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@ 7:00 PM


Last Game:


Buffalo: October 17 vs. Canucks Loss 3-0



Colorado: October 17 vs. Red Wings Loss 4-2





Buffalo: 1-7-1


Colorado: 6-1-0




Buffalo: 3


Colorado: 12


Rank In Conference:


Buffalo: 15th(8th in Atlantic)


Colorado: 2nd(1st in Central)


Goals For:


Buffalo: 10(30th)


Colorado: 23(T-6th)


Goals Against:


Buffalo: 24(T-24th)


Colorado: 10(T-1st)


Power Play Rankings:


Buffalo: 9.4%(26th)


Colorado: 23.1%(T-9th)


Penalty Kill Rankings:


Buffalo: 86.2%(5th)


Colorado: 85.7%(T-6th)


Shots For:


Buffalo: 237(T-7th)


Colorado: 222(13th)


Shots Against:


Buffalo: 320(30th)


Colorado: 240(23rd)


Face-Off Percentage:


Buffalo: 45.3%(26th)
Colorado: 49.9%(17th)




Buffalo: 222(T-3rd)


Colorado: 181(12th)


Blocked Shots:


Buffalo: 111(10th)


Colorado: 109(12th)


Team Leaders:




Buffalo: Vanek(3), 7 Players Tied With 1 Goal


Colorado: Duchene(5), Parenteau and McGinn(3), Tanguay and O’Reilly(2), 8 Players Tied With 1 Goal




Buffalo: Hodgson(5), Vanek and Ehrhoff(2), 7 Tied With 1 Assist


Colorado: MacKinnon(6), Parenteau and Stastny(4), Tanguay, Benoit, and Downie(3), Duchene, McGinn, O’Reilly, and Landeskog(2)




Buffalo: Hodgson(6), Vanek(5), 5 Players Tied With 2 Points


Colorado: Duchene, Parenteau, and MacKinnon(7), McGinn and Tanguay(5), O’Reilly, Downie, and Stastny(4), Landeskog and Benoit(3)




Buffalo: Ehrhoff(+1), Pysyk, Leino, Foligno, and Sulzer(EV), Stafford, Ennis, Grigorenko, and Kaleta(-1), Girgensons, Ott, and Tallinder(-2)


Colorado: Sarich(+8), Parenteau(+5), Benoit(+4), 5 Players Tied With +3 Ratings


Penalty Minutes:


Buffalo: McCormick(15), Weber(14), Ott(13), Myers(12)


Colorado: McLeod(27), Downie(17), Sarich(9), MacKinnon, Stastny, and E. Johnson(6)




Buffalo: Vanek(37), Stafford(25), Hodgson(23), Ehrhoff(18)


Colorado: Landeskog(24), Duchene(22), MacKinnon and O’Reilly(17), Downie(15)


Face-Off Wins:


Buffalo: Hodgson(67), Ott(60), Larsson(25), Ennis(23)


Colorado: Duchene(72), Stastny(71), Mitchell(39), MacKinnon(24)




Buffalo: Ott(31), Weber(24), Foligno(19), Girgensons and Myers(16)


Colorado: McGinn(20), E. Johnson(19), Sarich(18), Hejda(16)


Blocked Shots:


Buffalo: Ehrhoff(21), Weber(17), Pysyk(10), Ennis(9)


Colorado: Guenin(20), Hejda(13), Benoit(12), E. Johnson(8)


Tonight’s Starting Goaltending Matchup:


Buffalo: Ryan Miller 1-4-0 2.50 GAA .935 SV% 0 SO


Colorado: Semyon Varlamov 5-1-0 1.68 GAA .950 SV% 0 SO




Last Meeting: March 14, 2012 Avalanche Won(SO) 5-4



Season Series: Avalanche Won 1-0-0


All-Time: Sabres Lead 59-50-24


All-Time vs COL: Sabres Lead 36-19-11


Upcoming Matchups:


February 1, 2014 at Avalanche 3:00 PM


Last Game Recap:


It Was A Luong Night


Frustration was the buzzword in the Buffalo Sabres dressing room after a 3-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at First Niagara Center on Thursday.


The Sabres continue to struggle to score, having put in only 10 goals in regulation all season. With the loss, the Sabres fall to 1-7-1 on the season.


Ryan Miller made 31 saves in net for Buffalo.


Coming off their first win of the season on Tuesday, the Sabres hoped to continue to progress. However, a quick start by the Canucks made that difficult.


“It’s frustrating. We had a lot of reasons to build off last game and we just came out flat,” Sabres center Cody Hodgson said. “They dominated the first. They had power play after power play and we just didn’t generate any offense.”


Chris Higgins, Brad Richardson and Ryan Stanton scored for Vancouver. Roberto Luongo turned aside 25 shots to earn the shutout.


Sabres coach Ron Rolston addressed the issue of dealing with a frustrated team in his postgame press conference.


“Frustration is how they do it. If we don’t play the right way, they’re creating their own frustration. They’ve got to figure that out,” he said. “…We’re frustrated, but we’ll get through it.”


Vancouver started the game with a flurry of offensive chances. Their first power-play opportunity came 37 seconds into the game and they recorded eight shots on goal in the first 1:49 of play.


“It started from the first shift on,” Sabres co-captain Thomas Vanek said. “They should’ve had two goals and [Miller] kept us in it. We knew that’s a good team over there, a puck possession team and they showed it early and often. We couldn’t match it.”


The Canucks eventually found the back of the net with 7:51 to play in the period. Higgins scored to give Vancouver a 1-0 lead in a period in which they outshot the Sabres 19-7.




Tonight’s Preview:


Avalanche aim to get back in win column vs. Sabres


Big story: The Avalanche will try to rebound from their first loss of the season while the Sabres are looking to get back to where they were two games ago, when they beat the New York Islanders in a shootout for their first — and only — victory of the season.


Team Scope:


Avalanche: Obviously the Avalanche weren’t going to go 82-0-0, and while coach Patrick Roy was disappointed to lose for the first time in his NHL coaching career, he came out of his team’s 4-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday feeling pretty good.


“We didn’t have the result, but I’m telling you, if we play a lot of games like this, we’re not going to lose that many,” Roy told the Denver Post. “We’ll win our share of games like this.”


Matt Duchene, who had five shots on goal but saw his four-game point-scoring streak snapped, echoed his coach’s sentiments.


“Other than the first period I think we played a good game,” he told the Denver Post. “I really liked our second period and we really battled.”


Sabres: At 1-7-1 and sitting 15th in the Eastern Conference entering the weekend, it’s pretty easy for the Sabres to be a pretty down bunch right now.


So why not have a dance contest?


At the urging of coach Ron Rolston, a few of the team’s younger players did their best “Dancing With the Stars” imitation after practice Friday.


“Twerking on skates,” forward Tyler Ennis said. “That’ll be the first time.”


“You need things to pick your spirits up,” co-captain Steve Ott said. “We have so many young guys that we continue to try to keep the mood light. Had some fun out there on the ice.”


Ennis pegged 2012 first-round pick Zemgus Girgensons as the winner.


“I thought Girgensons won it,” Ennis said. “I think he was moving pretty good out there. Looked a little bit like Miley Cyrus.”


Who’s hot: Duchene has seven points in his first seven games and leads the Avalanche with five goals. … No player has seen more pucks than Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, but his .935 save percentage through six games is the best of his career.




Injury Report:

Buffalo: Tropp Broken Jaw(IR/Out), Zadarov Finger(IR/Questionable), Leino Cracked Ribs(IR/Out), Kaleta Suspension(Out), McCormick Foot(Questionable), Girgensons Facial Lacerations(Probable)


Colorado: Wilson Sprained Knee(IR/Out), McLeod Suspension(Out)


Next 5 Games:


October 23 vs Boston Bruins 8:00 PM(NBCSN HD/TSN2 HD)


October 25 at Florida Panthers 7:30 PM(MSG HD)


October 26 at Tampa Bay Lightning 7:00 PM(MSG HD)


October 28 vs. Dallas Stars 7:00 PM(MSG HD)


October 31 at New York Rangers 7:00 PM(MSG HD)


Sabres head back to Buffalo after 1st win to take on Vancouver

VS. 7:00PM

Last Game:
Buffalo: October 15 @ Islanders-Sabres Won 4-3(SO)

Vancouver: October 15 @ Flyers-Canucks Won 3-2

Buffalo: 1-6-1
Vancouver: 4-3-0

Buffalo: 3
Vancouver: 8

Rank In Conference:
Buffalo: 15th(8th in Atlantic)
Vancouver: 8th(5th in Pacific)

Goals For:
Buffalo: 10(T-29th)
Vancouver: 20(T-7th)

Goals Against:
Buffalo: 21(T-24th)
Vancouver: 22(26th)

Power Play Rankings:
Buffalo: 10.3(26th)
Vancouver: 10.0(27th)

Penalty Kill Rankings:
Buffalo: 84.6(8th)
Vancouver: 91.3(2nd)

Shots For:
Buffalo: 212(T-8th)
Vancouver: 217(T-5th)

Shots Against:
Buffalo: 286(30th)
Vancouver: 260(19th)

Face-Off Percentage:
Buffalo: 45.1(24th)
Vancouver: 51.1(T-12th)

Buffalo: 202(T-3rd)
Vancouver: 142(14th)

Blocked Shots:
Buffalo: 101(T-11th)
Vancouver: 105(7th)

Team Leaders:

Buffalo: Vanek(3), Girgensons, Hodgson, McBain, Flynn, Stafford, Ennis, Foligno(1)
Vancouver: Santorelli(4), Kesler(3), Garrison, D. Sedin, Hansen(2)

Buffalo: Hodgson(5), Vanek and Ehrhoff(2), 7 with(1)
Vancouver: H. Sedin(8), Garrison and D. Sedin(5), Tanev and Stanton(3)

Buffalo: Hodgson(6), Vanek(5), Flynn, McBain, Girgensons, Ehrhoff, Stafford(2)
Vancouver: H. Sedin(9), Garrison and D. Sedin(7), Santorelli(4)

Buffalo: Ehrhoff, Pysyk, Foligno(+1)
Vancouver: H. Sedin(+4), Tanev, Booth, Bieksa(+2)

Penalty Minutes:
Buffalo: McCormick(15), Weber(14), Ott(13), Myers(12)
Vancouver: Kesler(11), Hansen(8), Sestito(7), D. Sedin and Edler(6)

Buffalo: Vanek(34), Stafford(23), Hodgson(21), Pysyk(16)
Vancouver: D. Sedin(27), Garrison and Kesler(25), Higgins(24)

Face-Off Wins:
Buffalo: Hodgson(56), Ott(53), Ennis(23), Grigorenko and Larsson(19)
Vancouver: Kesler(76), H. Sedin(74), Richardson(40), Santorelli(15)

Buffalo: Ott(29), Weber(22), Foligno(17), Porter and Girgensons(16)
Vancouver: Bieksa and Weise(14), Higgins and Sestito(13), Stanton(10)

Blocked Shots:
Buffalo: Ehrhoff(19), Weber(15), Pysyk(9), Ennis and McBain(8)
Vancouver: Tanev(19), Garrison(14), Bieksa(13), Stanton(11)

Tonight’s Starting Goaltending Matchup:
Buffalo: Ryan Miller 1-4-0 2.39 GAA .939 SV% 0 SO
Vancouver: Roberto Luongo 3-3-0 2.83 GAA .899 SV% 0 SO

Last Meeting: March 3, 2012 @ Canucks-Sabres Won 5-3

Season Series: 2011/2012-Sabres Won 1-0
All-Time: Sabres Lead 52-46-19
All-Time @ BUF: Sabres Lead 33-18-8

Injury Report:
Buffalo: Zadorov Lacerated Finger(IR/Out), Tropp Jaw Surgery(IR/Out), Leino Fractured Rib(IR/Out), Kaleta Suspension(Out), Girgensons Facial Laceration(Questionable)
Vancouver: Burrows Bruised Foot(IR/Out), Edler Suspensino(Out)

Next 5 Games:
October 19 vs Colorado Avalanche 7:00 PM(MSG HD)
October 23 vs Boston Bruins 8:00 PM(NBCSN HD)
October 25 @ Florida Panthers 7:30 PM(MSG HD)
October 26 @ Tampa Bay Lightning 7:00 PM(MSG HD)
October 28 vs Dallas Stars 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

Woeful Sabres Looking For First Win Against Reigning Cup Champions Blackhawks

@ 8:00 PM

Last Game:

Buffalo: October 10 vs Blue Jackets Loss 4-1

Chicago: October 11 vs Islanders Win 3-2


Buffalo: 0-4-1

Chicago: 2-1-1


Buffalo: 1

Chicago: 5

Rank In Conference:

Buffalo: 16th(8th in Atlantic)

Chicago: 9th(3rd in Central)

Goals For:

Buffalo: 5(30th)

Chicago: 13(T-9th)

Goals Against:

Buffalo: 14(T-21st)

Chicago: 11(T-14th)

Power Play Rankings:

Buffalo: 11.1%(27th)

Chicago: 26.7%(5th)

Penalty Kill Rankings:

Buffalo: 93.3%(4th)

Chicago: 54.6%(30th)

Shots For:

Buffalo: 126(T-18th)

Chicago: 129(T-14th)

Shots Against:

Buffalo: 182(30th)

Chicago: 101(6th)

Face-Off Percentage:

Buffalo: 44.9%(25th)
Chicago: 50.6%(13th)


Buffalo: 119(6th)

Chicago: 87(18th)

Blocked Shots:

Buffalo: 65(T-12th)

Chicago: 57(18th)

Team Leaders:


Buffalo: Vanek(2), Girgensons, Hodgson, and McBain(1)

Chicago: P. Kane(3), Saad and Toews(2), 6 Players Tied With 1 Goal


Buffalo: Hodgson(3), Vanek(2), Flynn, McBain, and Ott(1)

Chicago: Hjalmarsson(4), Keith(3), Saad, Toews, and Sharp(2), 9 Players Tied With 1 Assist


Buffalo: Vanek and Hodgson(4), McBain(2), Girgensons, Flynn, and Ott(1)

Chicago: P. Kane, Saad, Toews, and Hjalmarsson(4), Keith(3), Hossa, Sharp, Seabrook, and Handzus(2), 8 Tied with 1 Point


Buffalo: Ehrhoff(+1), Pysyk, Ott, McCormick, and Leino(EV), 7 Players with -1 Ratings

Chicago: Hjalmarsson and Oduya(+5), Saad, Shaw, and Nordstrom(+2), 7 Players Tied With +1 Ratings

Penalty Minutes:

Buffalo: Weber(12), Myers(10), Foligno(9), Ott, Kaleta, and McCormick(5)

Chicago: Brookbank(5), Toews, Bickell, and Shaw(4), 8 Players Tied with 2 Penalty Minutes


Buffalo: Vanek(23), Hodgson and Stafford(13), Ehrhoff(11), Pysyk and Ennis(9)

Chicago: Keith(15), Sharp and Hossa(13), P. Kane and Toews(12), Seabrook(9)

Face-Off Wins:

Buffalo: Hodgson(46), Ott(29), Porter(15), Ennis(12)

Chicago: Toews(50), Kruger(24), Handzus(22), Shaw(16)


Buffalo: Ott(21), Weber(15), Porter(14), Kaleta(11)

Chicago: Shaw(14), Bollig(12), Seabrook(10), Nordstrom(7)

Blocked Shots:

Buffalo: Ehrhoff(12), Weber(10), Ennis(7), McBain and Pysyk(6)

Chicago: Oduya(14), Hjalmarsson(9), Seabrook(7), Kruger and Keith(5)

Tonight’s Starting Goaltending Matchup:

Buffalo: Ryan Miller 0-3-0 2.87 GAA .938 SV% 0 SO

Chicago: Corey Crawford 1-1-1 2.93 GAA .890 SV% 0 SO


Last Meeting: January 18, 2012 Blackhawks Won 6-2

Season Series: Blackhawks Won 1-0-0

All-Time: Sabres Lead 53-45-13

All-Time at CHI: Blackhawks Lead 30-19-6

Upcoming Matchups:

March 9 vs Blackhawks 7:30 PM

Last Game Recap:

Early Blue Jackets Lead Sinks Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres fell to 0-4-1 on the season following their 4-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets at First Niagara Center on Thursday.

Thomas Vanek scored for Buffalo and Ryan Miller made 29 saves in the loss. Cam Atkinson, Marian Gaborik, Nick Foligno and Brandon Dubinsky scored for Columbus while Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 26 shots.

The Blue Jackets skated out of the first period with a 3-1 lead. The Sabres’ defensive pairing of Mike Weber and Tyler Myers was on the ice for those first three Columbus goals.

“[I was] minus-4 tonight. I’m not happy with my game,” Weber said. “I’m not happy with not getting my job done. I’m supposed to be helping keep pucks out of the net. I didn’t get that job done tonight. But again, it’s back to work tomorrow.”

Myers pointed out that the team doesn’t seem to be playing aggressively enough in key moments of games and that has led to errors on both ends of the rink.

“It’s very hesitant out there,” he said. “It looks like we’re scared to make plays so we’re ultimately chipping a lot of pucks, which is not necessarily a bad play at certain times, but there are plays out there to be made. It all starts with defensive positioning, decisions made and work made by myself and that’s something I need to make sure I consistently focus on to keep my game at a high level.”

Miller said that the team can learn a lot from these losses, but that they need to turn things around and start winning hockey games.

“There are expectations in here. It’s not just a learning season. This is about a chance to play for the playoffs and a play for a Stanley Cup and you’re not wasting time,” he said. We burned a few games here. We need to improve but I feel like again, there’s a foundation here and there’s enough talent here. We need to get over the hump and we have to play better. There’s no getting around it. But I think we will.”

Weber also made the assessment that the team is a bit too tentative at times and that they’re searching for answers to their on-ice troubles.

“We’ve got to find a way to take the hesitation out of our game. Find a way to generate offense. Find a way to bear down, make plays,” Weber said. “Again, if someone makes a mistake, we’ve got to find a way to bear down and help him out.”


Tonight’s Preview:

Injury Report:

Buffalo: Tallinder Upper Body(IR/Questionable), Tropp Broken Jaw(IR/Out), Zadarov Finger(IR/Out), Leino Cracked Ribs(IR/Out)

Chicago: No Injuries To Report

Next 5 Games:

October 14 vs Minnesota Wild 7:30 PM(NBCSN HD/TSN2 HD)

October 15 at New York Islanders 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

October 17 vs Vancouver Canucks 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

October 19 vs Colorado Avalanche 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

October 23 vs Boston Bruins 8:00 PM(NBCSN HD/TSN2 HD)

Sabres Foligno Returns To Action Against the Lightning

@ 7:30 PM

Last Game:

Buffalo: October 5 at Penguins Loss 4-1


Tampa Bay: October 5 at Blackhawks Won(SO) 3-2



Buffalo: 0-3-0

Tampa Bay: 1-1-0


Buffalo: 0

Tampa Bay: 2

Rank In Conference:

Buffalo: 15th(8th in Atlantic)

Tampa Bay: 11th(7th in Atlantic)

Goals For:

Buffalo: 2(29th)

Tampa Bay: 3(T-25th)

Goals Against:

Buffalo: 7(T-18th)

Tampa Bay: 5(T-9th)

Power Play Rankings:

Buffalo: 0.0%(T-23rd)

Tampa Bay: 16.7%(T-15th)

Penalty Kill Rankings:

Buffalo: 100.0%(T-1st)

Tampa Bay: 87.5%(10th)

 Shots For:

Buffalo: 76(10th)

Tampa Bay: 49(22nd)

Shots Against:

Buffalo: 115(30th)

Tampa Bay: 64(16th)

Face-Off Percentage:

Buffalo: 45.1%(25th)
Tampa Bay: 47.8%(T-21st)


Buffalo: 67(5th)

Tampa Bay: 49(T-15th)

Blocked Shots:

Buffalo: 44(7th)

Tampa Bay: 33(T-13th)

Team Leaders:


Buffalo: Girgensons and Vanek(1)

Tampa Bay: Filppula, St. Louis, and Purcell(1)


Buffalo: Flynn and Hodgson(1)

Tampa Bay: Stamkos(2), Brewer, Kilkorn, St. Louis, and Carle(1)


Buffalo: Girgensons, Vanek, Flynn, and Hodgson(1)

Tampa Bay: St. Louis and Stamkos(2), Filppula, Brewer, Kilkorn, Purcell, and Carle(1)


Buffalo: Ehrhoff and Pysyk(+2), 7 Tied with EV Rating

Tampa Bay: Brewer, Filppula, Purcell, Thompson, and Barberio(+1), 8 Players Tied with EV Rating

Penalty Minutes:

Buffalo: Myers(6), 5 Players Tied with 2 PIM

Tampa Bay: Gudas(7), Labrie(5), Malone(4), 5 Players Tied with 2 PIM


Buffalo: Vanek(15), Ehrhoff(9), Flynn and Ristolainen(6), Grigorenko, Hodgson, and Ennis(5)

Tampa Bay: Purcell and Thompson(6), Carle(5), Stamkos, Kilkorn, and Sustr(4), St. Louis, Hedman, Malone, and Ty. Johnson(3)

Face-Off Wins:

Buffalo: Hodgson(32), Ott(22), Porter(9), Grigorenko and Larsson(7)

Tampa Bay: Filppula(19), Ty. Johnson(18), Stamkos(13), Thompson(11)


Buffalo: Ott(15), Weber(11), Porter(7), Girgensons and Kaleta(5)

Tampa Bay: LaBrie(10), Gudas(9), Brewer(6), Crombeen(5)

Blocked Shots:

Buffalo: Ehrhoff(8), Weber(7), McBain(5), Pysyk(4)

Ottawa: Carle(5), Malone, Stamkos, and Thompson(3), 6 Players Tied with 2 Blocked Shots

Tonight’s Starting Goaltending Matchup:

Buffalo: Jhonas Enroth 0-1-0 3.00 GAA .912 SV% 0 SO

Tampa Bay: Ben Bishop 1-0-0 1.85 GAA .949 SV% 0 SO


Last Meeting: April 14 Sabres Won 3-1


Season Series: Senators Won 2-1-0

All-Time: Sabres Lead 49-23-5

All-Time vs. TBL: Sabres Lead 23-13-2

Upcoming Matchups:

October 26 at Lightning 7:00 PM

March 6 at Lightning 7:30 PM

March 29 vs Lightning 7:00 PM

Last Game Recap:

Fleury improves to 2-0 as Penguins beat Sabres

The 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs seem like a distant memory right now for Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

Fleury stopped 20 of 21 shots Saturday night, leading the Penguins to a 4-1 victory against the Buffalo Sabres at Consol Energy Center.

Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Chuck Kobasew each scored their second goals of the season. Buffalo forward Thomas Vanek ended Fleury’s attempt at a second consecutive shutout with 4:56 left in the game.

“We like our chances if we keep getting those opportunities,” Crosby said. “We didn’t allow a lot of shots against, too, and that’s a big thing. It would’ve been nice to keep it at no score there, but that was a nice goal by Vanek and we’ll keep trying to keep pucks out of our net.”

A day after Ryan Miller was handed a loss despite surrendering one goal on 46 shots to the Ottawa Senators, Enroth stopped 31 of 34 shots and played well enough to keep the Sabres in the game until Kunitz’s goal. But Buffalo’s offense came up short again, especially on the power play.

“We lost three straight games and obviously we’re frustrated,” Enroth said. “I don’t think I made any mistakes. I played solid and I didn’t give up big rebounds and stuff like that, so I felt good today.

“Obviously, we need to score more and the guys are doing their best. We have a couple really good players on this team, too, so I’m sure they’re going to start scoring a couple of goals here in the next couple of games.”

The Sabres are now 0-for-13 on the man-advantage and have scored two goals through three games this season. They failed to convert on two power play chances against Pittsburgh.

“We didn’t generate a lot tonight,” Sabres coach Ron Rolston said. “We just have to be a lot simpler than we were tonight. We pass up opportunities when we do get them and I thought they [the Penguins] played really well.”


Tonight’s Preview:

Big story: Playing their fourth game in seven days, will the Sabres be able to generate any offense? They have two goals in three games, and already have lost two one-goal games.

Team Scope:

Lightning: This will be the third stop on a three-game road trip before a seven-game homestand for the Lightning. The first two legs saw them play the reigning Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins and the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. They’ve played well in both, with a 3-2 shootout win against the Blackhawks on Saturday after trailing 2-0 halfway through the third period. Ben Bishop had 39 saves in the win.

“We needed Ben Bishop to stand tall if we had any chance of coming back and he did,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper told the team’s website. “We got one goal and then we were opportunistic on our power play and we snuck out with a win.”

Sabres: Despite excellent play from goalies Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth, it hasn’t translated into wins for the Sabres. That was the case Saturday in a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in which Enroth made 31 saves but got no offensive support.

“Limiting that team to as many chances as we did, I thought Jhonas played great, but overall, it’s the same story,” Cody Hodgson told the Sabres’ website after the game. “We need to generate offense. One goal isn’t enough.”

Miller, who sat out Saturday with a lower-body injury, is questionable for the game Tuesday. He has stopped 77 of 80 shots in two games this season.

“Our goalies have stood on their heads all three games,” defenseman Mike Weber said. “And it’s unfortunate that we can’t be better in front of them to limit some of their shots and some of their chances. It all comes down to us finding a way to get some offense going, generate some offense and bear down and score goals.”

Who’s hot: Stamkos had two assists in the Lightning’s defeat of the Blackhawks on Saturday.


Injury Report:

Buffalo: Foligno Strained Shoulder(IR/Probable), Miller Lower Body(Questionable), Hodgson Lower Body(Questionable), Tallinder Upper Body(Out), Tropp Broken Jaw(IR/Out), Zadarov Finger(IR/Out), Leino Cracked Ribs(Out)

Tampa Bay: Ohlund Left Knee Surgery(IR/Out), Lee Knee Surgery(IR/Out)

Next 5 Games:

October 10 vs Columbus Blue Jackets 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

October 12 at Chicago Blackhawks 8:00 PM(MSG HD, NHLN HD)

October 14 vs Minnesota Wild 7:30 PM(NBCSN HD/TSN2 HD)

October 15 at New York Islanders 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

October 17 vs Vancouver Canucks 7:00 PM(MSG HD)


Young Sabres Open Home Slate Hosting Rival Senators

@ 7:00 PM

Last Game:

Buffalo: October 2 at Red Wings Loss 2-1

Ottawa: May 24 at Penguins Loss 6-2


Buffalo: 0-1-0

Ottawa: 25-17-6*


Buffalo: 0

Ottawa: 56*

Rank In Conference:

Buffalo: 14th(8th in Atlantic)

Ottawa: 7th*

Goals For:

Buffalo: 1(T-9th)

Ottawa: 112(27th)*

Goals Against:

Buffalo: 2(22nd)

Ottawa: 100(2nd)*

Power Play Rankings:

Buffalo: 0.0%(T-8th)

Ottawa: 15.9%(T-20th)*

Penalty Kill Rankings:

Buffalo: 100.0%(T-1st)

Ottawa: 88.0%(1st)*

Shots For:

Buffalo: 20(11th)

Ottawa: 1591(1st)*

Shots Against:

Buffalo: 34(T-25th)

Ottawa: 1502(23rd)*

Face-Off Percentage:

Buffalo: 39.7%(11th)

Ottawa: 49.2%(21st)*


Buffalo: 21(T-6th)

Ottawa: 1307(6th)*

Blocked Shots:

Buffalo: 9(T-9th)

Ottawa: 616(24th)*

*2013 Season Stats

Team Leaders:


Buffalo: Girgensons(1)

Ottawa: Turris(12), Greening(8), Zibanejad(7), Karlsson(6)


Buffalo: Flynn(1)

Ottawa: Turris(17), Wiercioch(14), Zibanejad(13), Greening and Z. Smith(12)


Buffalo: Girgensons and Flynn(1)

Ottawa: Turris(29), Zibanejad(20), Greening and Wiercioch(19), Z. Smith(15)


Buffalo: Flynn, Girgensons, Ehrhoff, Pysyk, and Grigorenko(+1), 6 Players Tied With EV Rating

Ottawa: Zibanejad and Wiercioch(+9), Karlsson and Michalek(+8), Turris and Conacher(+6), Greening(+5)

Penalty Minutes:

Buffalo: Myers, Stafford, and Tallinder(2)

Ottawa: Neil(144), Z. Smith(56), M. Kassian(47), Phillips(43)


Buffalo: Ehrhoff, Hodgson, Pysyk, and Ristolainen(3), Vanek and Grigorenko(2), Girgensons, Ott, Tallinder, and McCormick(1)

Ottawa: Turris(118), Z. Smith(94), Zibanejad(90), Phillips(89)

Face-Off Wins:

Buffalo: Hodgson(12), Ott(5), McCormick(2), Ennis, Flynn, Grigorenko, and Porter(1)

Ottawa: Turris(451), Z. Smith(379), Zibanejad(159), J O’Brien(100)


Buffalo: Ott(5), Weber(3), Kaleta, McCormick, Porter, Pysyk(2), 5 Tied with 1 Hit

Ottawa: Neil(206), Methot(130), Greening(122), Z. Smith(97)

Blocked Shots:

Buffalo: Weber(2), 7 Tied With 1 Block Shot

Ottawa: Methot(81), Phillips(78), Gryba(38), Condra(32)

Tonight’s Starting Goaltending Matchup:

Buffalo: Ryan Miller 0-1-0 2.03 GAA .943 SV% 0 SO

Ottawa: Craig Anderson 12-9-2 1.69 GAA .941 SV% 3 SO


Last Meeting: April 5 Sabres Won 4-2

Season Series: Senators Won 3-1-0

All-Time: Sabres Lead 57-42-17

All-Time vs OTT: Sabres Lead 31-19-7

Upcoming Matchups:

December 10 vs Senators 7:00 PM

December 12 at Senators 7:30 PM

February 6 at Senators 7:30 PM

Last Game Recap:

Red Wings edge Sabres in Eastern Conference debut

The Detroit Red Wings’ debut in the Eastern Conference was a smashing success.

Mikael Samuelsson and Pavel Datsyuk scored and Jimmy Howard made 19 saves to lead the Red Wings to a 2-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday night. It was the first game for Detroit since shifting to the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference as part of the NHL’s realignment.

“I thought we got off to a great start there,” Howard said. “We took a lot of penalties, so we’re going to have to clean that up, especially early on in the year here, where it seems like it’s more tightly called.”

Zemgus Girgensons scored and Ryan Miller made 32 saves for the Sabres, who went 0-for-7 on the power play in their season debut, including two 5-on-3 man advantages.

“We were right there all night,” Miller said. “We got in a position to tie. I think we were improving as the game went on.”

Detroit raced to a 2-0 lead with two goals in a span of 36 seconds midway through the first period. Samuelsson opened the scoring at 12:05 when he redirected Cory Emmerton’s shot past Miller for the Red Wings’ first goal of the season.

“Tonight, I thought our line did a real good job and obviously Sammy made an unbelievable tip there,” Emmerton said. “As a fourth line, your job is to be hard on teams, have the puck more than them and make it hard for them and when you score goals that just helps the team. I think we did a real good job tonight.”

Datsyuk doubled Detroit’s lead at 12:41 when he intercepted rookie Rasmus Ristolainen’s pass in the Sabres’ zone at the left circle, deked his way into the slot and ripped a backhander past Miller to make it 2-0.


Tonight’s Preview:

Big story: How will the Senators deal with the loss of former captain Daniel Alfredsson, who after 17 seasons in Ottawa, signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings in the offseason? Who will step up for the Sabres offensively? Buffalo ranked 12th in the Eastern Conference in goals for last season.

Team Scope:

Senators: True, they lost in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but Paul MacLean was named coach of the year after leading the Senators to the postseason despite a slew of injuries. Karlsson, Anderson, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek are all healthy after missing large portions of last season.

After losing Alfredsson, the Senators acquired Bobby Ryan from the Ducks in exchange for Jakob Silfverberg and Stefan Noesen. MacLean promised Ryan’s role with the team will be front and center.

“He’s going to play in a top-six, a top-three role, all the time so it’s a responsibility of preparation on a nightly basis to go with that and we feel he’s ready, he’s already a known factor in the league that he can, he’s scored 30 goals in the league so he’s a bona fide player that can do that and we’re going to give him the opportunities he needs to get better,” MacLean told the Senators’ website on Wednesday.

Sabres: Thomas Vanek, recently named captain for all home games, has eight straight seasons with 20 or more goals and the Sabres will need that out of him again after struggling offensively last season. Buffalo had 20 shots in a 2-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday. Miller was brilliant, allowing two goals on 34 shots; the goals came in a 36-second span in the first period.

“It wasn’t a game that got away from us. It was a game we definitely were in. We could’ve tied it up and if we play that kind of hockey all year against good hockey teams, we’re going to be on the winning side of some of those,” Miller told team’s website. “And if we’re on the losing side, we’re going to have a chance to come back and that’s something good to see. Now we just have to show that we can come back and we’ve got a knack for a little bit of the dramatic at the end.”


Injury Report:

Buffalo: Foligno Strained Shoulder(IR/Out), Tropp Broken Jaw(IR/Out), Zadarov Finger(IR/Out), Leino Cracked Ribs(Out)

Detroit: Spezza Groin(Probable), Gryba Upper Body(Probable)

Next 5 Games:

October 5 at Pittsburgh Penguins 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

October 8 vs Tampa Bay Lightning 7:30 PM(NBCSN HD)

October 10 vs Columbus Blue Jackets 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

October 12 at Chicago Blackhawks 8:00 PM(MSG HD, NHLN HD)

October 14 vs Minnesota Wild 7:30 PM(NBCSN HD/TSN2 HD)


Sabres Start Season In Detroit To Face New Division Foes

@ 8:00 PM


Last Game:

Buffalo: Apr 26 vs. NY Islanders Win(SO) 2-1

Detroit: May 29 at Blackhawks Loss(OT) 2-1



Buffalo: 21-21-6

Detroit: 24-16-8



Buffalo: 48

Detroit: 56


Rank In Conference:

Buffalo: 12th

Detroit: 7th


Goals For:

Buffalo: 118(T-22nd)

Detroit: 122(T-19th)


Goals Against:

Buffalo: 139(T-22nd)

Detroit: 110(5th)


Power Play Rankings:

Buffalo: 14.1(29th)

Detroit: 18.4(15th)


Penalty Kill Rankings:

Buffalo: 79.2(26th)

Detroit: 81.7(12th)


Shots For:

Buffalo: 1339(22nd)

Detroit: 1447(10th)


Shots Against:

Buffalo: 1606(30th)

Detroit: 1322(7th)


Face-Off Percentage:

Buffalo: 46.2(29th)
Detroit: 50.8(T-10th)



Buffalo: 1079(19th)

Detroit: 865(29th)


Blocked Shots:

Buffalo: 718(11th)

Detroit: 560(28th)


Team Leaders:


Buffalo: Vanek(20), Hodgson(15), Ennis(10), Ott(9)

Detroit: Datsyuk(15), Franzen(14), Zetterberg(11), Abdelkader(10)



Buffalo: Vanek and Ennis(21), Hodgson(19), Ehrhoff(17), Ott(15)

Detroit: Zetterberg(37), Datsyuk(34), Kronwall(24), Franzen(17)



Buffalo: Vanek(41), Hodgson(34), Ennis(31), Ott(24)

Detroit: Datsyuk(49), Zetterberg(48), Franzen(31), Kronwall(29)



Buffalo: Ehrhoff and Flynn(+6), Ott, Weber, and Sulzer(+3), Adam(+1), Leino, Ruhwedel, and Ellis(EV)

Detroit: Datsyuk(+21), Kindl(+15), Franzen(+13), Quincey(+7)


Penalty Minutes:

Buffalo: Ott(93), Weber(70), Scott(69), Kaleta(67)

Detroit: Tootoo(78), Kronwall(44), Franzen(41), Cleary(40)



Buffalo: Stafford(121), Vanek(119), Hodgson(114), Ennis(108)

Detroit: Zetterberg(173), Franzen(116), Datsyuk(107), Abdelkader(96)


Face-Off Wins:

Buffalo: Hodgson(380), Ott(298), Ennis(158), Porter(109)

Detroit: Datsyuk(488), Zetterberg(263), Emmerton(187), Andersson(144)



Buffalo: Ott(187), Weber(122), Foligno(108), Kaleta(86)

Detroit: Abdelkader(120), D. Miller(81), Tootoo(68), Ericsson(67)


Blocked Shots:

Buffalo: Weber(92), Ehrhoff(81), Myers(56), Kaleta(34)

Detroit: Kronwall(83), Quincey(46), Lashoff(43), D. Miller(41)


Tonight’s Starting Goaltending Matchup:

Buffalo: Ryan Miller 17-17-5 2.81 GAA .915 SV% 0 SO

Detroit: Jimmy Howard 21-13-7 2.13 GAA .923 SV% 5 SO



Last Meeting: Jan 16, 2012 Red Wings Won 5-0

Season Series: Red Wings Won 2-0

All-Time: Sabres Lead 53-47-16

All-Time at DET: Red Wings Lead 35-18-6


Upcoming Matchups:

Nov 24 vs Red Wings 5:00 PM

Apr 4 at Red Wings 7:30 PM

Apr 8vs Red Wings 7:00 PM


Injury Report:

Buffalo: Foligno Strained Shoulder(IR/Out), Tropp Broken Jaw(IR/Out), Zadarov Finger(IR/Out)

Detroit: Eaves Sprained MCL(IR/Out), Helm Torn Disc In Back(IR/Out), Tootoo Bruised Shoulder(IR/Out), Gustaffson Strained Groin(IR/Out), Kindl Strained Hip Flexor(Questionable), Alfredsson Strained Groin(Questionable), DeKeyser Knee(Questionable), Franzen Strained Hip Flexor(Probable), Ericsson Bruised Thigh(Probable), Abdelkader Hand(Probable), Weiss Groin (Probable)


Next 5 Games:

Oct 4 vs Ottawa Senators 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

Oct 5 at Pittsburgh Penguins 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

Oct 8 vs Tampa Bay Lightning 7:30 PM(NBCSN HD)

Oct 10 vs Columbus Blue Jackets 7:00 PM(MSG HD)

Oct 12 at Chicago Blackhawks 8:00 PM(MSG HD, NHLN HD)


Sabres Release Training Camp Roster

The Buffalo Sabres released their training camp roster today (to view the full roster click here for the pdf on Sabres.com).

It’ll be the first time the Sabres’ new coaching staff and players will be together. Ron Rolston was able to assemble his own staff in the offseason. Joe Sacco and Teppo Numminen will bring a wealth of NHL experience to the staff (mostly as players but as coaches as well). Jerry Forton left Harvard to join Rolston this summer here in Buffalo.

The goalies may get more attention from fans with the Ryan Miller trade rumors that have been around for the past season. The Sabres have invited Enroth, Hackett (these two could be the men who replace Miller if he is traded), Knapp, Lieuwen, and Makarov (has turned some heads with his international play).

Per the Sabres, veterans will report on September 11th for physicals and testing.

Beginning Thursday, Sept. 12, the team’s practice sessions at First Niagara Center will be open to the public, with practices being broken down into three sessions.

In addition to the practice sessions, there will be daily scrimmages, alternating between two of the three practice groups, which will take place from 11:15 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, will be an abbreviated practice schedule and an earlier scrimmage time, from 9:15 a.m.- 10:30 a.m.

The Sabres will then open their preseason schedule of games on Sunday, Sept. 15 against the Canadiens in Montreal at 7:30 p.m.

chedule for first week of camp: (all times are subject to change)

Thursday, Sept. 12
Session One: 8:45-9:45
Session Two: 10-10:45
Scrimmage: 11:15-12:00
Session Three: 12:15-1:00

Friday, Sept. 13
Session One: 7:45-8:45
Scrimmage: 9:15-10:30

Saturday, Sept. 14
Session One: 8:45-9:45
Session Two: 10-10:45
Scrimmage: 11:15-12:00
Session Three: 12:15-1:00

Sunday, Sept. 15
Pre-game skate: 10:30 a.m. (First Niagara Center)
Game at Montreal Canadiens: 7 p.m.

Source: http://sabres.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=681996&navid=DL|BUF|home


RJ Signs Up For 3 More Seasons, Dunleavy To Take The Reigns in 2016

The Sabres announced today that long time Play By Play Man Rick Jeanneret has signed an extension to do play by play duties for the next 3 seasons. After the 2015-2016 season Jeanneret will hang up the headset and Dan Dunleavy will take over the play by play duties. Jeanneret who started with the Sabres in the 1971 has been the voice of many great memories over his 40 plus seasons of games. Over the last few years Jeanneret has been honored by the Sabres by going into the Sabres Hall of Fame in 2011, getting the honor from the NHL with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2012, and last year getting elected into the Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.

Jeanneret will call the majority of the game this season, while Dan Dunleavy gets eased into the position. Dunleavy will be calling 25 Sabres Games this season. Dunleavy was the radio voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs for the past 9 seasons and is also the voice of MLS Toronto FC. Dunleavy will also be a contributor to the Sabres Pre and Post Game Coverage as well as features on Sabres.com.


Sabres Place Forward Nathan Gerbe on Waviers, Preseason Schedule Announced

The Buffalo Sabres made a Roster Move this afternoon placing 25 year old Forward Nathan Gerbe on Waviers. If Gerbe is not claimed by any of the other 29 team the Sabres will then Buy him out. Gerbe at times struggled in his 3 plus season with the organization. Gerbe appeared in 188 games with the Sabres recording 188 Games Recording 72 Points(29 G, 43 A).

In Other News the Sabres Announced the 2013 Preseason Schedule this Afternoon. The Sabres will be playing in 7 games 3 of which will be played at the First Niagara Center. The Sabres host the Carolina Hurricanes on September 19th, The Toronto Maple Leafs on September 21st, and the Columbus Blue Jackets on September 25th. The Regular Season Schedule will come out later this month.

September 15 @ Montreal Canadiens 7:00 PM

September 17 @ Columbus Blue Jackets 7:00 PM

September 19 vs Carolina Hurricanes 7:00 PM

September 21 vs Toronto Maple Leafs 7:00 PM

September 22 @ Toronto Maple Leafs 7:00 PM

September 25 vs Columbus Blue Jackets 7:00 PM

September 27 @ Carolina Hurricanes 7:00 PM

Sabres 2013 Mock Draft

Full Mock – 1st through 7th rounds

This mock draft was finalized between June 18th and June 28th.  It was originally done in reverse order from the 7th round to the 1st round.



Selecting 8th overall in the draft isn’t the greatest spot for the Sabres. They will need a team drafting before them to go off the board a bit, taking either Valeri Nichushkin or Darnell Nurse to possibly allow Buffalo to select either Elias Lindholm or Sean Monahan. Failing to land Lindholm or Monahan won’t be the end of the world. I am going to include Lindholm and Monahan among the five players for the 8th spot, although I am not expecting them to be around when the Sabres pick. The other three players are the ones that are pegged to be taken about 8th, namely Rasmus Ristolainen, Darnell Nurse and Valeri Nichushkin. Just missing the cut are Hunter Shinkaruk and Nikita Zadorov.


Elias Lindholm – 6.0 190 / Center / Brynas (Elitserien) Sweden / Final CSS Ranking 3 – European
GP – 48, 11 goals, 19 assists, 30 points, +1, 2 PIM

Lindholm was relied upon greatly by his team this past season. He played in the Elitserien or better known in North America as the “Swedish Elite League” for Brynas. To be an 18-year-old center playing in a top European men’s league and given as much responsibility as Elias was, you know you have a pretty special player on your hands here. He was the third leading scorer on his team. Lindholm likes to be in the play anywhere on the ice. He’s very strong in movement in the offensive zone, finding spots to shoot or set up teammates. He’s not a big player but he will get near the paint to fight for a shot or rebound. Lindholm’s skating is pretty strong and combined with his excellent stickhandling it makes him a force for the other team to deal with. He can skate backwards very well and does this on occasion in the offensive zone towards the corner giving him a full view of the ice to find a teammate for a pass. Elias is a pretty resilient player in all zones. He’s diligent on the backcheck and doesn’t shirk from defensive duties. He does break up plays to create a counterattack. Lindholm will skate clear across the ice to deliver a strong check to the boards in an effort to dislodge the puck from the opposition. He plays with intensity and often looks like the hardest working player out on the ice. His work ethic would certainly never be questioned because you see Lindholm near the puck most of the time… he’s not taking off shifts or out for a leisurely skate.

Elias is under contract with Brynas for one more season. He briefly was Sabres prospect Johan Larsson’s teammate with Brynas during the 2011-12 season. Lindholm played a dozen games for Brynas that season, while spending most of his time with the J20 team… and tearing that league up, notching nearly 50 points in 36 games.

I like Lindholm’s game as he plays very determined, very good mindset for the game and has great two-way skills at the center position. He won’t slack off and even though only around 190 pounds, I don’t see him getting checked or abused by the opposition. He seems to be the one delivering some strong checks. Elias is a pretty elusive skater and cycles the puck real well, so he avoids a lot of contact that way. A couple things I noticed that I didn’t like was his speed towards the goalie sometimes is a bit average and the other team’s defensemen can catch up to him. He also will occasionally send / force a cross-ice pass in the offensive zone that you know will get broken up or intercepted. He needs to cut down on sending those kinds of passes and work a bit on developing a more explosive stride when going one-on-one with a goalie.

Whether Lindholm is around at 8th overall, we shall see. There’s much talk of Carolina through Edmonton (5-7) taking Lindholm. If he were to drop to 8, the Sabres would have to give heavy consideration to selecting him. Carolina might balk but I don’t think Edmonton will pass up the opportunity to draft him. If Carolina were to take Nichushkin, then I can see the Oilers drafting Lindholm as it seems Calgary is nearly set on taking Sean Monahan. Probably the only way Lindholm would drop to 8 is if the Oilers selected Darnell Nurse or traded out of the pick because some other team is going to go slightly off the board for a player at 7th overall.


Sean Monahan – 6.2 185 / Center / Ottawa 67’s (OHL) / Final CSS Ranking 5
GP – 58, 31 goals, 47 assists, 78 points, -18, 24 PIM

Monahan was the centerpiece of a very weak Ottawa 67’s team this past season. Ottawa could only muster 16 wins as they are going through a rebuilding project. They have lost talented players the past couple of years, mostly due to graduation from the OHL, aka Tyler Toffoli among several others. Monahan pretty much had to do everything for the 67’s this year, leading the team with 78 points. The nearest competition were two players who hit 40 points, one being NHL drafted defenseman Cody Ceci who was traded to the Owen Sound Attack late in the year.

Sean is quite the complete package for a centerman. He is one of the best shooters in the draft in terms of accuracy. He can pick spots with a laser-like wrist shot. Monahan is a decent skater who works very well in the cycle. He’s very patient with the puck and waits for plays to open up. Sean finds open space in the slot for passes that often lead to goals. He positions himself very well and has a high hockey IQ, as he reads the ice as well as just about any draftee this year. Monahan has an aspect to his game that the Sabres would be highly interested in and that is winning face-offs. He’s great at the dot and allowing the 67’s to keep puck possession after a face-off. Sean is good defensively and is very willing to play a full three zone game. He’s not the most aggressive player (in the form of others listed in this mock), but it doesn’t hinder his overall game. He finishes checks and his work ethic would never be questioned. A lot of scouts bring up “intangibles” about Monahan. Reading into that made me think of Chris Drury of course. There are some similarities between their games. Sean has great leadership qualities and didn’t pout about being on a real lackluster team this past season.

He probably projects out to a second line center, and a very good one at that. Monahan’s skating is decent, as said before, but not explosive. That may hold him back as far as top-line duty in the NHL. In any event, Sean is a very safe pick who would be a fantastic second line center. Buffalo’s only fear in this case is the continued buzz about the Calgary Flames selecting Monahan at the 6th overall spot. If Sean dropped to 8, he’d be difficult to pass up, unless Elias Lindholm was still available as well. While the former is slightly possible, the latter is a totally unlikely scenario. The Sabres may be staring at two defensemen when their pick at #8 is on the clock.


Rasmus Ristolainen – 6.3 210 / Defenseman / TPS (SM-liiga) Finland / Final CSS Ranking 4 – European
GP – 52, 3 goals, 12 assists, 15 points, -7, 32 PIM

Ristolainen has played two full seasons for TPS in the top men’s league in Finland… the same one that Joel Armia plays in. Ristolainen is a strong skating two-way defenseman. There’s completeness to his game that is often lacking in draft eligible defensemen. Rasmus isn’t the kind of defenseman an NHL team will be waiting a few years or more to develop. If Ristolainen were to somehow get out of his contract with TPS, he could make the transition to the NHL this fall or at the very least an apprenticeship in the AHL for one year or less. Ristolainen excels at many aspects of the defensive position. He keeps opposing forwards along the wall and exhibits pressure on them in an effort to stifle any offensive flow in the opposing team. He’s very good on the penalty kill, as once again he pressures opponents and has a very quick stick, breaking up plays and getting the puck into the neutral zone. Ristolainen finishes his checks and plays a pretty aggressive game. He’ll do whatever he can to be a thorn in the side of the opposing team as he never lets off the gas pedal in any zone. Rasmus is very strong offensively and is very good along the blueline when TPS is on the power play. He’s very patient with the puck and moves well, looking for openings for a pass or to unleash a pretty hard slap shot. This is another player with very good hockey sense, yet another player who reads the ice incredibly well. Scouts say there’s a high level of maturity to his game, as though he’s been playing in the pro leagues for several years. He carries a calm presence on the ice and doesn’t get flustered or make mistakes. He makes the safe plays when needed and doesn’t force a bad play in his own zone.

The only concern I read about was an occasional tendency to pinch a bit too strongly in the offensive zone which can lead to an odd-man breakout going the other way, but that’s something that can easily be corrected. Among the defensemen in the draft, Ristolainen is arguably the most NHL ready of the bunch, even more so than Seth Jones. A Sabres selection of Ristolainen would be viewed as “unsexy” but he ranks among the best players that Buffalo can take. I have no qualms about his being selected at 8. What you get is a very dependable defenseman who can be in your top pairing down the road. Once again, he excels in all facets of the game. There’s nothing not to like here.


Darnell Nurse – 6.4 190 / Defenseman / Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) / Final CSS Ranking 4
GP – 68, 12 goals, 29 assists, 41 points, +15, 116 PIM

Nurse had a very strong and productive sophomore campaign in the OHL. His forte’ is that of a rough and tumble defenseman who checks very hard along the boards and due to his size he can shove opposing forwards off the puck and help clear the zone. Nurse is particularly nasty in front of the net where he is very aggressive in clearing out the front so his goaltender can see the shooting lanes more clearly. That style of defenseman is clearly lacking in the Sabres organization. Nurse is a very good skater for a player his size. He moves around well, and positions himself well either in the defensive or offensive zones. He has a decent shot from the point, but not spectacular. He will trail a play into the slot for a goal scoring chance. He had very respectable offensive numbers this year, but at the pro level, he will excel more as a defensive defenseman, as that is his bread and butter. Because he is a good skater, he can get back into the play and position himself pretty well in the defensive zone, and keep opposing forwards at the perimeter. The aggressive game Nurse displays sometimes leads to some fights, and he certainly handles things well in the pugilism department. There’s a couple of knocks on Darnell’s game. One is that he needs some work on passing the puck. He needs to have more tape-to-tape passes and less passes into a teammate’s skates. That’s a drill that he will need to work on. A few scouts wonder about his hockey sense to some extent. They prefer that he play a simpler game and work more on the defense aspects and not get overly involved in all zones. There’s a tendency for the puck to be a hot potato when Nurse is at the opposing team’s blueline on the power play. Scouts say he should devote more time to working on his craft in the defense zone. I look at it as a kid with a lot of potential, and I don’t view him as a project. He’s a very fluid skater for a kid his size and he already is an imposing force in his own end. As I said previously, the Sabres could use a player like Nurse, and especially when he fills out and gains another 20 or so pounds. He will probably max out at about 6.5 or 6.6 and 225 pounds. As long as he doesn’t lose much of his skating stride, he could be the Zdeno Chara that the Sabres blueline really needs.


Valeri Nichushkin – 6.3 200 / Left Wing / Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL) / Final CSS Ranking 2 – European
GP – 18, 4 goals, 2 assists, 6 points, +6, 0 PIM

Nichushkin has been tabbed the “enigma” of this draft. Much of that was labeled as a fear of him remaining in the KHL, but that changed in past weeks when Valeri said he’d be more than happy to play in the NHL. He moved his way up the Russian leagues, putting up good numbers in the MHL, then the VHL, and finally a promotion to the KHL. Nichushkin has a very powerful skating stride as he works up speed quickly and is able to glide at a quick pace as he goes to the net. He’s very strong and able to maneuver through opposing defenses, stickhandling his way to the net. He can turn on a dime to gain open space in the offensive zone, to either find a better scoring chance or dish the puck off to an open teammate. Nichushkin often draws a few opponents to him, leaving his teammates available for scoring opportunities. Valeri works well along the wall and can keep puck possession going for quite some time, frustrating his opponents. One thing you have to like about Nichushkin is his willingness to play defense. If the opposition is setting up into the offensive zone, Nichushkin skates hard to get back into the play… sometimes he is back in the d-zone before his defense mates are. He’s very alert in all zones. The knock on Russian players in the past, especially those who are either goal scorers or playmakers, is that they would passively help out on defense. Nichushkin wants to be near the puck in any zone. Valeri had a couple of highlight reel plays this past season… he had a memorable assist at the WJC where he skated end to end around the entire US team… lastly, gliding around Seth Jones, cutting to the net, putting the puck on net and allowing a teammate to get an easy rebound for the goal. Valeri scored a similar styled goal that was the bronze medal winner at the WJC, skating hard along the wall, getting past the opponent’s defense by cutting to the net and putting it past the goalie. Interesting to think how well Nichushkin could mesh with fellow Russian forward Mikhail Grigorenko. Would it work, or would it be a disaster that should certainly cost Darcy Regier and the scouting staff their jobs? Slightly risky choice… glad I am not the one making it.




One player who I would like to see as an option at 16 would be London Knights defenseman Nikita Zadorov. Unfortunately, I don’t think he will last till the 16th pick. As much as I would like to see him as an option, I’m not sure it’s worth moving up to select him. There are other players just as worthy to be selected at 16. If I thought Zadorov was a viable selection at 16, I would have included him. Instead I have listed Prince Albert Raiders defenseman Josh Morrissey as the lone defenseman at this spot. I think his game is more developed than Ryan Pulock’s. Pulock has a few slightly negative aspects to his game that made me leave him out for the 16th spot. I wanted to focus on offense at this pick because the Sabres need a large amount of help there.


Adam Erne – 6.1 200 / Left Wing – Right Wing / Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) / Final CSS Ranking 26
GP – 68, 28 goals, 44 assists, 72 points, +11, 67 PIM

The thing that you first notice about Adam Erne is how quick he is on his skates for a kid who looks like he’s built like a little tank. He has a very powerful stride and can get past defensemen along the wall as they sometimes misjudge his speed. Erne loves cutting to the net from the outside and his puck possession skills are fantastic, which allows to him to get right to the paint for a goal scoring chance. He’s very adept at being the trailer on a play to get a one-time shot on net from the slot. Scouts view Erne as a hybrid playmaking – scoring winger / power forward. His upside in the pros would be as a top-2 line scoring winger who plays a pretty aggressive game and can throw some hard checks whether along the wall or in the open ice. Erne works hard along the boards and usually wins most battles for the puck. He is able to keep possession for long periods of time, allowing teammates to position themselves for a good shot on net. His passing abilities are very strong. He can distribute the puck quickly and likes to play a high tempo game for the Remparts. He is no slouch defensively as he has a great ability in breaking up plays, creating timely turnovers and starting up the attack into the opponent’s zone. The Sabres will have some familiarity with Erne since he was / is a teammate of Mikhail Grigorenko. I would love to see the Sabres select Adam Erne at 16. He’s the type of forward that’s missing from the organization.


Bo Horvat – 6.0 200 / Center / London Knights (OHL) / Final CSS Ranking 15
GP – 67, 33 goals, 28 assists, 61 points, +3, 29 PIM

Horvat jumped onto the Buffalo fan radar this season playing a very strong two-way game and seeing his ranking flirt with the Sabres pick at 8th overall. Bo has slid back some and probably won’t be selected in the top 10. Horvat has very few weaknesses in his game. He’s a tireless worker on the ice in any zone. His back-checking is excellent and he is a threat to steal a puck in the neutral zone and create a breakaway opportunity. He’s very thick bodied and skates really well, he has a very strong stride. Horvat can score goals from anywhere on the ice. He has a very strong wrist shot and will force his way to the net to get a goal. Very competitive player who doesn’t give an inch in regards to any part of the game, whether it’s offense, checking or his defensive work. Plays each shift hard and won’t be outworked by his opponent. Horvat was named the MVP of the OHL playoffs. He turned his game up a few notches, scoring 16 goals in 21 playoff games. I like how he plays the game and his work ethic is top notch. The Sabres would be drafting themselves a very dependable two-way forward who is always in the play, never slacks off. At the 16th pick, he would be a great addition to the Sabres organization… a player with few, if no negatives.


Curtis Lazar – 6.0 200 / Center / Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) / Final CSS Ranking 20
GP – 72, 38 goals, 23 assists, 61 points, +25, 47 PIM

Scouts refer to Lazar as the right-handed shot version of Bo Horvat. They do have some similarities in their games, but Lazar is always looking to score goals and doesn’t have the playmaking skills that Horvat does. Curtis is incredibly smart in the offensive zone as he finds soft / weak spots in the opposing team’s defense and exploits them really well. Over and over he is open for quick one time shots that go in the net. He’s pretty dominating close to the net. He’ll fight for territory in front of the goalie until a rebound is scored. Lazar is a very determined player who takes as much pride in excellent defensive performances as he does in scoring goals. Like Horvat, Lazar has a very strong work ethic and can be a factor in every shift he has on the ice. He blocks shots and is a force for the Oil Kings in the defensive zone and on the penalty kill. One slight knock on Lazar is that he doesn’t have much of a burst in his skating. Overall his skating ability is more than adequate, he’s just lacking that next gear, although up to this point it doesn’t seem to be holding him back. As a pro, Lazar should project to a two-way center who will be strong in all zones. He has a lot of leadership and character qualities that NHL teams would be happy to have in a player. If the Sabres don’t select Adam Erne or Bo Horvat, I think Lazar would be a very good pick at 16th overall.


Anthony Mantha – 6.4 185 / Left Wing – Right Wing / Val d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL) / Final CSS Ranking 10
GP – 67, 50 goals, 39 assists, 89 points, +21, 71 PIM

Mantha led the Quebec junior league with 50 goals. He has a very fast shot, and it’s very accurate. Mantha will shoot the puck from any angle when there’s an opening. Obviously, he’s dangerous on the offense when he bears down towards the net. His goal totals jumped from 22 in the 2011-12 season to 50. He’s quick for a big kid and looks for open space to be able to take a good shot. Mantha is strong in most aspects of the offensive game as he is good at passing the puck, but his modus operandi is to score goals. There are weaknesses with Mantha’s game as he is not overly aggressive for someone his size. He doesn’t necessarily shy away from contact but he’s not out there initiating it for the most part. Some scouts say that he is a bit lazy at times, that his work ethic is questionable. Mantha will dominate some games and put up a big stat line, other games he’s just another player out on the ice. This obviously raises some red flags, and I would most certainly take Erne, Horvat or Lazar before I would select Mantha. Despite that, he is pretty determined in the defensive zone where he breaks up plays to get a counterattack going. A little bit of a “boom-bust” scenario with this kid. Either you are enamored with his goal-scoring ability and great hockey sense in the offensive zone, or you see another talented slacker out on the ice. I think a selection of Mantha is a bit risky, but cannot deny his ability to put the puck in the net.


Josh Morrissey – 6.0 185 / Defenseman / Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) / Final CSS Ranking 27
GP – 70, 15 goals, 32 assists, 47 points, +14, 91 PIM

Morrissey may have felt like half a person when it was revealed his final ranking was at 27. All he can do at this point is stretch out and wait for Sunday’s draft. Josh is an offensive defenseman who is also very good in his own end. He’s a good skater, has good, strong strides that allow him to get to various spots on the ice quickly. Morrissey quarterbacks the Prince Albert power play and does an excellent job of it. He maneuvers well along the blue line and towards the half wall, keeping the attention of his opponents. He has a strong slapshot from the point and will jump into the slot for scoring chances. He’s quite aggressive in the offensive zone. He’s a smart defenseman who knows where his teammates are, reads the ice very well and will dish off good passes for scoring opportunities. Defensively he will hound the opposition along the wall and create turnovers. With his good speed, he can lead a transition out of the defensive zone and be a part of the Prince Albert offense, with four players bearing down on the opponent. Josh can deliver a thundering hit and he’s quite good at lining up some unfortunate soul for a clean, hard check, whether it is along the boards or open ice. He’ll throw the body around a fair amount, and he can become even better at that if he fills out and gains another 20 pounds. His game in some respects reminds me of Christian Ehrhoff, especially the willingness to unleash a slapshot at the point, his movement around the opposing team’s blueline and that he is a factor in the team’s offense. Morrissey plays a more aggressive game than Ehrhoff. He should develop into a strong two-way defenseman as a pro, and should be a player who will be part of a team’s top-4 rotation down the road.





J.T. Compher – 5.11 180 / Center – Left Wing / USA U-18 Development Team / Final CSS Ranking 34
GP – 55, 18 goals, 31 assists, 49 points, +12, 53 PIM / Committed to Michigan


This past season, Compher was the captain and pulse of the US development team. He is strong in all facets of the game. He’s depended upon more than pretty much any other player on the US team. Compher excels in all zones. He’s another forward with excellent skills and ability in the defensive zone. He will antagonize the opposition in the neutral zone, leading to turnovers by the opponent. He’s particularly dangerous to the opposing team’s power play. His “hockey IQ” is very high. He reads and anticipates plays very well. Compher is very good at the face off dot, will block shots, checks well, is very good at cycling the puck and has a number of different, accurate shots he can use on offense. Overall, J.T. can be counted on to be effective in any game situation. He’s among the “safer” picks in the draft but that certainly isn’t a drawback in any case. He gives more than an honest effort most every shift. Compher is the kind of forward that every NHL team wants to have in their employ… a player who takes the initiative to succeed on the ice and is a leader on and off of it.


Laurent Dauphin – 6.0 165 / Center – Right Wing / Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL) / Final CSS Ranking 28
GP – 62, 25 goals, 32 assists, 57 points, 50 PIM

This past season was Dauphin’s first in the Quebec junior league. He’s a skinny, quick skater who will fight through traffic for scoring opportunities. He has a very fast stick and handles the puck very well. Dauphin will go to the paint for chances and shows a lot of resiliency in the offensive zone. His quick maneuvering allows for open shots and an ability at times to set up his teammates. He is able to maintain pressure in the offensive zone with good cycling, wearing out the defense with twists and turns and has a willingness to keep things going in that area. Some say he’s a bit of a puck hog, and at times he does look like that kind of player, although when playing “keep away” from the opposition he is often looking to dish off a pass for a goal scoring chance. Despite not being the biggest player out there, Dauphin will play hard on defense, tying up opponents and puts forth a determined effort on defense. He’s particularly good at poking the puck away from the other team with stick checks. He is diligent in effort along the boards, always looking to break up a play and start the transition going for the offense. As a late injury replacement for the annual CHL Top Prospects game, Dauphin was arguably the most impressive player in the game, scoring a goal and an assist. He should be picked around the time the Sabres are picking at 38. Dauphin would project to becoming a scoring forward at the pro level, probably a second line player. Really like his skills and his high level of effort.


Jacob De La Rose – 6.2 190 / Center / Leksand (Allsvenskan) Sweden / Final CSS Ranking 7 – European
GP – 38, 6 goals, 6 assists, 12 points, +8, 31 PIM

De La Rose sticks out to you when viewing him because he plays a more North American style of game than his teammates do. He looks for the big hit and is very aggressive along the boards… a true checking forward. De La Rose is a north-south skater who likes to initiate contact along the boards to pry pucks loose to help feed his teammates a pass. He can deliver nasty open ice hits at times. Really likes to throw the body around and give the opposition something to think about. He’s viewed as a two-way forward that is strong in all zones of the ice, although I would lean towards De La Rose being better in the defensive end. He’s a tireless worker and a very good skater. He always wants to be around the puck. Offensively he has a bit of work to do. He shows flashes of offensive skill from time to time and is very good at cycling the puck and keeping the play going in the offensive zone. At the next level De La Rose will probably become a very reliable checking forward with some spurts of offense. His (extreme) upside is as a second line forward, but it’s probably safer to say he will end up a very strong third line player. One thing he will never be faulted for is lack of effort.


Ian McCoshen – 6.3 210 / Defenseman / Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL) / Final CSS Ranking 24
GP – 53, 11 goals, 33 assists, 44 points, +35, 48 PIM / Committed to Boston College

McCoshen finished his third season with the Waterloo Blackhawks and is rounding himself out as a strong defenseman in both the defensive and offensive zones at the junior level. McCoshen may have put up 44 points this past season, but as time goes on, at the pro level he will be projected as a shutdown defenseman. Here is another defenseman with very good size and is quite a good skater. He’s yet another defenseman in this mock draft who positions himself well and forces the opposing offense to work for scoring opportunities. McCoshen is more than adequate in taking out opposing forwards along the wall and in front of the net. There’s a level of grit to his game, but it wouldn’t hurt if he increased his intensity at times. He’s a smart kid, makes the smart plays when he has to. If he’s out of options in the defensive zone, he’ll get the puck off the glass and down the ice to alleviate the pressure. Offensively he has a good shot from the point, but his hockey sense for offense isn’t that strong, and that is why he projects to more of a shutdown, defensive defenseman as time goes on. Ian should be selected either very late in the first round, or certainly in the first half of the second round… a safe, smart player who could end up a 3-4 d-man in the pros.


William Carrier – 6.2 200 / Center – Left Wing / Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL) / Final CSS Ranking 18
GP – 34, 16 goals, 26 assists, 42 points, -14, 41 PIM

Carrier most likely would have been a first round selection in the draft this year had he not been injured. In 34 games he accumulated 16 goals and 26 assists. For the 2011-12 season he scored 23 goals and had 47 assists. He has most of the attributes of a power forward. Carrier has a hard slapshot and a lightning quick wrister. His shot is very accurate. Carrier’s skating is quite good for a big kid. He can control play in the offensive zone and is a very important part of the power play. Scouts say that Carrier is one of the best puck possession players in the Quebec junior league. In some ways, that’s saying quite a bit considering the lackluster talent on the Cape Breton team. The Screaming Eagles could only find their way to a paltry 14 wins this past season. Despite only playing 34 games, Carrier was the second leading scorer on the team. Cape Breton has won just 55 games in three seasons. One of Carrier’s negatives is a lack of motivation at times… is that an inherent quality or a product of Cape Breton’s poor performance for a number of years now? Maybe it’s both. Carrier needs more work in the defensive end because he’s lackluster in that regard. He’s an intriguing player, not so much a boom or bust type, but maybe one who can reach his ceiling with a bit more hard work. A change of scenery to a better team in the Q wouldn’t hurt either.





Emile Poirier – 6.1 185 / Left Wing / Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL) / Final CSS Ranking 39
65 GP – 32 goals, 38 assists, 70 points, 101 PIM

Poirier led the way offensively for a Gatineau team that struggled to score goals. Poirier blossomed this past season, registering 32 goals and 70 points which ended up being a sizable jump in numbers from the previous year. Emile is a very fast skater with quick acceleration and the ability to go wide on the defense to create scoring chances. Offensively he can pretty much do everything. His speed allows him to gain open space and separation from the other team’s defense. He has a variety of good shots in his arsenal. Emile is another player who reads the ice very well and can find teammates to create scoring opportunities. He’s a very good puckhandler, and combined with his speed it allows him to undress defensemen for scoring chances and also exploit the defense into committing to him too quickly, opening up a teammate to find space for a good shot. Poirier is quite good in regards to defense. He’s an important part of the Gatineau penalty killing unit. His hockey sense is strong in all zones. Poirier showed a greater willingness to exhibit a more physical style in his game this past season. He finished more checks and did get into a few scraps along the way. Emile seems to be rounding out into a “do everything” type of forward. The only knock on him is a bit of laziness at times when the opposing team has the puck in the Gatineau zone. Scouts say he needs a bit of tweaking in that department, to be more diligent in effort, but it is not a glaring problem. Poirier should be selected in Buffalo’s range around 52, maybe a bit higher.


Adam Tambellini – 6.3 190 / Center / Surrey Eagles (BCHL) / Final CSS Ranking 42
52 GP – 36 goals, 29 assists, 65 points, 26 PIM / Committed to North Dakota

Adam is the son of former Edmonton Oilers executive Steve Tambellini. His brother Jeff played in the NHL for a number of years. Adam has played in the BCHL for the past two seasons and has been a dominating offensive force during his time in the league. In about one year’s time, Tambellini has gone from a 6 foot, 170 pound forward to 6.3 and 190 pounds. In that time he hasn’t lost any of his speed. The competition level in the BCHL wasn’t all that great for him, allowing him to dominate other teams’ defensemen. He’s a very strong skater whose main game is offense and scoring goals. It’s difficult to gauge where he stands in terms of talent because of his ease in exploiting weaker BCHL defenses. It would have been nice to see how his abilities would translate in the WHL. One of Tambellini’s drawbacks is a lack of physical play / aggression and most of the time he’s not going to win battles along the boards. Scouts say he needs to add a grittier element to his overall game. He will be playing with the North Dakota Fighting Sioux in the fall of 2013. The NCAA level should show if Tambellini can make the jump to the pro level.


Dillon Heatherington – 6.3 200 / Defenseman / Swift Current Broncos (WHL) / Final CSS Ranking 31
GP – 71, 4 goals, 23 assists, 27 points, +25, 80 PIM

Dillon is a big defenseman who is very smart with the puck in his own end and is a very good skater for his size. He is excellent at breaking up plays from the opposing team’s offense, whether it’s a stick check or a blocked shot. He’s very good along the wall, tying up his opponent and winning the battle for the puck. Heatherington’s game is more of a simple defensive defenseman style… put out the fires in your own end and send an outlet pass to a teammate to begin an offensive charge into the opposing team’s zone. Very tireless skater, always moving and doing what is needed to clear the defensive zone. Dillon has a strong work ethic, a player with good stamina, pretty relentless in his own end. On occasion he’ll get into a fight, often cause of a hard or nearly late hit he threw. His fighting skills are ok at best. I think Heatherington would be a good pick at 52 for Buffalo. They could use a reliable, big bodied defenseman who plays a safe game in his own end and plays a rather mistake-free game.


Tristan Jarry – 6.2 180 / Goalie / Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) / Final CSS Ranking 3 – Goalie
GP – 27, 18 wins, 7 losses, 1.61 GAA, .936 Save %, 6 SO

Jarry is ranked quite high in this draft and he wasn’t even the starter on his team. Laurent Brossoit has been between the pipes for the Edmonton Oil Kings for three seasons. Jarry has had to bide his time up until now and will become the starting goalie for the Oil Kings in 2013-14. Even though he has been playing for a very strong team in the WHL, Jarry has performed real well in limited opportunities. Even with the lack of ice time, he’s put up some excellent numbers and obviously shakes off any rust he might have very quickly. If you look at the game-by-game opportunities he had, it would seem very difficult to get into any kind of groove. There were several instances where he had two-week gaps in his starts. The lack of starts makes him an even more intriguing selection. Overall, Tristan is a pretty sound goaltender. He’s very quick on his skates and very good at the angles, not allowing the shooter much space. The one aspect of his game that needs improvement is rebound control. I’m not overly keen on the Sabres taking a goalie in the first two rounds, but if Jarry is available at 52 and he’s one of the best options out there, I’d think the Sabres will consider him at the very least.


Samuel Morin – 6.7 200 / Defenseman / Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL) / Final CSS Ranking 23
GP – 46, 4 goals, 12 assists, 16 points, +10, 117 PIM

Morin’s second season in the Quebec junior league, he improved markedly over his rookie year. Morin is a very tall, lanky defenseman who plays aggressively in his own end and is quite a good skater, able to take the puck away from his opponent with relative ease and get things moving up ice. His stick checks work incredibly well for him, due to his height and he breaks up a lot of plays that way. He will cordon off an opponent to the boards and take the puck away, moving quickly into the neutral zone. Morin will jump in to the high slot for shots on net. He reminds me of Tyler Myers in some aspects, but he is much more aggressive and nasty to play against, compared to Myers. Morin will happily drop the gloves, and he administered a few big time beatings to some unlucky opponents this past season. I like his aggressiveness, and his skating is very good for a big kid. He will line up an opposing player for a highlight worthy hit on occasion. Morin is the kind of defenseman that the other team needs to be wary of. He could use some improvement in positioning at times, but he’s able to slightly compensate any problems there by being a good skater. Like fellow defensemen Jonathan Diaby and Dillon Heatherington, Samuel Morin would be a nice addition to the Sabres prospect stable. EDIT: I would move Morin up to 38. He looks to be a late riser. I think some are getting overzealous moving him up as far as they have.





With the 3rd round selection, the draft becomes more interesting as more viable talent will appear for the Sabres. With no 4th round selection, there’s a sizable gap between their picks from the 3rd to the 5th rounds, 60 selections all told. In the 3rd round I would like to see them take a gritty end-to-end workaholic, and / or a player who will intimidate the opposition… get under their skin. Of course, I want a player with skill as well and not just a 4th liner. A player with a high level of competitiveness who doesn’t take off any shifts would be appropriate.


Jonathan Diaby – 6.5 225 / Defenseman / Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL) / Final CSS Ranking 37
GP – 67, 4 goals, 22 assists, 26 points, +12, 117 PIM

Call Diaby a “Poor Man’s Darnell Nurse” if you like. Diaby is a tough, nasty defenseman who will throw borderline dirty hits along the wall at times and is an intimidating presence on the ice. When you see him originally, you don’t think he’d be a good skater because he looks to be built like a tank, but he’s very good at positioning himself between his goaltender and keeping the opposing offense to the outside. Some scouts believe he can develop into a very good physical, shutdown defenseman over time. He’s still a bit of a work in progress, but really blossomed this past season, his second full season in the Quebec junior league. To get to the next level he will have to refine his game, become better with outlet passes, keep it simple and use his strength and decent skating ability to overpower the opposition along the wall and in front of the net. Diaby is more than happy to drop the gloves. He will defend a teammate who takes a nasty hit and he can throw rock hard punches with both hands. The Sabres need this kind of defenseman in their system to offset the many pacifists in the prospect portion of the blueline.


Nick Baptiste – 6.1 190 / Right Wing / Sudbury Wolves (OHL) / Final CSS Ranking 61
GP – 66, 21 goals, 27 assists, 48 points, -1, 44 PIM

Baptiste is a player who can pretty much do everything. He’s a very good skater with a powerful stride and quick acceleration into the second gear. His hockey smarts are top notch, he reads the ice incredibly well creating open space for himself and allowing him to either feed his teammates for a scoring opportunity or keep the pressure going against the opposing team’s defense. Nick is very strong along the wall, fighting for loose pucks, keeping possession and creating more offensive opportunities. He is also very smart and aware on defense, able to break up plays and start a counterattack into the other team’s zone. He’s another player with a very strong work ethic, near the puck a lot, always engaged in the play. Baptiste is a very complete forward who excels in basically all aspects of the game. Although he didn’t fare too well, he had the balls to get into a fight with the much bigger Darnell Nurse. Nick would be a fine addition to the Sabres organization. I like how he plays the game, an honest hardworking kid.


Vincent Dunn – 5.11 175 / Center – Left Wing / Val d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL) / Final CSS Ranking 73
GP – 53, 25 goals, 27 assists, 52 points, +21, 98 PIM

Dunn is a very intense two-way forward whose game is very aggressive at both ends of the ice. He’s not a big player but he plays big, gets under the skin of the opposition with hard checks, sometimes late ones and is willing to fight anyone. His hockey skills are decent, although he doesn’t carry the attributes of your typical offensive forward. Dunn will get his nose in front of the net for tip-ins, drive to the net hard to either score or disrupt his opponents in front of the net to allow a teammate to cash in on a rebound. There’s nothing flashy to his game at all. Point totals jumped from 13 to 52 this past season. Plays the game like his hair is on fire, relentless along the boards, hitting any opposing player that has the puck. He gets a bit out of control at times and received a suspension during the season for some taunting and foul language. Dunn is one of the nastiest players in this draft, and his style could raise some eyebrows among the Softies. He will play for Gatineau in the Quebec league next season. Dunn is a very rugged kid who is going to need to get a bit bigger to be a better factor at the next level.


Brett Pesce – 6.3 175 / Defenseman / New Hampshire Wildcats (Hockey East) / Final CSS Ranking 40
GP – 38, 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points, +6, 10 PIM

Pesce is the highest ranked collegiate player entering the draft. He is another defensive defenseman who excels in his own end. His positioning is very good, he keeps the shooters to the outside and is adept at breaking up plays with his stick and moving the puck up to his forwards to begin the transition. Pesce is a good skater and has decent size (height-wise), although he will fill out more in the next few years. He plays a simple, strictly defensive game. He doesn’t have many offensive attributes. He needs to learn more about the offensive game, at least become somewhat proficient at the opposing team’s blueline. Brett was a true freshman on the New Hampshire defense unit. He moved up from the Atlantic Youth League right into the Wildcats lineup. Could use a bit more aggression in his game, but if he keeps improving and refining his defense traits he would be a solid addition to the Sabres’ group of prospect defensemen. Defensively aware blueliners are needed in the system.


Marko Dano – 5.11 185 / Center / HC Slovan Bratislava (KHL) / Final CSS Ranking 12 – European
37 GP – 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points, +4, 26 PIM

Dano is a speedy center who plays a high energy game and is a very effective player in the offensive zone. He is good at finding open areas in the offensive zone to score quick goals. He has a good shot and quick hands. Always moving on his skates and engaged in the play. While playing for Bratislava in the KHL, Dano was teammates with former Sabres Miroslav Satan and Milan Bartovic. As an 18 year old on a veteran laden KHL team, Marko led the entire team in plus / minus. He has an edge to his game at times that you like to see. Dano also played on the Slovakian WJC team this past season. He had four goals and five assists in six games at the tournament.



5.129 / 5.130


Myles Bell – 6.0 210 / Left Wing / Kelowna Rockets (WHL) / Final CSS Ranking 46
69 GP – 38 goals, 55 assists, 93 points, +46, 68 PIM

Bell is one of the more interesting players entering this year’s draft. This is the third time that Bell is draft eligible. He has already played four full years in the WHL, both with the Regina Pats and now the Kelowna Rockets. Myles played on defense his first three seasons but was converted to a forward this past year. He seemed to adjust very well as he finished 6th overall in WHL scoring, eight points ahead of prospective first rounder Hunter Shinkaruk. Being an offensive defenseman previously made for an easy transition for Bell. He possesses a hard shot, (nearly 100 MPH) and does play an aggressive game, especially along the wall. In the 5th round it’s worth taking a gamble on a player like this. He was passed up in previous drafts, purportedly, due to some off- ice issues.


Sven Andrighetto – 5.9 190 / Right Wing / Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL) / Not Ranked
53 GP – 31 goals, 67 assists, 98 points, +25, 45 PIM

Like Bell, Andrighetto is an overaged player born in 1993. Andrighetto is somewhat of a “Poor Man’s Drouin”. The Swiss born forward is one of the fastest skaters in this draft and relies heavily on his speed to zoom past defenders. He owns a combination of great puck handling skills, a variety of fantastic shots with a high speed, accurate wrist shot at the forefront. In two years in the Quebec junior league, Sven has accumulated 67 goals and 105 assists. Teams shied away from drafting him the past two years due to his diminutive stature and being the recipient of some big hits along the boards. CSS didn’t give him a ranking this year, despite nearly hitting the 100-point barrier in just 53 games. Perhaps they feel “longevity” won’t be a part of Andrighetto’s hockey career. Again, being that this pick would be in the 5th round, I see no problem taking a chance on a boom or bust type player. There’s a lot of upside to this player. The Sabres need scorers, so go ahead and take a 5th round flier on this guy.


Brendan Harms – 6.0 175 / Center – Right Wing / Fargo Force (USHL) / Final CSS Ranking 93
64 GP – 25 goals, 45 assists, 70 points, +33, 45 PIM / Committed to Bemidji State

Another strong puck possession player, forward Brendan Harms is adept at cycling the puck in the offensive zone and feeding quick passes to teammates for scoring opportunities. Harms is a very smart, patient player who waits for offensive situations to open up. Although not a big player, he sticks his nose in front of the net for scoring chances and will work hard along the wall to free loose pucks and keep offensive momentum going. Harms is a decent skater, not a great one, but his willingness to never take off a shift, block shots and be an offensive force makes him the kind of player every team wants. This is a lunch bucket guy with a high level of skills and hockey smarts. Brendan is projected to be picked in the mid rounds of the draft.


Zach Sanford – 6.3 185 / Left Wing / Islanders HC (EJHL) / Final CSS Ranking 60
37 GP – 12 goals, 24 assists, 36 points, 22 PIM / Committed to Boston College

Sanford is a big forward who made the jump from New Hampshire high school hockey to the EJHL this past season. It took some time to make adjustments to the better level of competition, and Zach ended up flourishing later in the season, moving him up in draft rankings. He’s projected to be taken somewhere around the 4th and 5th rounds. He is a tall forward who skates well and has very good puck handling skills. Sanford is geared towards the offense and will crash the net to cash in on opportunities. Scouts say he’s still a bit raw but were impressed by the improvement he showed over the past season. Zach will play in the EJHL next year and then jump to Boston College in the fall of 2014.


Marcus Hogberg – 6.4 200 / Goalie / Linkoping J20 (SuperElit – Sweden) / Final CSS Ranking 4 – European
23 GP – 13 wins, 9 losses / 2.41 GAA / .917 Save % / 2 SO

Hogberg is a big goalie with quick reflexes. He’s ranked as the 4th best European goalie for the draft, but he had to share time with a goalie that blossomed on the Linkoping J20 team (Jacob Johansson). When the first round of the J20 season ended and the “Top 10” portion started, Marcus took over the starting role and was one of the top two or three goalies during that portion of the league schedule. Hogberg is the classic butterfly style goalie and is very good with rebound control. His quickness is in all aspects, pads, glove and waffle. With the Sabres having three selections in the 5th round, it wouldn’t hurt to take a goalie with one of the picks. Buffalo’s goaltending stable is improving, but adding another netminder to increase the competition in the system would be a good idea.





Matt Buckles – 6.2 210 / Center – Right Wing / St. Michael’s Buzzers (OJHL) / Final CSS Ranking 117
50 GP – 40 goals, 31 assists, 71 points, 107 PIM / Committed to Cornell University

Matt is in the mold of a power forward, a center / winger playing in the OJHL, which is the same league that the Buffalo Jr. Sabres play in. Buckles is a big, strong goal scorer with great puck possession skills and has some grittiness to his game… he owns the typical attributes of a power forward. He works well along the boards in the offensive zone, maintains possession very well and has a nasty slap shot that finds the net. Buckles was the fourth highest goal scorer in the OJHL this past season, registering 40 goals. Many players in the OJHL are two and three years older than Matt, and most are not NHL prospects. His defensive work needs some refining but he’s a talented player with a strong work ethic. Buckles ranges anywhere from a third to fifth round pick in the upcoming draft.


Teemu Kivihalme – 5.11 160 / Defenseman / Burnsville H.S. (Minnesota) / Final CSS Ranking 64
25 GP – 9 goals, 21 assists, 30 points, 22 PIM / Committed to Colorado College

Kivihalme is one of the better skaters in this draft. A fast and elusive defenseman, he runs the offense for his team and quarterbacks the power play. Teemu will occasionally go on an end-to-end rush to throw off the opposition and quickly set things up for his teammates and maintain offensive pressure. Despite all the accolades for his skating and offensive prowess, Kivihalme lacks awareness and positioning in his own end and he is slight of stature at 5.11 and 160 pounds. Although not completely passive in the defensive end, due to his lack of size he doesn’t exactly punish his opponents. As he fills out he can become more of an asset in the defensive zone. He is a very talented player with many tools to make an impact at the next level. After a likely stint with the USHL’s Fargo Force this upcoming season, four years in the NCAA certainly won’t hurt his development.


Avery Peterson – 6.2 195 / Center / Grand Rapids H.S. (Minnesota) / Final CSS Ranking 77
31 GP – 23 goals, 31 assists, 54 points / Committed to Minnesota

Reports vary on Peterson who is projected to be picked in the fourth or fifth rounds. He’s a lanky centerman who sets up plays for his teammates. He was far and away the leading scorer for his team, playing in the Iron Range league in Minnesota. Avery is a good passer who sees the ice well and has very good puck handling abilities. The one knock on him is that he is only an adequate skater. Peterson also played for the Sioux City Musketeers in the USHL, notching a goal and three assists in eight games.


Carter Verhaeghe – 6.1 180 / Center / Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL) / Final CSS Ranking 102
67 GP – 18 goals, 26 assists, 44 points, -12, 22 PIM

Verhaeghe is a defensive forward for the Ice Dogs and is a very important part of the team’s penalty killing unit. Like Peterson, Verhaeghe is only an adequate skater but a high energy guy who doesn’t take a shift off. He is kind of a Jack of All Trades with a strong work ethic. He more than likely projects to being a defensive forward at the next level, but saw a sizable jump in his offensive numbers this past season. Prior to his tenure with Niagara, Verhaeghe played for the Hamilton Jr. team in the league that the Buffalo Regals are a part of. Verhaeghe’s offensive numbers were much stronger with Hamilton. A bit of a project, but he won’t be discounted for lack of effort.


Tyler Lewington – 6.1 190 / Defenseman / Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL) / Final CSS Ranking 66
69 GP – 2 goals, 24 assists, 26 points, +14, 131 PIM

Reports are mixed on Lewington. Some say he needs to progress in all elements of the game, yet CSS ranks him at 66th overall. At the scouting combine he finished first in the bench press, push-ups and a push strength competition. Lewington certainly has strength and stamina engaging in fights with bigger players. Overall, he’s viewed as more of a defensive defenseman who keeps things simple and doesn’t project to running a team’s power play. Lewington is a tough kid who sticks up for his teammates and loves to initiate fights, even if he loses about half of them. He will verbally entice an opponent into a scrap. He fought a few players bigger than him. Lewington would add some much needed grit to the Sabres prospect system.





Jason Salvaggio – 6.0 190 / Center / South Kent Prep (Connecticut) / Final CSS Ranking 97
54 GP – 49 goals, 36 assists, 85 points / Committed to New Hampshire

When it comes to the final few rounds of an NHL draft, it doesn’t hurt to take a shot on a kid who put up some big numbers in a league that isn’t the CHL. Was the leading scorer on the 17th ranked (nationally) South Kent Selects U-18. Obviously scoring 49 goals, he has a nose for the net. Judging from video, he’s an offensive first type player and waits for the defensemen to feed him the puck to create a break into the other team’s zone. Salvaggio will play for the Indiana Ice next year in the USHL and got in a few games with them at the end of their season. Salvaggio’s South Kent coach was an assistant with the Indiana Ice prior to coaching South Kent.


Zach Glienke – 6.3 190 / Left Wing / Eagan H.S. (Minnesota) / Final CSS Ranking 160
25 GP – 30 goals, 30 assists, 60 points, 19 PIM / Committed to Maine

Glienke registered at least 3 points in 13 of his team’s 25 regular season games in a Minneapolis suburban high school league. He has committed to the University of Maine and was drafted by the USHL’s Omaha Lancers.


Patrik Bartosak – 6.1 180 / Goalie / Red Deer Rebels (WHL) / Final CSS Ranking 8 – Goalie
55 GP – 33 wins, 14 losses, 5 OTL / 2.26 GAA / .935 Save % / 5 SO

Bartosak is a 20-year-old goalie who has been passed over the last two years in the entry draft. He had a 1.97 GAA in the playoffs for Red Deer. Could be a bit of a late bloomer and picking him in the 6th round would be a sufficient spot for him. It never hurts to add another goalie to the stable, especially one who logged a lot of ice time and had very strong numbers. Bartosak could be this year’s drafted version of Andrey Makarov.


Connor Rankin – 6.0 195 / Left Wing / Tri-City Americans (WHL) / Final CSS Ranking 98
71 GP – 32 goals, 26 assists, 58 points, +9, 34 PIM

Connor Rankin (not related to Amerk Evan Rankin) finished up his third season in the WHL, although this is his first draft-eligible year. Rankin is a two-way forward who plays a pretty simple game and is quite dependable on defense. He is one of Tri-City’s best penalty killers. Connor registered more goals this past season in comparison the previous. He still doesn’t project to be a scoring forward at the next level. His upside is that of a pretty reliable defensive forward.


Wiley Sherman – 6.6 210 / Defenseman / Hotchkiss School (Connecticut) / Final CSS Ranking 104
26 GP – 4 goals, 6 assists, 10 points / Committed to Harvard

Wiley is a big, smooth skating defenseman. He also plays an aggressive game in his own end, punishing the opposition into the wall or in front of the net. Sounds like a combination of Nikita Zadorov and Darnell Nurse. The thing with Wiley Sherman is he’s a raw, project player. He plays a simple defensive game, doesn’t take risks. He won’t project to being any kind of offensive force. Various scouting reports say he plays a pretty mistake-free game. His level of competition isn’t the OHL, like it is for Zadorov and Nurse.





Alex Kile – 5.11 190 / Left Wing / Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) / Final CSS Ranking 136
56 GP – 30 goals, 30 assists, 60 points, +8, 60 PIM / Committed to Michigan

Eligible for the draft last year, Kile produced bigger numbers for Green Bay this past season. That alone will garner some attention of becoming a late round pick. Alex nearly doubled his offensive stats in 2012-13. Displays good offensive traits, puck handling, sets up his teammates with good passes and owns a good shot. He is not an overly aggressive player, but won’t shy away from contact. Prior to the USHL, Alex played for the highly regarded Honeybaked team in Detroit.


Timotej Sille – 6.3 185 / Right Wing / Skalica U-20 (Slovakia) / Final CSS Ranking 42 – European
38 GP – 31 goals, 38 assists, 69 points, +41, 10 PIM

Sille is the highest rated Slovakian player for the upcoming draft. He made the jump from the U-18 team in 2011-12 to the U-20 team and didn’t miss a beat. Slovakia hasn’t been churning out many highly ranked NHL draftees for a few years now, but at this late in the draft, doesn’t hurt to pick a player like Sille, a player who puts up good numbers and has good size.


Nolan De Jong – 6.2 190 / Defenseman / Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) / Final CSS Ranking 111
51 GP, 5 goals, 19 assists, 24 points, 16 PIM / Committed to Michigan

De Jong is a defensive defenseman who is a project player, albeit one with some talent. He doesn’t initiate play, but thwarts the opposition when they press into the Victoria zone. De Jong is adept at breaking up passes and making the simple plays that are the quality of a defensive defenseman. He is a decent positional player and adequate skater. Offense is not the name of his game. He’s better suited to develop his game in the defensive zone, which is his strong point.


Willie Raskob – 5.10 185 / Defenseman / Shattuck St. Mary’s H.S. (Minnesota) / Final CSS Ranking 178
57 GP, 9 goals, 40 assists, 49 points, 28 PIM / Committed to Minnesota-Duluth

Offense has been the name of the game for Raskob’s four-year tenure with the Shattuck St. Mary’s program. Raskob is a talented, albeit slight of stature defenseman. Is an asset on his team’s power play as he can dish the puck very well and has very good vision, playing a high tempo game. He is a very good puck handler and quick, elusive skater. Just on talent alone he’s worthy of a late round selection.


Jaimen Yakubowski – 5.11 200 / Left Wing / Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL) / Not Ranked
66 GP – 32 goals, 18 assists, 50 points, -6, 126 PIM

Yet another 30+ goal scorer among the last two rounds of the mock. Yakubowski is different from the others as he’s a hyper-aggressive forward who would like to label the opposition with a big check or get into a scrap as much as scoring a goal. It wouldn’t hurt the Sabres to add more sandpaper into the organization. Yakubowski was draft eligible in 2012. Jumping from 16 goals to 32 will get the attention of NHL teams. Add in the aggressive nature of his game and he could end up being selected towards the end of the draft.




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