Victor native dazzles after Sabres pass

It has been a nice summer for U.S. National Team Development Program product and Victor, NY native David Farrance.

After excelling with The U.S. at the 2017 IIHF World Under-18 Championship and attending the NHL Draft Combine, where the Sabres did not interview him, Farrance was selected by Nashville with the 92nd pick of the draft.

Although he spent two years with the U.S. NTDP, the Boston University commit wasn't part of the original list of invites for the 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase. That all changed when he was added to the roster after the start of the camp.
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And that's where his "nice" summer continued.

Farrance notched four points (1+3) in four games in his summer audition, including an end-to-end highlight reel goal in the third period to propel the U.S. to a 4-3 victory over Finland.



Farrance was tabbed as a candidate for the 68th overall pick in the Sabres 2017 Draft Preview prior to it being moved for Nathan Beaulieu. (The Habs used it to select Victoria Royals D Mark Walford).

Buffalo held another third-round pick, though, and passed on Farrance to take previously unknown Oskari Laaksonen 89th overall. Three picks later, Farrance went to the Predators as the Western Conference champs continued adding to their embarrassing blueline riches.

To be fair to Buffalo, every team has their own draft strategy and the Sabres clearly had their own reasons to pass. They did not interview him at the Combine as previously mentioned, and I'm pretty sure they didn't bring him in for a personal visit like they did with Jacob Bryson, who the Sabres selected 99th overall - 10 picks after they scooped up Laaksonen, and seven picks after the Preds pounced on Farrance.



The most rational thought here is that they had information and used it to their advantage. Perhaps they wanted to wait until 99th to select Laaksonen, a player they clearly coveted, but
knew one of the nine teams between their two picks (89 and 99) was talking to Laaksonen and were going to pull the trigger. After all, Laaksonen was definitely in contact with multiple teams leading up the draft.

Trust me, it is way too soon for revisionism when it comes to the 2017 draft. Like, waaaay too soon.

Laaksonen looks like he'll be a pretty nice prospect as a heads-up, mobile defenseman who likes to skate the puck and set up the offense. It's not as if the Sabres made a "mistake" in picking the young Finn,  but the early results suggest the Sabres, who clearly will be adding to their stable with prospects using the NCAA developmental route, missed out on a good one in Farrance, who was right under their nose for years.


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