These last two seasons couldn’t have gone much worse for Buffalo from a statistical perspective. The hope is that the Sabres will take a significant step forward in their rebuilding efforts in 2015-16.
“It’s definitely the start for sure of better days,” Tyler Ennis said, per the Associated Press. “There should be optimism.”
While some fans might have been comfortable with writing this season off in the hopes of securing one of Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel in the draft, finishing in last place was still frustrating for players like Ennis.
“We understand what happened this year, trying to get our future put in place,” Josh Gorges said. “But now, it’s time to take a step forward.”
How big of a step remains to be seen. The Sabres are expected to take McDavid or Eichel depending on whether or not they win the draft lottery or have to settle for the second overall pick. Evander Kane will also finally make his Buffalo debut next season after being acquired in February. He’s been recovering from a shoulder injury.
Those two additions alone might be a significant boost, but given the huge gap between Buffalo and much of the league, this team might continue to struggle next season. The Sabres have the entire summer to improve further on the trade and free agent markets, but regardless they do, the prospects in their system combined with the addition of McDavid or Eichel provides cause for the optimism people like Ennis feel.