By Mike Harrington
Just as the Sabres' annual development camp hits the ice Wednesday in First Niagara Center comes the annual organizational ratings from Hockey Prospectus and, for once, Sabres fans have some good news: Buffalo is currently listed as the No. 3 organization for its cadre of young players.
The rankings are for non-NHL players only -- or players who have appeared in fewer than 25 games last season or 50 in their careers.
Author Corey Pronman admits the Sabres would have been slightly lower had Mikhail Grigorenko played one more NHL game and thus lost "prospect" status by playing more than 25 games, but says the Sabres have drafted so well in 2012 and 2013 the ranking would have been high anyway. He called the 2013 draft class "exceptional." Like many hockey observers, Prospectus loved the Jason Pominville trade that brought Johan Larsson, Matt Hackett and now, Nikita Zadorov.
Now it's all about getting these players to develop at the NHL level -- and for the NHL guys to not go belly-up once they hit Buffalo. No small task.
Tampa Bay and the New York Islanders were rated ahead of Buffalo, with Anaheim and Florida right behind. The bottom five were San Jose, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Philadelphia and St. Louis.
taggedMikhail Grigorenko | NHL Entry Draft