BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) — On Friday night the Buffalo Sabres hosted a draft party at the First Niagara Center. Fans gathered to watch the draft on the jumbo tron, while younger Sabres fans got a sense of their athleticism, trying various tests that are taken at the combine. When Sabres general manager, Tim Murray, announced Jack Eichel’s name, drafting him with the second overall pick the arena erupted in cheers.
“It is an amazing feeling,” said Sabres fan Nathan Zoyhofski. “He is a great player. He is going to be a savior in Buffalo. He is going to bring a Stanley Cup here to Buffalo. It is awesome.”
Murray was quite busy on Friday. In addition to drafting prospects, he also traded quite a few players. Prior to the start of the draft Buffalo acquired goaltender Robin Lehner and forward David Legwand from Ottawa in exchange for the 21st pick of this year’s draft, previously acquired from the New York Islanders.
After Eichel was chosen, the Sabres made a blockbuster trade, sending center Mikhail Grigorenko, defenseman Nikita Zadorov, prospect JT Compher and the 31st pick in the draft in exchange for Colorado center Ryan O’Reilly and left winger Jamie McGinn. Murray has demonstrated an aggressive style as general manager, which appears to be appealing to fans.
“This year is absolutely a turning point for the Sabres organization,” explained Sabres fan Ryan Carroll. “Murray is doing an awesome job. Pegula is doing an awesome job. The Stanley Cup (will be here) in a year or two. I can’t wait.”
The Sabres development camp starts July 6th.