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Sabres' Botterill has 'some things in the hopper,' head scout says

CHICAGO – As the Sabres’ scouting staff  holds its final meetings before Friday’s NHL Draft, it is cementing a list of eight guys to pick. The scouts know that number could grow or dwindle if General Manager Jason Botterill trades the No. 8 selection.

“For us today, we’re going to pick at eight,” Jeff Crisp, Buffalo’s head amateur scout, told Sabres.com. “He’s got some things in the hopper he’s working on, but as of now we’re going to have eight players, and we’re comfortable that we’re going to get a good player at 8.”

Botterill said last week he had made calls about moving up or down in the first round. Clearly, he’s still handling calls.

Sabres' Botterill ready for anything as unpredictable draft approaches

Until something happens, the Sabres’ scouts will determine the best eight prospects and get ready to add one.

“If we get hit hard, we’ll get No. 8 on our list,” Crisp said Thursday. “If we don’t, we’ll get someone higher on our list.”

Crisp and Kevin Devine, the Sabres’ director of player personnel, will run the draft table with input from Botterill. Crisp and Devine took over after Buffalo dismissed amateur scouting director Greg Royce and scouting director Rob Murphy along with GM Tim Murray.

“It hasn’t changed much,” Crisp said. “Greg Royce did a great job setting the table for us with all the work during the year. The plan was in place. We just stayed with the same plan and stayed with the same structure. The basis was all there. We’re just getting into fine-tuning and details with Jason, myself and Kevin.

“Jason wants good players that are going to help the Sabres win, and we’ve always wanted that. It might fine-tune the exact details of what’s important as a Sabre going forward, but for the most part we’ve always wanted guys that are going to be good people in Buffalo as Sabres, good character and good hockey players. That hasn’t changed.”

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