Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Jack Eichel puts on a team jersey after being selected as the number two overall pick to the Buffalo Sabres in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The dog days of summer are finally here for hockey fans. All the excitement of the draft has finally evaporated and Free Agent Frenzy has passed. As of now, NHL teams are holding their prospect development camps to get an idea of how their new shiny toys stack up versus their other prospects.
October appears to be a light-year away. Fortunately for you, Frozen Futures has you covered. Each day we will be going over the Top 20 Prospects for a team in the NHL. From Arizona to Winnipeg, we have you covered.
The Tim Murray Era began in Buffalo at the 2014 NHL Draft, in terms of prospects. He was hired January 9th after the team moved on from former GM Darcy Regier. At the 2014 NHL Draft Tim Murray added one of the biggest prospects the team has seen for years in Sam Reinhart, that is until the next year when he selected Jack Eichel at #2.
From there Murray has filtered his prospect pool by taking out some guys that he didn’t like and adding some players that he had an eye on while with the Ottawa Senators as an assistant GM. Players like Joel Armia and Brayden McNabb were traded so that Murray could bring in guys like Hudson Fasching and Jason Kasdorf.
With the top 2 prospects on the list being obvious in Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, the list really starts to develop at the 3rd spot where Mark Pysyk lands. Pysyk is a puck moving and smooth skating defender who, in my opinion, is a lock at #3. Pysyk spent a majority of the season in AHL Rochester last year because many thought that he would bring the Sabres wins, which could’ve messed up the chances to get Eichel.
At number 4 is another defender in Jake McCabe. McCabe is a very smart player who just finished playing his first professional season with the Rochester Americans after graduating from Wisconsin. McCabe showed last year that he still needs to develop but still has tremendous upside. McCabe could see more playing time with the NHL club if he continues to show more improvement.
Johan Larsson, who just recently re-signed with the Sabres, holds the number 5 spot. This will be Larsson’s final time on the prospects list as he is expected to be a full-time NHLer come October. Larsson has a lengthy stint in the NHL last season and showcased his two-way style. Larsson also played very well with the team’s top players like Matt Moulson and Tyler Ennis. He finished 10th on the team in scoring.
After two solid seasons in the OHL, Nick Baptiste and Justin Bailey leapfrogged over Minnesota winger Hudson Fasching. Bailey and Baptiste play the scorers game and will look to consistently produce the way they did in the CHL last year, in the AHL this year.
A player to look for on the rise is Czech Native Vaclav Karabacek. He too will be in Rochester this season and will look to keep riding his impressive camp into the season. Karabacek is a goal scorer who is starting to develop a two-way game.
Visit Frozen Futures tomorrow for Top 20 Prospects: Calgary Flames
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