounds two through seven of the 2012 NHL Draft.

While they shipped off their very first pick of day two in order to draft Zemgus Girgensons, Buffalo was able to net an impressive amount of size and talent with their remaining picks. With their nine picks, the Sabres took five centers with their eight picks at the draft, picking up a pair defensemen and one goaltender.

There is no longer a need for organizational depth at center after the past two days. Counting Luke Adam, Tyler Ennis and Cody Hodgson, the Sabres have 12 centers in their system. With Girgensons and Mikhail Grigorenko flirting with an immediate jump to the professional game, these improvements will be felt at every level.

The Sabres also were able to begin re-stocking their crease after signing the only two  goalies they had in the pipeline. After a commitment to defense in the mid-2000s, the blueline still has some prospects on the way that will be enhanced by this draft.

Buffalo’s commitment to centers and adding more big, skilled players was the obvious trend in this draft and I would expect that to continue for at least one more year. For a full rundown of the Sabres draft, I will defer to Sabres Prospects. But here are a few thoughts I have on each of Buffalo’s day two picks:

Jake McCabe (2nd round, 44)

McCabe is fairly well sized and just finished up his rookie year at Wisconsin with adequate numbers. I think the most promising part of this selection is that Wisconsin has become Defenseman-U in the past  few seasons churning out talent like Ryan McDonaugh and Jake Gardiner.

Without much prior knowledge of McCabe I am happy with the choice. He played for Ron Rolston in the US Development Program and Kris Baker notes his solid two-way game as a reason to look to the future. I’d venture a guess he plays at least two seasons in the NCAA before signing a pro contract. Continue reading