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Sabres Draft Flashback: Marek Zagrapran

Canadian Sabres

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With the Draft quickly approaching lets take a trip down memory lane to remember the one who didnt PRAN out

The 2005 Entry draft was quite the draft year with the crop of talented players it brought to the table most of the players are now stars on the team that drafted them or were traded later on and became stars somewhere else, most notably the ones who were picked in the latter stages of Round 1 and in later rounds those players include:

James Neal

TJ Oshie

Paul Statsny

Martin Hanzal

Jonathan Quick

Tuukka Rask


*Note all these players were drafted after Buffalo picked

The Buffalo Sabres scheduled with the 13th Overall pick in round 1 and with the tactical mind of Darcy Regier leading the charge to hopefully snag another gem to develop and than bring up when his time has come to shine with the blue and gold, Darcy Regier selects from the Chicoutimi Sagueneen of the QMJHL, Marek Zagrapran..

Marek Zagrapran had a dominant campaign in QMJHL so one could see where the idea had stemmed from in selecting this Slovakian born Centre, amassing in 118 Games Played, 67Goals 102 assists for a total of 169 points in 2 years in the QMJHL. He recorded 17 points in 17 games during the 2005 QMJHL Playoffs, and his 11 goals were second only to Sidney Crosby (14).

Zagrapran spent the better part of his whole stint as a Sabre prospect after signing on for his entry-level 3 year deal he played all 3 years in the minors with the Rochester Americans and 1 season when the affiliate changed over to the Portland Pirates.

Zagrapen tallied, 227 Games, 56 Goals, 71 Assists and 127 Points (seventh on the team)

Zagrapan's agent, ex Sabre Defenceman Petr Svoboda got him a deal in 2009 to play in the KHL for Severstal Cherepovets.

The deal was initiated for what is stated as a lack of opportunity to move up to the NHL level and play for the Sabres, Zagrapran did not get a lick of NHL time (points issue) which is fairly uncharacteristic of the Sabres to not give their first round draft pick a chance to play at NHL level let alone even just a few games to see how he can play.

Zagrapran moved on to the KHL for 2 years of his 3 year contract he played for 2 different teams Severstal Cherepovets and Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk

talling a total of 69 Games Played, 13 Goals, 8 Assists, 21 Points.

Playing in the CzechExtraliga in 2012-2013 for HC Trinec the 26 year old centre has putterd off talling a total of 40 Games Played, 5 Goals, 9 Assists, 14 Points.

According to Hockey`s Future Marek Zagrapran weighed in with a 6.0 talent score and D in success.

``Although he is blessed with undeniable skills, his maturity and effort have been serious issues. His skating ability, balance, and quick hands led the Sabres to pick him 13th overall in 2005. He has not lifted his game in the past two seasons with Rochester to become the offensive force that Buffalo projected. His mental makeup and lack of consistency make Zagrapan a big question mark.`` - Hockey`s Future.

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@Canadian Sabres

An interesting read. I can honestly say I never heard of Zagrapran before. His story reminds me of D. Bodrov for the Flyers. When Bodrov finally came to the US he played a month or so in the AHL. He then went back to Europe and well.....cross that name off the list.

Wonder if it is partially the mentality of being drafted to the NHL and then expecting to play right away, when that doesn't happen some players just lose the focus to train to improve.

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If one can make comparable or better money in a league in your home country and in most cases have overall higher quality treatment than the AHL, why would you "develop" here?

Essentially - if you're Russian, you wanna take $65K to play in Rochester or a few hundred thousand to play in Yaroslavl?

And yet the Sabres just drafted and signed two Euro guys with long Z names. Despite the fact that they stole one away from my beloved UVM Catamounts, I wish them well.

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