"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened," - Dr. Seuss
William Carrier has tons of potential but he won't be developing his game in Buffalo. On Wednesday it became official -- the 22-year-old winger is heading to the desert and will join the Vegas Golden Knights. Along with Carrier, the Sabres sent a sixth-round pick to Vegas in order to keep some of the players they left unprotected. Golden Knights GM George McPhee didn't clarify which players the Sabres were trying to protect.
Closing up some of the loose ends lingering out there. Believe #Vegas takes William Carrier from BUF and Jon Merrill from NJD.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 21, 2017
Carrier appeared in 41 games with the Sabres last year, tallying five goals and adding three assists. The 2016-2017 season was Carrier's first taste of NHL action, after spending the two prior seasons with the Rochester Americans in the AHL.
At times, Carrier showed flashes of what St. Louis hoped for when they drafted him in the second round of the 2013 NHL Draft. He's a speedy forward who isn't afraid to throw his weight around with a solid, quick release.
Carrier could've finished more scoring chances last year, especially while playing on the Sabres top line with Ryan O'Reilly and Kyle Okposo. That being said, he would've had more opportunities to display his talents if he hadn't missed a month with a knee injury.
But before you shed a tear, take a deep breath, the sky isn't falling.
Yes, Carrier is a nice prospect to have in the organization but sometimes you need to give up a good piece to either acquire or in this case, protect another good piece. We don't know for sure, but it's believed by many that exposing Carrier was a way that Jason Botterill and the Sabres could ensure that goaltender Linus Ullmark wasn't going anywhere.
With so much uncertainty about the future of fellow goaltender Cal Petersen, losing Ullmark would've been a massive blow to the Sabres organizational depth between the pipes. At the end of the day, losing Carrier wasn't ideal, especially with his measly (that's relative) $690,000 salary, but Botterill viewed Ullmark as a more important piece moving forward.