The Curious Case of the Third Round Picks Buffalo Shipped Away

The third round of the NHL Draft is hardly an electrifying portion of the event. The picks all hold fair value on the floor and in trade negotiations, but in either case you’re not referring to any blockbuster moves.

However, the Buffalo Sabres’ own involvement in the 2016 third round was actually somewhat interesting. Not so much for the picks they made, but for the ones which found their way to other teams.

At one point or another, the Sabres held five picks in this year’s third round. Buffalo would only wind up making a pair of selections in the round after entering the weekend with a trio of picks. Cliff Pu would be selected 69th (nice) and Casey Fitzgerald 86th while the other three selections previously held by the Sabres found their way to other cities. Continue reading

Brick by Brick – How We’d Build the Sabres, Part 1

The NHL Draft is upon us and free agency is right around the corner. That means Tim Murray is going to be busy shoring up the Sabres roster in hopes of pushing into a playoff position. As the flurry of moves are set to begin, Tyler and I got together once again to discuss which direction we would go in shaping the Sabres roster.

As always, this is written from the perspective of any conversation you have with your buddies at the bar. All trades are evaluated to ideally provide equal value both ways and at no point will you find us swapping Sidney Crosby for a sixth round pick. We’re working on our own opinions on moves we’d make if we were in Tim Murray’s shoes. You may not agree with our moves, you may not agree with the prices we’d be paying; we encourage you to let us know how stupid (or smart!) you think we are. Continue reading

The Instigator Podcast 5.5 – Vesey and the Draft with Joe Yerdon of NHL.com

A special thanks to Joe Yerdon of NHL.com for joining Tyler and I for this week’s podcast. We discuss the Jimmy Vesey trade and the likelihood that the Sabres get the young prospect under contract. We also explore the options Tim Murray will have at the draft. This includes who the Sabres may pick at eight and potential trade targets. We end on a bang with a particularly interesting proposal for Sabres fans to mull over. You can listen to this week’s podcast here or via iTunes by following this link.

The Instigator Podcast 5.3 – Digging for Draft Tix

The third episode of the season touches on the sparse number of draft tickets available for this month’s festivities after a rapid sellout of available tickets this morning. Chris and Tyler chat about the decision by the league to charge for tickets, the limited availability and where Sabres fans should direct their criticism. We also chat about the Draft Combine and additional excitement surrounding the Sabres these days.

You can also find The Instigator Podcast on iTunes by clicking here.

Mid-Round Picks Worth More than Meets the Eye

With the NHL Draft finally getting underway tomorrow evening, the value of draft picks is usually a topic of discussion around this time of year. Every media outlet, whether it be Sportsnet or TSN, has taken a stab at trying to determine the true value of a given draft pick. The measuring stick most used to figure out if a draft pick was successful is NHL games played. While I also implement the games played factor, I’ve opted to go in a bit of a different direction. Instead of trying to quantify the value of a given pick (or range of picks) I focused on the value of a pick in regards to the trade market.

I took the basic stats (games played, goals, assists, points) of every player who dressed in at least one NHL game this season. I also included if and where in the draft every player was selected, and how he was acquired by his current club, with the help of HockeyDB, Hockey Reference, and various team websites.

This is only one season of data so the results of the data do not reflect any decades long recipe for success or anything, but it does paint a pretty nice picture of where the league is today and where it may be headed. Continue reading