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BHN Daily: Draft Pick Value, Pavelski Retiring, Panthers Next Bills?

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First round draft pick Joe Pavelski Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Sabres hold the 11th overall pick at the 2024 NHL draft, and yes, it’s on the market. With General Manager Kevyn Adams exploring all opportunities to better the team next season, trading futures for players that can make an immediate impact makes sense.

The Sabres aren’t the only team shopping their first-round pick, with the New Jersey Devils reportedly fishing for offers on the 10th overall pick. With a couple of valued commodities on the trade block, the question of the true value of a first-round pick arises.

Only 48 of the 430 players selected in round one, dating back to 2010, jumped immediately to the NHL. That makes a little over 11% of teams’ top draft choices deemed to be ready to contribute to the big club. No 11th overall selection made the NHL in their draft year over that span.

Development is a normal part of an 18-year-old’s path to the league, so the other 89% are on the road more traveled. However, less than half of first-rounders reached the NHL within five years from 2010 to 2019. The Sabres aren’t at a point where they can afford to wait for a 49% chance of a player contributing within five years.

The odds of making it to the league increase with the draft position, which should entice other teams looking to restock the prospect pool.

The Latest at Buffalo Hockey Now

The Sabres Grades countdown, in case you missed it, is underway. What started as grading the prospects and depth players evolved into evaluating Casey Mittelstadt, Kyle Okposo, and Erik Johnson’s Sabres season. The countdown then progressed from 24 to 17, with Zemgus Girgensons making the latest appearance.

Philadelphia has a surplus at the center position. With Scott Laughton’s name heading speculation, it’s Noah Cates who the Sabres should be after.

Patrick Kane is set to become a free agent again. There are five teams listed by Bet Michigan with an equal or greater chance of landing him than the Sabres, although Buffalo might be the best fit.

BHN+ is coming soon! Your monthly subscription will eliminate the ads and grant you access to exclusive articles. Subscribing means the world to me as I continue to grind to bring you the best Sabres coverage. This exclusive material will be well worth the cost, so stay tuned for the official announcement.

Across National Hockey Now

Florida Hockey Now: Edmonton head coach Kris Knoblauch compares the Florida Panthers to the Buffalo Bills in quite a damning statement.

San Jose Hockey Now: Joe Pavelski announced that he will not play next season, likely calling it a career. Happy retirement to one of the great Americans to do it.

New Jersey Hockey Now: Jacob Markstrom and Linus Ullmark are potential targets for a team desperate to find goaltending.