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Draft Day

NHL Draft: Sabres Go Big On The Blue Line

Newark, NJ (WBEN) The Buffalo Sabres have made their first selection in the 2013 NHL Draft and they turned to Finland to beef up their blue line.

Buffalo selected Rasmus Ristolainen, a 6'3", 203 pound, defenseman who played in the Finnish Elite League last season. According to Hockeytalk.com, Ristolainen told NHL.com that he models his game after Chris Pronger, has regularly been compared to Shea Weber and deeply admires the physical play of Milan Lucic. It all gives the impression of a big, mean player, something the Sabres desperatly need in their back end.

    The Sabres also choose two local products -- right wing Justin Bailey of Williamsville and center Sean Malone of Buffalo.

 The Sabres made one trade -- sending Andrej Sekera to Carolina for another defenseman, Jamie McBain, and a second round pick.

The Buffalo Sabres have also selected D Nikita Zadorov out of the OHL from the London Knights with the 16th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

Zadorov was ranked #11 on TSN's Prospect Ratings. Here's TSN's Craig Button's analysis on the 6'5" 230 lb. defensman:

"Nikita is another of the 'big man' defence prospects. His skating base is very good and his stride is long and powerful and he's able to gain a lot of ice quickly. This allows him to be a threat offensively but it also makes it very difficult to gain an advantage on him defensively. He will play physical and he can be a significant physical presence in the game. He has good awareness with the puck and has a heavy shot that can make it very difficult for goaltenders to corral it. He has developed defensively where he recognizes the situation and makes very solid plays and is not using his skills to make up for mistakes but is using them to impact the game. He has the potential to be a top three defenceman in the NHL."
Zadorov had 6 goals and 25 points in 63 games with the Knights last season, and was a +33.

The Buffalo Sabres have traded defensman Andrej Sekera to the Carolina Hurricanes for defensman Jamie McBain and the 35th overall pick in the 2nd round of the 2013 NHL draft.

Andrej Sekera played 339 games in the past seven seasons for the Sabres, scoring 17 goals and 92 points. He had 2 goals and 10 assists in last year's lockout-shortened season.

Jamie McBain brings a little more offensive ability to Buffalo. In his four seasons with the Hurricanes, he's scored 19 goals and 75 points in 202 games. He had his best season in the 2010-11 season, his first, with 7 goals and 23 assists in 76 games. Last year, McBain had a goal and 7 assists in 40 games. McBain was the 63rd overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft.
With the 35th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the Sabres have selected center JT Compher out of the US National Development Program.

The Sabres received the 35th pick in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Compher was rated 35th in TSN's Prospect Rankings. Here's TSN's Craig Button on Compher:

"J.T. combines the attributes of skill and will in his game. Has a strong competitive fire and is not easily denied. Very good quickness and he is capable of making plays at high speed and can beat defenders one-on-one. Has good hands with a good shot and is able to play in tight areas. Very good awareness and makes good plays with and without puck in all areas."

Compher had 15 goals and 42 points in 47 games for the USNDP last season. He'll be attending Michigan in the fall.
 With the 38th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, the Buffalo Sabres have selected center Connor Hurley, a high school player from Edina High School in Minnesota.

Born September 19th, 1995 at 17-years-old, Hurley is the youngest player in this year's draft class. His birthday fell on the exact cut-off date for the draft.

Last year, Hurley had 52 points in 31 games at his high school. He'll be playing for the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the USHL this coming season, and he'll attend Notre Dame in 2014.

With the 52nd overall pick, and their 3rd pick of the 2nd round, the Buffalo Sabres have selected Williamsville native Justin Bailey.

A right winger with the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL, Bailey scored 17 goals and 36 points in 57 games last season. Bailey is 6'3", 186 lb.

Bailey was ranked 45th on TSN's Propect rankings at TSN.ca.


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People : Chris ProngerMilan LucicRasmus Ristolainen
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