With all the jubilation Buffalo felt after the first few minutes into the the first night of the draft on June 26th. Buffalo finally made the selecting of generational talent Jack Eichel official with the 2nd overall pick. The Sabres selection of Jack Eichel made the last 2 very painful and stressful years worth it.
Additional to the selection of Eichel prior to the start of the draft Sabres GM Tim Murray constructed a deal with Joe Sakic for talented two-way forward Ryan O'Rielly and forward Jamie McGinn. In exchange for the two forwards Buffalo gave up young physical defensemen Nikita Zadorov, center Mikhail Grigorenko who wa looking for a one way contract, J.T. Compher and the 31st overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft. Earlier that day Tim Murray also made a trade for a goaltender that he was familiar with. Murray made a trade with the Ottawa Senators Robin Lehner for the 21st overall pick.
Also 2014 2nd overall pick Sam Reinhart came into this years prospect camp much bigger and stronger. Reinhart really impressed Sabres management, and in the "Blue and Gold Scrimmage" Reinhart tallied 2 goals and an assist, while leading team Gold to a 5-2 win. Prior to all the acquisitions the Sabres hired Dan Bylsmas head coach who won the Stanley Cup in 2009 with the Penguins. Bylsma also has some experience coaching in the World Championships this spring.
With so much excitement the fan base has for the Sabres right now, the recent arrest of of newly acquired Ryan O'Rielly put a little damper on things. O'Rielly was arrested in Canada for driving while intoxicated and hitting a Tim Hortons and leaving the scene of the accident on foot. The Sabres signed O'Rielly to a 7 year, $52 million contract extension a few days after the trade. There was already so much expectations on the October 8th home opener versus the Ottawa Senators. It was just so thrilling to think about player introductions with Eichel, O'Rielly and don't forget very speedy forward Evander Kane who was acquired in the middle of last season from the Winnipeg Jets. With a probable suspension for O'Rielly it seems unlikely he will be available for the start of the season.
With the Sabres commiting to O'Rielly with such a long year and lucrative contract they need him to mature and prove he can be a leader for this team now and in the future. Bylsma already stated that O'Rielly would be the number one center, but with a probable suspension looming there will have to be an audible to Bylma's lineup. The Sabres know that O'Rielly can playy the game at a high level, but they have to be sure they contract they gave him will be worth it by his playing availability.
O'Rielly is only 24 and hopefully this is the scare he needed to make sure he keeps his life on track and is the player and person the Sabres and their fans hoped they acquired on draft night.