The lucky balls certainly didn’t bounce the Sabres’ way at the NHL Draft Lottery in April.
They’ll select 7th overall in the upcoming draft.
American Jack Hughes and Finland’s Kaapo Kakko are projected to be the top two picks.
With the NHL combine in town, Hughes will have a chance to interview with teams and workout in front of team executives and scouts.
He’s ready for the spotlight of the NHL and is already receiving high praise.
“I mean, the end goal is the Stanley Cup. That’s the reason why every hockey player plays. You dream of raising that over your head once you start playing hockey,” Hughes said while meeting with the media at HarborCenter on Friday. “That’s the end goal for me. I want to win cups and be successful in the NHL.”
“I went to a camp in July in Toronto. The best three players on the ice were Taylor Hall, Connor McDavid and John Tavares. The next best player was Jack Hughes,” said NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr.
“Right away, you could see he already has an NHL shot, for example. He’s got that talent that he belongs in that group. The NHL clubs, they don’t look at size anymore. They look at good players, best players — what they bring to the table.”
Now, even though the top two players will be off the board when the Blue & Gold are finally on the clock in Vancouver, they’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
“All these players bring a wide range of skills and intangibles that they’re going to bring value to their team,” added Marr. “I know we kind of say it every year that everyone is going to get a good pick in the first round, but it’s a deep draft at the top end for the first 30-40 players.”