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)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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