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Development Camp

Rasmus Asplund left junior hockey almost two years ago. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Almost two years ago, in the midst of a high-scoring junior season, Rasmus Asplund’s success forced the Sabres prospect to “start from scratch,” he said.

Asplund had already scored 25 points in 19 games when Färjestad BK, a team in the Swedish Hockey League, the country’s highest pro circuit, recalled the center.

That meant Asplund, then just 16 years old, would start competing against men.

“It’s a different type of game when you come up,” Asplund said last week following a …

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Will Borgen smiles after beating Steve Racine for a shootout goal that clinched a three-on-three tournament for his team Tuesday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – By around November, just weeks into his St. Cloud State University career, Sabres prospect Will Borgen’s superb play began attracting attention college freshmen rarely receive.

“The scary thing for us, for everybody, was almost from the get-go he was ready to go,” St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko said. “It was very early we knew we had something kind of special here.”

So did the decision-makers in charge of Team USA’s entry at the world junior championship. When they watched …

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Tim Murray won't let himself worry about Jimmy Vesey. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The constant talk about whether former Harvard University star Jimmy Vesey will sign with the Sabres amazes general manager Tim Murray.

No one, of course, has more invested in Vesey than Murray, who traded a third-round pick for the Hobey Baker Award winner’s rights on June 20, a deal he has called a “gamble.”

If Vesey signs, Murray might have a first- or second-line winger to skate beside Jack Eichel or Ryan O’Reilly. If Vesey, 23, looks elsewhere, Murray must …

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Michael Campoli was stretchered off the ice Tuesday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – For about 20 minutes Tuesday morning, as defenseman Michael Campoli stayed motionless on the ice, the 1,000 or so fans inside HarborCenter watching a three-on-three Sabres prospects tournament barely made a sound.

Campoli, an invite to development camp, had just been hit into the boards by winger William Carrier. The defenseman managed to get up but stumbled and fell down again.

The ensuing scene, with Sabres medical staff and Buffalo Fire Department members attending to Campoli, looked frightening.

Medical personnel eventually …

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Jimmy Vesey will likely become a free agent Aug. 15. ©2016, Gil Talbot, Harvard Athletics
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Tim Murray sounded like he was venting a bit. For the Sabres general manager, the pursuit of Jimmy Vesey, the NCAA star whose rights he recently acquired, is just one thing on his plate.

“I’ve talked about this literally less than anyone else in Buffalo,” Murray said this afternoon after development camp ended inside HarborCenter. “I hear the guys on the radio and people are mad. This is like top-end news. I think I paid less attention to this …

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Michael Campoli is a development camp invite. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Michael Campoli was stretchered off the ice this morning with his neck stabilized after getting hit into boards late in a three-on-three development camp scrimmage.

Campoli, 18, was knocked by William Carrier and tried to skate off the HarborCenter ice before falling down. Campoli, a defenseman, stayed motionless on the ice for about 20 minutes surrounded by team medical personnel and the Buffalo Fire Department.

New Update: The Sabres and Campoli have tweeted he left the hospital this …

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Eric Cornel bounced back in 2015-16 after a rough year. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Eric Cornel figured, hey, as a second-round NHL pick fresh off a big junior season, hockey might be easy for him.

But instead of thriving after the Sabres drafted him 44th overall in 2014, Cornel struggled to build on a 25-goal, 62-point breakout season with the Peterborough Petes.

The winger’s offensive output dropped to 14 goals and 52 points in 2014-15. His rating plummeted from a plus-2 to an ugly minus-24.

“I think getting drafted might have gone to …

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Judd Peterson had a goal and an assist in Saturday's scrimmage. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Technically, Judd Peterson still belonged to the Sabres, but the NHL club wasn’t too interested in evaluating the St. Cloud State University forward.

Just a year ago, Peterson appeared to have no future with the organization that had drafted him out of high school in the seventh round, 204th overall, in 2012.

After participating in two development camps run by the team’s old regime, Peterson, 22, wasn’t invited back in 2014 or 2015 by general manager Tim Murray’s crew.

“You come …

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Frank Hora has played three seasons of junior. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Michael Hora can’t make it to HarborCenter this afternoon, but one way or another, he’ll find a way to watch his son, Frank, a Cheektowaga native the Sabres are evaluating at development camp.

“He always finds a way to watch my games,” Frank Hora, a 20-year-old defense prospect, said Friday after preparing for the annual Blue and Gold scrimmage.

His father, who’s at a hockey camp in Virginia with another son, Anthony, bought 16 tickets to the game, meaning his …

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Alexander Nylander could play in four places next season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Hudson Fasching was looking for small details in Alexander Nylander’s game. Sure, he could see the eighth overall pick possesses terrific speed and soft hands.

But when a player is that talented, Fasching, 20, likes to examine him a little closer.

“You can kind of just tell, if you pay a little extra attention to him, every puck he shoots it’s crisp, it’s in a direction,” Fasching said Wednesday following the first sessions of development camp inside HarborCenter. …

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