Jack Eichel will forever be one of the least-liked former first round picks in Buffalo Sabers history. But is he one of the worst?
As much as the Buffalo Sabers faithfully dislikes Jack Eichel, he was still a serviceable player during his time with the organization. Eichel may not have had the kindest things to say following his return to the KeyBank Center in March 2022, but let’s face it: Eichel’s 355 points in in 375 games with Buffalo was one of the better stretches in the latter 2010s for the team.
The worst picks in team history were three players drafted in the first round that did not live anywhere near expectations. At least Eichel often played as advertised, even if things turned sour. The players mentioned in the following slides barely even saw NHL ice time and they have since faded into the darkest corners of Buffalo Sabers lore.
So who are these three picks that rank as the three worst in franchise history? Keep reading to find out.
Worst draft picks in Buffalo Sabers history – Pick #1: Dennis Persson, 2006
I would like to share Dennis Persson’s NHL statistics with you, but there are none. However, Persson does have a few AHL statistics from the Portland Pirates and Rochester Americans, both of them serving as Buffalo Sabers affiliates between 2008-09 and 2011-12.
Here are Persson’s career AHL statistics: 171 games, eight goals, 25 assists, and 33 total points. He also had four points in 14 playoff games. If anyone accurately defines the term Draft Bust as it pertains to the Buffalo Sabres, it’s Dennis Persson.
Sure, Persson was a defenseman, meaning his primary job did not involve scoring goals as much as it did stopping them and disrupting plays. But Persson couldn’t even prove himself in a stay-at-home role.
Overall, he was a waste of a draft pick in 2006 and the Sabers could have done much better. Especially with winger Nick Foligno going to Ottawa just four picks later.