With one game down so far in the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals, we’re only a couple of weeks away from getting into the real offseason festivities, which means a whole lot of talk about that no. 1 overall pick in this month’s draft. One team that has been mentioned as a potential trading partner with the Colorado Avalanche for that pick is the Buffalo Sabres.
The Sabres are completely set to head into a rebuilding phase. Their two main veterans, Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller, each have one year remaining on their contracts and will very likely be moved this summer. One would have to imagine that one, or both, would be moved in a potential play for the no. 1 pick.
Regardless of who ends up moving into that top spot, assuming the Avalanche deal it, they’re going to have to surrender a ton. There are two can’t miss prospects at the top, including Seth Jones and Nathan MacKinnon. That type of talent isn’t going to come cheap.
Miller and Vanek are two potential names that would go into a potential trade. Mikhail Grigorenko has seen his name come up, but it’s unlikely he’ll be moved. The Sabres see him as a building block, and the Avs already have something of a logjam in the middle of their lineup.
One prospect, perhaps more than any other, that the Avalanche would likely want involved in such a deal would be Mark Pysyk. In need of some serious talent on the blue line, Colorado would likely not move that pick, when they have an opportunity to select Jones, unless Pysyk is involved.
Beyond that, there’s no indication of who they may want involved. The no. 8 pick would definitely be thrown in there, perhaps the 16th as well. Between Miller and Vanek, the former would be much more likely, given the need for consistent goaltending for Colorado.
Any way this ends up shaking out, this is going to be a situation to keep an eye on. The Sabres are the only team we’ve heard mentioned as a team trying to move into the no. 1 overall spot, and they have the pieces to pull it off. Whether or not it will happen is something we’ll just have to stay tuned for.