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Armia

Mikhail Grigorenko has four goals this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Mikhail Grigorenko needed some time to adjust. Getting demoted to the AHL wasn’t easy. The 20-year-center impressed during the NHL training camp, igniting speculation he could earn a roster spot.

But the rebuilding Sabres wanted the slick Russian to develop in Rochester, where he could receive loads of ice time, so they assigned him to the Americans on Oct. 6.

“It was probably tough a few days,” Grigorenko said Wednesday about acclimating to the AHL again. “It’s a …

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Patrick Kaleta impressed the Sabres this training camp. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Patrick Kaleta’s facial injury isn’t as bad the Sabres originally feared, and the winger could miss as little as a month, coach Ted Nolan said Tuesday.

“It’s still serious,” Nolan said inside the First Niagara Center. “It’s not going to be a three-month thing. It’s could be a less-than-month type of thing. So we’re thankful for that.”

Kaleta and forward Johan Larsson were injured early in Sunday’s 3-2 shootout exhibition loss in Toronto. Larsson, Nolan said, is out about 10 …

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Matt Ellis captained Rochester last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Veteran forward Matt Ellis was among seven players the Sabres sent to Rochester this afternoon.

The Sabres also assigned: forwards Joel Armia and Tim Schaller; defensemen Drew Bagnall and Nick Petricki; goalies Nathan Lieuwen and Andrey Makarov.

Ellis and Bagnall must clear waivers to reach the AHL Americans. Ellis captained Rochester in 2012-13 and last season before earning a 50-game recall.

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Andrey Makarov hasn't played this preseason. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres aren’t bringing their ‘A’ squad to Toronto for tonight’s preseason contest against the Maple Leafs, but the lineup features a lot of youngsters and bubble players “that deserve to play,” coach Ted Nolan said.

“Camp’s far from over,” Nolan said this morning inside the First Niagara Center.

First, here are forward lines: Cody Hodgson, Mikhail Grigorenko, Chris Stewart; Zac Dalpe, Torrey Mitchell, Brian Flynn; Joel Armia, Johan Larsson, Nick Deslauriers; Matt Ellis, Tim Schaller, Patrick Kaleta.

“You look at …

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Sam Reinhart has played all three preseason games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – After playing three games in a five-day stretch to open the preseason, top Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart will likely sit out Sunday’s exhibition tilt in Toronto, coach Ted Nolan said.

Reinhart agreed with Nolan’s assessment he enjoyed his best outing in Friday’s 6-4 loss to the Maple Leafs. The center had zero points and one shot in 16 minutes, 46 seconds of ice time, mostly between Cody Hodgson and Brian Gionta.

“I think that was probably the toughest matchup for …

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Phil Varone played nine NHL games last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Phil Varone’s nine-game run last season grabbed coach Ted Nolan’s attention. The 5-foot-10 forward played well during his first NHL recall, compiling one goal and two points while taking a regular shift.

But Varone, who will play in today’s preseason opener in Washington, couldn’t convert a slew of scoring opportunities he generated.

“The difference between him and (Martin) St. Louis and players of that caliber who’s a smaller structure, when they have an opportunity to put it, they put it …

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Joel Armia rolls in on a breakaway as the New York Rangers’ Troy Donnay (53) gives chase Saturday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

So far, the Sabres are 0-2 in the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich., with just two goals scored. They’ve had some chances, though.

Our Dan Hickling captured 2011 first-round selection Joel Armia roaring in on a breakaway in Saturday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Rangers. The winger, who’s likely ticketed for Rochester in a few weeks, was stopped.

The Sabres have today off before playing the Dallas Stars on Monday.

Please follow Dan and Margaret for great photo updates!

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Sam Reinhart was drafted No. 2 in June. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Four first-round picks, including center Sam Reinhart, the No. 2 overall selection this year, are on the Sabres’ 24-man roster for the 2014 NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich.

Winger Joel Armia and defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov are the other first-rounders.

The eight-team tournament runs from Friday until next Tuesday. The Sabres won in 2011 and finished second in 2013.

The complete Buffalo roster the team released today is below.

2014 Traverse City Roster

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Zemgus Girgensons spent all last season with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Some experts are already predicting the Sabres, a team three months removed from the worst NHL season in recent memory, will be legitimate Stanley Cup contenders in a few years.

Why? Their prospect pool might be the deepest in hockey.

Seven first-round picks are participating in the team’s development camp this week. Seven of the 41 prospects played in the NHL last season, including center Zemgus Girgensons, who spent the entire campaign with the Sabres.

Fans can get their first glimpses …

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Joel Armia hasn't played in a regular-season NHL game yet. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

Since most NHL Entry Drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Buffalo Sabres’ first-round picks from 2006-11 and some notable hits and misses. Fourteen of Buffalo’s 43 draft choices over that time have made the NHL.

The Sabres have eight picks this weekend in Philadelphia, including the No. 2 selection.

2011

First-round pick: center Joel Armia, 16th overall

Armia endured a rough season in 2013-14, his first in North America. The 21-year-old broke his hand during an …

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