Maine Hockey Journal

Sabres add size with promising draft

Ottawa, ON — With the Sabres 2008 draft now complete, it’s time to reflect on what they’ve accomplished.

Buffalo has to get semi-high marks for the draft because they took the best player available while also addressing their long-term needs, which was getting bigger, while not losing any offensive ability and strengthen their blueline. Taking four defensemen, including 6-7, 206-pound Tyler Myers, the Sabres followed a pattern of the Anaheim Ducks, one that’s familiar to many Pirates fans, taking big, strong defensemen who can handle and shoot the puck.

Normally, Buffalo, based on past history likes to take small, speedy forwards, but this year, they only drafted two players under 6ft. At 5-9, Tyler Ennis has most promise of making the Sabres in the fall, but I think it’s safe to say you’ll see him back in Medicine Hat for another year. The other player under six feet tall, Jacob Legace, is a bit of a project player, like a Ben Breault – who Buffalo didn’t sign – but he’s got soft hands and great vision.

The steal of the draft might have to be Luke Adam with the Sabres’ 44th pick. In any other year, he might have been a low first round pick, which speaks to the depth of this draft, but Adam fell right into the Sabres hands. At 6-2, 203-pounds, he has a real offensive upside to his game. He’s not afraid of crashing the net and has a laser shot. He led the Fog Devils in scoring (36g+30a=66pts) and will be huge in Montreal (St. John’s relocated to Verdun, renamed the Montreal Juniors) this season.

Cory Feinhage is another player who will be a project for the Sabres, he’ll attend the University of North Dakota next fall where he’ll still need to fill out his large frame, but playing for a quality program like North Dakota under the guidance of head coach Dave Hakstol, he’ll be in good hands. Feinhage is a physical player with a bit of bulldog in him, who doesn’t shy away from a fight with his ability to battle down low and along the boards. He’s also understands the defensive side of the game and shouldn’t be a liability.

Justin Jokinen, another HS player, has real skating ability, but just needs to get stronger and work on his core body strength.

Nominated for Mr. Hockey — Minnesota High School Player of the Year — he has committed to playing college hockey for Minnesota State – Mankato, alumni of former Pirate Ryan Carter.

Jordon Southron (4th round – 104 overall) and Nick Crawford (6th round – 164 overall) are similar defenseman in style. Both play a stand up, safe style, who can make the first pass out the zone and add a little offense when called upon. Both will go back to their respected junior clubs.

It will be some time to see if these two players make any impact in the Sabres organization.

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