Seeing the highlights of the Calgary Toronto game last night and the tremendous performance (amid the embarassment that is the Maple Leafs this season) of Sean Monahan and his line, it had me thinking back to the 2013 draft.
The Buffalo Sabres needed forward help in the worst way. The situation was dire, although in hindsight, dire would only be an applicable word to their forward situation as of this writing (putrid would be another appropriate word).
When Buffalo selected Rasmus Ristolainen instead of the falling Valeri Nichuskin, the forum here almost exploded. Was the Sabres front office idiots? Morons? Some blend of both?
It didn't help matters that Buffalo was able to select another faller, Nikita Zadorov, with their second 1st round pick.
They know had their own potential twin towers on defense, but were they ever going to score?
Watching the higlights of last night's Calgary game, and seeing some of their games this season, my revisionist history has me thinking back to what would have happened had their pick been switched with Calgary's and they in fact picked Sean Monahan instead of Ristolainen.
Buffalo has needed centers for a long time, and I can't help but think how great it would be seeing Monahan in the blue & gold, performing the way he is now, but that brings my mind to another place.
If Monahan were on the team, and playing the same way he is for Calgary this year, it certainly would have hurt the tire fire that is the team now and therefore their potential for a top 2 pick, and that is where the fun begins.
Let's go with two pretend options and then wonder which is the preferred of the two.
A. Monahan, Zadorov, Hanifin/Strome, Reinhart, Girgensons
B. Eichel/McDavid, Ristolainen, Zadorov, Reinhart, Girgensons
I am guessing many will say option B is the easy choice, but with Monahan going 22 12 34 last year while having 27 24 51 so far this year, I could make a case for Monahan, Reinhart, Girgensons down the middle being quite scary while Zadorov and Hanifin would make a nice pair of defensemen, or take Strome and move Girgensons to wing to give the team a serious group of young forwards.
The Sabres had a very nice 2013 draft when you see the return (Ristolainen, Zadorov, Compher, Hurley, Bailey, Baptiste, Petersen, Florentino, and Carrier via trade), but seeing how well Sean Monahan is playing has me thinking what if.