Sabres' assistant GM Randy Sexton said they have a clear organizational plan

Sexton said this year's Entry Draft is respectable

Paul Hamilton
June 19, 2018 - 2:17 pm

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - As the Sabres head to Dallas this week for the NHL Entry Draft, the one thing they will be trying to do is get faster both by drafting and trading. The assistant general manager of the Sabres joined Howard and Jeremy on Tuesday. Randy Sexton said Jason Botterill’s plan is very clear, “Jason has been very clear with what took place here last year just isn’t good enough and we need to make changes.

“We don’t know if we need to blow up the roster, but clearly we do need to make changes and we’re working on several fronts to improve our team in both the near term and the long-term.”

There’s a good chance you could see Rasmus Dahlin, Casey Mittelstadt, Brendan Guhle and Linus Ullmark in this year’s lineup. Sexton said, “We believe we have some terrific young players in place and some terrific middle aged players in place that can be with us for years to come, but clearly we need to make changes and that’s the plan we’ve set to put into action.”

We all know this year’s draft has a great defenseman in it that will go first overall, but Sexton likes others in this year’s class, “I think it’s respectable. It’s not as deep as the last couple of years, but it is still a very solid draft.

“Dahlin aside, there are another six or seven, very, very good players and you could argue depending on your needs are that the top-10 to 12 players are all going to play absolutely in the National Hockey League, so we’re pleased with the draft and we’re pleased to be picking first overall, although you don’t ever want to finish last and do it again and I don’t believe that we will but, we do believe that we’ll get a very solid player at 32.”

I remember asking Tim Murray how Guhle was still around when they picked at 51 in 2015. Sexton said you can get some value later in the draft, “If you study the draft over the years, it really starts to splinter, teams take different directions and it’s not unusual to get a player in the third or fourth or fifth round that you might have projected to be in the second round because of what other teams do and how the manage their lists.”

The Sabres didn’t take any players from Canadian Junior last season. Some teams shy away from Russians because of the KHL, but Sexton said Botterill has an open mind, “Our view is this, we don’t really care where the player comes from, as long as they’re good human beings. If their character is strong, we don’t care what their nationalities are.”

Last year, the Sabres took three college players and three players from the Finnish or Swedish leagues. Murray took a Russian in 2016.

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