By Shane Darrow on June 25, 2014
To say the Buffalo Sabres struggled last season would be an understatement, but in order for a team to successfully rebuild there has to be a few players that they can build around in order to be successful. The Sabres still have a long way to go, but here are five guys that the Sabres should build around next year.
Cody Hodgson not only led the Sabres in scoring last season, but is also the only forward on the roster that is signed for a substantial amount of time. With five years remaining on his contract in Buffalo, the Sabres' front office needs to sign some offensive talent in order to really see how productive Hodgson can be.
With defenseman Aaron Eklbad expected to be the No. 1 overall pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, the Sabres must select Sam Reinhart from the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League with the No. 2 selection. Reinhart, who had 105 points in 60 games with the Ice, has been labeled by many as the best forward in the draft and will rejuvenate a Sabres offense that desperately needs scoring.
Tyler Ennis is currently a restricted free agent, but the Sabres have more than enough cap space to ensure that he is playing in Buffalo next season. Ennis was second on the team in scoring last year and has played his entire career with the Sabres. At just 24-years-old, Ennis is still waiting to reach his full potential.
After signing a massive 10-year, million contract with Buffalo in 2011, Christian Ehrhoff is the defenseman that the Sabres need to build their defensive core around. Ehrhoff will likely be named the Sabres' captain before the start of next season and only time will tell if the 31-year-old can turn into an All-Star when given the talent to support him.
If the Sabres want any chance of being successful, they will need to find themselves a solid goaltender. Jhonas Enroth and Michal Neuvirth are both under contract with Buffalo, but they were a combined 4-19-5 last season. With the Anaheim Ducks not re-signing veteran goaltender Jonas Hiller, the Sabres need to put a substantial amount of money forward and land a goalie that will lead them to some victories.
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