June 24, 2006 -- The Sabres had to go all the way to Vancouver for that year's NHL Entry
Draft. Even five years later, it's tough to know how well they did.
The team's first pick overall was Dennis Persson, a defenseman who is still waiting to play
in his first NHL game. Persson actually came up to the NHL from the minors, but wasn't needed
in the Sabre lineup so he never did get to put on a uniform.
The second round paid more immediate dividends. Jhonas Enroth was a top-ranked goalie, and
he made a major contribution to the Sabres' playoff push. Mike Weber has been with Buffalo for
parts of three seasons.
General manager Darcy Regier didn't know any of that at the time, but he was pretty happy
with how the top picks worked out at the time.
"We came away with a solid defenseman, one of the four goalies we considered upper-echelon
in this draft and a gritty-type defender with size," he said.
St. Louis had the first pick in that draft, and used it on Erik Johnson, a defenseman.
--- Budd Bailey