NHL Draft

The Buffalo Sabres have two picks, including seventh overall, in the 2019 NHL Draft, which begins Friday night in Vancouver. Reporter Bill Hoppe checks in from western Canada with his thoughts on which young players the Sabres might by looking at and whether defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen could be traded by the end of the weekend.

On a special NHL Draft edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about Rasmus Dahlin, the Swedish defenseman expected to be selected first overall by the Sabres Friday night. Also, why has the team drafted so poorly in the later rounds over the last decade and what has been done to change that? And could Ryan O'Reilly or someone else get traded by the end of the weekend?

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres won the National Hockey League's draft lottery Saturday night. That means Buffalo will have the first overall pick in next month's NHL draft.

On a special June edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about the hiring of new head coach Phil Housley, which player the team is likely to lose to Vegas in the NHL Expansion Draft, changes to the Sabres' blue line, trade talk surrounding star forward Evander Kane and the upcoming NHL Draft.

WBFO File Photo

The Buffalo Sabres have acquired defenseman Nathan Beaulieu from the Montreal Canadiens for a 2017 3rd round pick.

Sabres take Nylander 8th overall at NHL Draft in Buffalo

Jun 24, 2016
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The eyes of the pro hockey world were focused on Buffalo as the city hosted the first round of the 2016 National Hockey League Draft inside First Niagara Center on Friday evening. The hometown team, with the eighth overall pick, selected forward Alexander Nylander, who comes from a family of NHL pedigree.

The NHL Draft is being held Friday and Saturday at Buffalo's First Niagara Center. On a special edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about whom the organization may be looking at with its first-round pick, possible trade scenarios, the rights acquisition of college standout Jimmy Vesey and rumors the team might make a play for star free agent forward Steven Stamkos.

Dan Almasi/WBFO News

The Buffalo Sabres will host the 2016 NHL Draft at First Niagara Center Friday and Saturday. At a pre-draft press conference Tuesday morning, General Manager Tim Murray discussed the team’s draft strategy, the possibility of trading their first-round pick, and rumors surrounding the Sabres’ efforts to sign free agent Steven Stamkos, among other topics.

The NHL conducts its annual draft lottery Saturday evening. Last year at this time, Buffalo Sabres fans were eagerly awaiting whether the team would draw the first or second overall pick in a draft that included two consensus "franchise players." That followed months of anticipation in what many observers called a "tank," — setting the team up to fail in the short-term in order to secure a cornerstone player.

On this week's edition of WBFO's Behind The Bench, Buffalo Sabres reporter Bill Hoppe talks about an ugly loss to the Florida Panthers, the continued development of young forward Sam Reinhart and the chances the near cellar-dwelling Sabres again find themselves with a high draft pick.

Sabres give O'Reilly record contract

Jul 4, 2015
Buffalo Sabres Twitter / Twitter.com

Ryan O'Reilly, one of the newest Buffalo Sabres, has signed the richest contract in team history. The forward will make $52.5 million over the next 7 years. The previous high was a 7-year $50 million deal offered to Thomas Vanek.

nhl.com / National Hockey League

On the second day of the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, Florida, the Buffalo Sabres picked up five new players, including a run of defenseman.

Bill Hoppe

There was little doubt whom the Buffalo Sabres would select with the second overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Sabres' Eichel era about to begin

Jun 26, 2015
File photo

Buffalo Sabres fans are about to be rewarded for their patience. As a result of finishing in last place this past season, the team will add a player many consider to be a once-in-a-generation talent.

Buffalo sets firsts by hosting NHL Combine

Jun 2, 2015
Courtesy NHL.com

As young hockey prospects gather in Buffalo this week hoping to impress National Hockey League teams, the city is achieving several firsts as it hosts the NHL's Scouting Combine inside the HarborCenter and First Niagara Center.

Eichel earns rave reviews after freshman year

Apr 20, 2015
photo courtesy of Boston University website

While they may have "lost" to the Edmonton Oilers Saturday night in the NHL Draft Lottery, a game of chance that determined who would pick first in the approaching draft, one writer believes the Buffalo Sabres will do well by picking Jack Eichel of Boston University with the second overall pick.

'Behind The Bench': The philosophy behind losing

Mar 26, 2015
Photo from Bill Hoppe's Twitter feed.

Two of the worst teams in the National Hockey League play in Buffalo Thursday night. The Sabres take on Arizona at First Niagara Center.  In this week's edition of Behind the Bench, Sabres beat reporter Bill Hoppe tells WBFO's Eileen Buckley it should be an interesting matchup.

Hockey prospects game to feature draft prize Eichel

Sep 25, 2014
Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

The CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game will take place at First Niagara Center in Downtown Buffalo Thursday. The game will feature some of the best young talent in the world, including top prospect John “Jack” Eichel.

WBFO News file photo

Draft day was a busy day for the Buffalo Sabres. The team traded veteran defenseman Andrej Sekera to the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Jamie McBain and a second-round pick in Sunday's draft. In all, Buffalo drafted a league-high 11 times, including twice in the first round and three times in the second round.