Thomas Vanek Trade Tree

The Thomas Vanek trade was the last trade that long time Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier made. And right now it’s looking like it may go down as one of his best trades that he made as Sabres GM.

The Trade

Buffalo Acquires

2015 1st Round Pick
2015 2nd Round Pick
Matt Moulson

New York Acquires

Thomas Vanek

The writing was on the wall that Vanek’s days in Buffalo were coming to an end. He was in a contract year and it was expected that Vanek wasn’t interested in signing an extension with Buffalo with “The Tank” looming. Vanek was shipped out of town in late October of 2013 and Buffalo’s tear down would officially begin.

There was also a condition put on the 1st round pick. The Islanders could decide on whether to give Buffalo their 2014 or 2015 1st round pick. The Isles had a bad season in 2014 as well and were slotted to pick 5th in the 2014 draft and decided to hold onto the pick and select Michael Dal Colle out of Oshawa.

Branch 1

Buffalo Acquires

2014 2nd Round Pick
2016 2nd Round Pick
Torey Mitchell

Minnesota Acquires

Matt Moulson
Cody McCormick

A terrific return on a player that was just acquired a few months earlier. Sabres fans were hoping that Moulson would get Buffalo a return of at least a 1st round pick but the trade market was different than expected in regards to the many scoring wingers that were available at the 2014 deadline. Both Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick would sign with Buffalo on July 1st, 2014. Cody McCormick’s career would end up being cut short from blood clots and Matt Moulson looks like he’s on his way out of Buffalo whether that’s via buyout or trade.

New York Acquires

2014 2nd Round Pick
Sebastien Collberg

Montreal Acquires

Thomas Vanek
2014 4th Round Pick

It looks like New York didn’t get as nice as of a return for Vanek as Buffalo did for Moulson by just looking at how many picks each team got in return but that’s going to change at the 2014 Draft. Also, Collberg is no longer in the Islanders organization.

Branch 3

Sabres Acquire

2014 2nd Round Pick (44)
2014 3rd Round Pick (74)

Washington Acquires

2014 2nd Round Pick (39)

The pick going to Washington was the pick acquired in the Matt Moulson to Minnesota trade. Washington selected goaltender Vitek Vanecek with that pick. And with the 2 picks that Buffalo received in that trade they selected Eric Cornel with the 44th pick and Brycen Martin with the 74th pick. Not a bad move here at all. Personally, I’m a fan of Eric Cornel and I’m not too crazy about Martin but I do believe that there were some better options on the board than Cornel at 44. Going to use some revisionists history here but Buffalo passed on Anaheim defenseman Brandon Montour 3 times in the 2nd round of the 2014 Draft.

New York Acquires

2014 1st Round Pick (28)

Tampa Bay Acquires

2014 2nd Round Pick (35)
2014 2nd Round Pick (57)

The 57th pick was the pick acquired from Montreal in the Vanek trade. The Islanders selected Josh Ho-Sang with the 28th pick in the draft. I for one was really high on Ho-Sang in his draft year and was really hoping that he’d fall to Buffalo at the 31st pick in the draft. This was a very good move by the Isles by trading up to 28. Especially considering that Tampa selected Dominic Masin and John MacLeod with the 2 2nd round picks that they got in return.

Branch 4

Buffalo Acquires

Josh Gorges

Montreal Acquires

2016 2nd Round Pick

This deal didn’t make much sense to me at the time of the trade and it still doesn’t make sense now. Yeah I get Gorges is a good leader but a 2nd round pick? The 2nd that Buffalo sent Montreal was one of the picks acquired in the Moulson to Minnesota trade and Montreal shipped this pick along with another 2nd off to Chicago for Andrew Shaw. Gorges’ future in Buffalo is still up in the air as Jason Botterill is trying to overhaul the D corps. Buffalo already has McCabe, Guhle, and Antipin on the left side. I wouldn’t rule out Vegas selecting Gorges in the expansion draft as he’d be a good trading asset at the 2018 trade deadline. But I do think Gorges could end up being traded at some point this offseason. I’m sure some team will value his grit and leadership.

Branch 5

Buffalo Acquires

2016 7th Round Pick
Jack Nevins

Montreal Acquires
Torey Mitchell

A pure tank move as far as I’m concerned. Mitchell was doing too good and may have ended up costing us, Eichel. Nevins is no longer in the organization and Torey Mitchell signed an extension with Montreal after the trade and Mike Harrington is still shedding tears that he’s gone.

Branch 6

Buffalo Acquires

Robin Lehner
David Legwand

Ottawa Acquires

2015 1st Round Pick

The trade that now former Sabres GM Tim Murray got the most criticism for. Obviously, it’s never ideal to deal a 1st round pick to get a goalie but Tim decided that Lehner would be the goaltender of the future. I for one am a fan of Robin Lehner and I think he can be the goalie of the future in Buffalo. but it looks like his future may be up in the air as he is salary arbitration eligible this offseason and Jason Botterill may not be to keen on paying Robin big money yet. Colin White was the player selected by Ottawa with the 21st pick in the 2015 draft. David Legwand was a decent depth player for the 2016 season and has since retired.

Buffalo selects Brendan Guhle with the 51st overall pick in the 2015 Draft

Fantastic pick by Buffalo. Guhle is looking like he’ll become a nice piece to the Buffalo blueline for many years to come. This was the 2nd round pick that the Sabres got from the Islanders in the Vanek trade.

Buffalo selects Vasily Glotov with the 190th pick in the 2016 Draft.

I like Glotov a lot. He’s definitely an interesting prospect in the Sabres pipeline and he put up good numbers in the Russian junior league in his draft year. He went over to Cape Breton of the QMJHL after being selected in the import draft in 2017. This was the 7th round pick that Buffalo got in return for Torey Mitchell.

So these are all of the branches of the Vanek trade as of now but here’s how it breaks down.

Robin Lehner
Brendan Guhle
Eric Cornel
Brycen Martin
Josh Gorges
Vasily Glotov

FOR

Josh Ho Sang
(Kind of because they got a pick from Montreal that helped them select Ho Sang)

I think it’s pretty easy to say that the Sabres get the W on this trade. There’s still potential for this trade tree to grow further with the possibility of Gorges and maybe Lehner being moved.

Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @JoeSFBSN and go ahead and follow @SabresFanatics on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

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