The Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators are both likely out of the running for post-season action in the 2015-16 season, but they aren’t above making their teams better through minor swaps.
The two teams made a multi-player swap with picks on Saturday night, with Buffalo dealing centre Philip Varone, winger Jason Akeson, and blue liner Jerome Gauthier-Leduc to the Senators in exchange for Eric O’Dell, Cole Schneider, Alex Guptill and Michael Sdao. If Schneider – who currently leads the AHL’s Binghamton Senators with 42 points in 54 games – play at least three NHL games for the Sabres this year, the Sabres will also send a 2016 seventh round draft selection to Ottawa.
Varone and O’Dell are both near-identical in NHL stats, with both young forwards playing in just over 40 career NHL games to date. Varone, a former fifth round pick for the Sabres, has struggled a bit at the NHL level this year – and his AHL play has been up and down as well – but both he and O’Dell are intriguing names that could benefit from a change in scenery.
Schneider is the most intriguing name on the list as a player who hasn’t seen NHL ice yet, as he’s been promising for the B-Senators following two strong seasons with the University of Connecticut. The final two names coming from Ottawa don’t seem like promising NHL prospects – although Sdao could find himself on the blue line as a reinforcement in the future – but Gauthier-Leduc, a former third round pick from 2010, seems promising as well.