Buffalo - August 26, 2014 - Savor this, Sabres fans, because these are the only lists the team will make for the time being that will be worthwhile.
ESPN’s Corey Pronman has just released his Top 100 Prospects in the NHL and the Sabres have eight, count ‘em, EIGHT prospects in the top 100. That’s more than any other team in the NHL. The product on the ice might not be good, but the prospect pipeline is brimming with talented future Sabres.
The eight Sabres to make the list:
#5 – Sam Reinhart
#17 – Mikhail Grigorenko
#21 – Nikita Zadorov
#44 – Hudson Fasching
#51 – J.T. Compher
#60 – Joel Armia
#69 – Gustav Possler
#72 – Jake McCabe
His write-up of Zadorov was particularly sparkling, calling the young Russian “a tower of terror” and says that he’s the type of defenseman top scorers truly fear. *salivates uncontrollably*
Also worth noting: for all the flack that he got while he was the general manager here in Buffalo, six of those prospects were acquired under Darcy Regier’s watch. Only Fasching and Reinhart were brought in by current GM Tim Murray. Either way, that’s as good a blend of prospects as one could hope for: high-end talent on the blue line and up front with physicality and scoring ability sprinkled throughout. If they can add a goalie to the list (paging Linus Ullmark), then I’ll have literally nothing to complain about.
Now, if you’re like me, you immediately wondered “hey, where’s Rasmus Ristolainen?” Pronman has a condition that any players who have played 25 games in a season or 50 for their career are ineligible. So the big Finnish defender was left off the list for that reason, not because Pronman doesn’t think he’s awesome (most project him higher than Zadorov).
It’s going to take a bit more patience, but there is a ton of promising talent coming down the pike and it’s going to be fun watching them grow together in Buffalo.
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