By Budd Bailey
Mike Ramsey of the Sabres
Taken in Round 1 in 1979
The next pick: Defenseman Paul Reinhart was one of the best offensive defensemen of his day. While playing for Calgary and Vancouver, he scored at least 10 goals in six different seasons. Paul may not have played for Buffalo, but at least son Sam did.
Other picks in the round: This was the fabled draft when the eligibility age dropped to 18, thus opening up a ton of potential picks. In other words – you know it’s a good draft when Ray Bourque goes at No. 8 to Boston. Other familiar names included Mike Foligno (No. 3 to Detroit), Mike Gartner (No. 4 to Washington), Rick Vaive (No. 5 to Vancouver), Brian Propp (No. 14 to Philadelphia), Jay Wells (No. 16 to Los Angeles), Michel Goulet (No. 20 to Quebec), and Kevin Lowe (No. 21 to Edmonton). By the way, Mark Messier went to Edmonton at No. 48.
The details: The Sabres had to wait to see their first pick play. Ramsey was busy with the United States Olympic team of 1980. You know that worked out pretty well. He immediately joined the Sabres and helped them reach the semifinals that spring. Ramsey was a Sabre through 1993, and he was a very good player during that time. Mike played for Pittsburgh and Detroit at the end of his playing career, but came back to Buffalo as an assistant coach.
Other 11s: Lee Fogolin (1974) was a regular for the Sabres in the late 1970s, and Adam Creighton (1983) had a few good moments in the late 1980s. Both did better with other teams. Keith Ballard (2002) was traded to Colorado before he even got out of college. Aaron Maybin (2009) brings back nightmares to Bills’ scouts, as he started one game in a four-year career. Leodis McKelvin (2008) had some good moments on returns in his eight years as a Bill. Anthony Malcom (2015) was good for a goal per game during his two seasons as a Bandit.
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)