Jason Pominville Trade Tree *Updated*

The 2013 NHL Trade Deadline would go down as one of the more important days in recent history for the Buffalo Sabres. This would go down as the day where Darcy Regier finally came to the realization that this Sabres team was going absolutely nowhere and it was time to rebuild. The first domino to fall in the rebuild was the captain, Jason Pominville. Pominville was traded to the Minnesota Wild for what I believe is a terrific package and I’ll break down the trade in this piece.

The Trade

Buffalo Acquires

2013 1st Round Pick (16)
2014 2nd Round Pick (49)
Johan Larsson
Matt Hackett

Minnesota Acquires

Jason Pominville
2014 4th Round Pick (91)

Darcy Regier struck gold in this deal with Chuck Fletcher and the Minnesota Wild. They got a couple of high picks. Johan Larsson was a very nice prospect at that time and he was the captain of team Sweden at the World Jrs. Matt Hackett was thought of as a great goalie prospect at the time of the deal but he didn’t pan out at all. He played a few games for Buffalo during the tank but he is no longer in the Sabres organization. Pommer carved out a nice career with Buffalo and he continued his success in Minnesota recently, he’s regressed and he has a pretty rough contract with a cap hit of $5,600,000 until 2020.

1st Branch

With the 16th pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, Buffalo selected a big Russian defenseman by the name of Nikita Zadorov. Nikita looked like he was going to be a huge building block going forward for Buffalo. He got to play a handful of games in 2013-2014 but was sent back to London of the OHL. And then he became a regular in the lineup for the tank year of 2014-2015. Zadorov had some struggles in his very short time in Buffalo though. He showed up to camp out of shape and there was an alarm clock incident where he overslept and missed a team meeting. Zadorov was traded at the 2015 NHL Draft and I’ll get into that later.

2nd Branch

Minnesota Acquires

Ilya Bryzgalov

Edmonton Acquires

2014 4th Round Pick (91)

Minnesota had some struggles in goal at the time of the trade. Darcy Kuemper and Nick Backstrom were the 2 Wild goaltenders at the time and Chuck Fletcher decided that adding Bryzgalov would help them out in a playoff run and add some stability in goal. Bryzgalov is no longer in the Wild organization.

3rd Branch

With the 49th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, Buffalo selected Czech winger Vaclav Karabacek from Gatineau of the QMJHL. I’ve liked what I have seen out of Vaclav at development camp for the last 3 years, but for some reason, he just wasn’t able to be a productive player in junior hockey. His best season in the Q was his draft year of 2013-2014 and he just regressed after that. This year was his rookie year in the AHL and he missed quite a bit of time with an injury and struggled at points in the season. I’m not quite closing the door on Karabacek yet but it looks like he’s probably not going to be an NHL player at this point in time.

4th Branch

Buffalo Acquires

Ryan O’Reilly
Jamie McGinn

Colorado Acquires

Nikita Zadorov
J.T. Compher
Mikhail Grigorenko
2015 2nd Round Pick (31)

Highway robbery by Tim Murray on this one. O’Reilly has arguably been Buffalo’s best player since he arrived here and Jamie McGinn put together a nice season in Buffalo before he was traded at the deadline. O’Reilly has already made the All-Star team and he could potentially be Buffalo’s next captain. Mikhail Grigorenko was a complete disappointment in Buffalo and by all accounts, he was disappointing in Colorado as well. The Avs didn’t even protect Grigo in the expansion draft so he may be Vegas bound in the next few days. Zadorov has had his ups and downs in Colorado but he was protected in the expansion draft and will most likely sign an extension with Colorado soon because he’s an RFA. There are always questions surrounding Russian players on if they’ll jump ship to the KHL and that’s a possibility with Grigorenko and Zadorov but I think both will stay in North America as of right now. J.T. Compher looks like he’ll be a good bottom 6 center for Colorado going forward. I think he’ll be the best player that Colorado will receive in this trade. The 31st pick would’ve been nice to keep as there were some good defensemen still on the board at that pick like Travis Dermott and Brandon Carlo. But of course, you have to give up something to get something and unfortunately, some Buffalo fans can’t comprehend that statement.

5th Branch

Buffalo Acquires

2016 3rd Round Pick (76)

Anaheim Acquires

Jamie McGinn

Many Sabres fans didn’t agree with trading Jamie McGinn but it was probably necessary. We have no idea if Jamie was going to sign with Buffalo or not and Tim Murray always would bang on the I don’t want to lose a player for nothing drum. Buffalo probably dodged a bullet by not signing McGinn anyways. He regressed in Arizona this year and they didn’t even protect him in the expansion draft.

Branch 6

Buffalo Acquires

Rights to Jimmy Vesey

Nashville Acquires

2016 3rd Round Pick (76)

One of the deals that Murray got the most hate for right here. I believe that making this deal was worth the gamble 100%. What are the odds that the player that they’d select with that 3rd round pick would even become an NHL player? Slim to none to say the least. And Buffalo had 4 yes 4 3rd round picks going into the 2016 Draft. Vesey, of course, didn’t opt to sign with Buffalo and he signed an ELC with the New York Rangers last August.

Branch 7

Buffalo Acquires

Marco Scandella
Jason Pominville
2018 4th Round Pick

Minnesota Acquires

Marcus Foligno
Tyler Ennis
2018 3rd Round Pick

Highway robbery as far as I’m concerned by Jason Botterill. Marco Scandella is an established top 4 defenseman in the NHL and that’s exactly what Buffalo is in need of. Marco as of right now I’m sure is pencilled to play alongside Rasmus Ristolainen for the start of the 2018 season. Buffalo also reacquired Jason Pominville which probably caught everyone from Buffalo off guard. I would’ve never thought that Pommer would come back to Buffalo but I actually kind of like the reacquisition of Pominville. Yeah, he has a hefty contract at 5,600,000 for the next 2 years but Pommer can still play at a relatively high level. Pominville led the Wild in 5 on 5 scoring in 16-17 and that’s a category that Buffalo was miserably bad last season. Normally I don’t like the idea of bringing back guys who played for Buffalo in the past but I’m okay with bringing Pominville back because he really didn’t cost the Sabres much at all. But let’s be real here, Pominville isn’t the player that he was from back in 2008 and it’s probably not even close. Sabres fans really shouldn’t lose any sleep over Foligno and Ennis. Ennis hasn’t been very healthy over the last two seasons and when he’s been healthy, he was mediocre at best. Not to mention his cap hit that is just under 5 million for the next two seasons. Foligno has looked like he’s improved over the last couple of seasons but at this point in his career he is what he is and he’ll never become that Milan Lucic type player that Sabres fans always wanted him to become. Now maybe Ennis and Foligno can benefit from this change of scenery but I just don’t forsee that happening. As far as I’m concerned, Buffalo got the two best players in the trade. I think it’s pretty clear here that for the sake of the Minnesota Wild organization, Chuck Fletcher should probably stop trading with Buffalo.

So those are all of the branches of the Jason Pominville trade tree as of right now and here’s how the trade breaks down as of now.

Johan Larsson
Vaclav Karabacek
Ryan O’Reilly
Marco Scandella
Jason Pominville
2018 4th Round Pick

FOR

Marcus Foligno
Tyler Ennis
2018 3rd Round Pick

I think the decision on who won this deal is easy, and that’s the Buffalo Sabres.

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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