Jimmy Vesey Watch

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Rasmus Ristolainen has been a strong pick for the Sabres. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – To thrive in the modern NHL, teams must build through the draft. It’s that simple. The days of loading up with veteran players through free agency or trades are long gone. The league belongs to the 20-somethings now, and if teams draft poorly, they’re doomed.

How good are the Sabres at drafting? Judge for yourself below. Since drafts usually don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at their selections from 2008-13. Eighteen of Buffalo’s 47 …

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Former Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers (57) skates past Paul Byron last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Drew Stafford called it a “healthy separation.” The Winnipeg Jets winger said he has no ill will toward anyone here. He enjoyed his nine-year Sabres career.

As a struggling veteran months away from free agency last year, Stafford knew the rebuilding Sabres would trade him. Sure enough, Stafford, 30, was dealt with defenseman Tyler Myers on Feb. 11, 2015 in the blockbuster that brought defenseman Zach Bogosian and winger Evander Kane to the Sabres.

“I was kind of expecting something …

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Tyler Myers is out for the season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Tyler Myers’ first game back here will have to wait until another season. The Winnipeg Jets defenseman underwent knee surgery Thursday and will miss the rest of the year.

The Jets make their yearly visit to the First Niagara Center on Saturday afternoon.

After Myers’ knee is stabilized and the season ends, he will undergo major hip surgery that requires 16 to 20 weeks of recovery, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.

“He needs his knee to rehab the hip,” Jets …

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Dan Catenacci scored 15 goals last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – As last year dragged on and the losses and recalls piled up, at least one bright spot emerged for the depleted Rochester Americans, forward Dan Catenacci, an often overlooked Sabres prospect.

In his second professional season, Catenacci, 22, developed into one of the AHL club’s lone offensive threats, scoring 12 of his 15 goals in his final 38 games.

Catenacci, a third-round pick in 2011, 77th overall, is rarely mentioned among Buffalo’s top forward prospects, something that likely won’t change …

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The Sabres acquired Jason Kasdorf in February. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Some of hockey’s biggest young names switched teams in the Sabres’ blockbuster seven-player trade with the Winnipeg Jets in February.

The Sabres paid a hefty price for 30-goal winger Evander Kane and workhorse defenseman Zach Bogosian, giving up slick defenseman Tyler Myers, forward prospects Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux, veteran winger Drew Stafford and a 2015 first-round pick.

Lost in the hubbub was a college goalie the Jets quietly sent the Sabres in the Feb. 11 deal.

Remember this name: Jason …

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Zemgus Girgensons could have a long career with the Sabres. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

SUNRISE, Fla. – How good have the Buffalo Sabres drafted in recent years? Judge for yourself below.

Since most drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Sabres’ selections from 2007-12 and some notable hits and misses. Sixteen of Buffalo’s 45 draft choices over that time – 36 percent – have made the NHL.

The Sabres have eight picks at this weekend’s NHL Draft, including the No. 2 selection, which they will use to select mega-prospect …

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The Sabres introduced Evander Kane on Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – For almost 13 minutes, Evander Kane smoothly answered questions about his turbulent past with the Winnipeg Jets and the future that could be special for the 23-year-old winger following his recent acquisition by the Sabres.

Wearing jeans, a Sabres hoody with his No. 9 and a sling around his surgically repaired left shoulder, an upbeat Kane sounded relieved to be out of Winnipeg, a city he calls a “fishbowl.”

“Let’s just put it this way, I think I’m definitely excited …

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The Sabres recalled Matt Ellis last month. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Matt Ellis considers himself a realist. At 33 years old, the center understands the Sabres have younger and more talented players they need to examine.

That’s why the veteran of 330 NHL games spent four months this season mentoring the organization’s AHL prospects in Rochester.

“To be perfectly honest, I enjoyed the role that I played in Rochester,” Ellis said Monday inside the First Niagara Center.

The role was fulfilling. Ellis felt proud when several Sabres prospects realized their dreams. Joel …

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Tim Murray smiles Wednesday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ acquisition of winger Evander Kane and defenseman Zach Bogosian from the Jets in Wednesday’s blockbuster trade that sent defenseman Tyler Myers to Winnipeg makes the rebuilding club closer to contending, general manager Tim Murray said.

“My plan was to do something like this to speed it up,” Murray said inside the First Niagara Center after pulling off the NHL’s biggest deal this season.

The Sabres paid a steep price, however, dealing a stud defenseman, winger Drew Stafford, prospects …

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Tyler Myers was the 2009-10 Calder Trophy winner. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – The Sabres’ acquisition of winger Evander Kane and defenseman Zach Bogosian from the Jets today in the blockbuster trade that sent defenseman Tyler Myers to Winnipeg makes the rebuilding club closer to contending, general manager Tim Murray said.

“My plan was to do something like this to speed it up,” Murray said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center after pulling off the NHL’s biggest deal this season.

The Sabres paid a steep price, however, dealing a stud defenseman, winger …

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