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Archive:
Development Camp

J.T. Compher has played one college season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – Early during Sabres development camp, J.T. Compher, proud University of Michigan student-athlete, noticed Hudson Fasching, his roommate from the University of Minnesota, brought a Big Ten shirt.

“I threw it on the ground,” a smiling Compher said. “I didn’t want to see that out of his suitcase again.”

Their rivalry started last season, when Compher’s Wolverines lost three of their four conference meetings to Fasching’s Golden Gophers, who captured the first-ever Big Ten hockey title.

Before that, the friends played together …

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Linus Ullmark will play one more season in his native Sweden. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – It was a low-risk move. In 2012, the Sabres wanted to find a late-round steal in net. The team’s new European scouts scoured Finland and Sweden, two countries known for producing hidden goaltending gems.

Eventually, the Sabres drafted Linus Ullmark, a little-known Swede, in the sixth round, 163rd overall.

Barely two years later, Ullmark has developed into a legitimate NHL prospect. The 20-year-old enjoyed a breakout season in the Swedish Hockey League last year, compiling a gaudy .931 save percentage …

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Linus Ullmark grew up playing Nintendo. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Despite being born in 1993, Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark grew up playing Nintendo and Super Nintendo, classic video game consoles from an earlier generation.

“I’ve been playing that kind of stuff for a way, way long time, since I was like 5,” Ullmark said last week following a development camp session inside the First Niagara Center.

Ullmark likes the “Super Mario Bros.” games so much he asked his mask designer, David Gunnarsson, to paint characters from the game – …

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Sean Malone (gold) has played well since the Sabres drafted him. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – As a sixth-round pick, center Sean Malone faces some long odds to crack the NHL someday. But the West Seneca native has been developing rapidly since the Sabres selected him 159th overall in 2013.

The 19-year-old earned Ivy League Co-Rookie of the Year honors last season. He’ll be participating in Team USA’s world junior camp next month in Lake Placid.

In the Dan Hickling photo above, Malone nearly scores on goalie Nathan Lieuwen in close during Friday’s three-on-three development camp …

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Sam Reinhart skates during today's three-on-three tournament. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – While no announcement is imminent, Sabres coach Ted Nolan is close to hiring some assistant coaches, general manager Tim Murray said.

“He’s talking to certain individuals, and he’s at a point where he’s talking contract with a couple individuals,” Murray said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “Now, whether the money and term suits them, I don’t know that. We’re not there yet.”

Following the season, the Sabres fired or reassigned the coaches Nolan inherited.

In other news, top prospect …

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Maxwell Willman played high school hockey in Cape Cod. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Before development camp started this week, Chadd Cassidy knew nothing about Maxwell Willman. Heck, very few had heard of the winger until the Sabres drafted him 121st overall last month.

Willman mostly went unnoticed playing at Barnstable High School in Hyannis, Mass., a popular tourist town in Cape Cod. He nearly left the game to attend Quinnipiac University as a regular student. But Willman transformed himself into a prospect last year playing at Williston Northampton, a prep school in …

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Sam Reinhart should be ready for Friday's session. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Relax, Sabres fans. Sam Reinhart should be ready for Friday’s three-on-three tournament. The top prospect simply enjoyed a maintenance day from development camp today, a team spokesman said.

No reason was given.

The 18-year-old center, the second overall pick last month, took some hits during Tuesday’s scrimmage. The prospects stayed off the ice for team-building activities Wednesday.

The Sabres had power-skating drills today inside the First Niagara Center. Development camp ends Friday.

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The Sabres acquired Hudson Fasching in March. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
4

BUFFALO – NHL teams kept asking Hudson Fasching the same question during pre-draft interviews last year. Each time, the Sabres prospect gave them a weak answer.

“A lot of teams were saying, ‘What kind of role are you?’” the winger recalled Monday following the first session of development camp inside the First Niagara Center. “I wasn’t really sure. They were like, ‘Come on, you need to pick a role.’”

Shortly after the talks, the Los Angeles Kings picked the 6-foot-2, 212-pound Fasching …

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Rasmus Ristolainen (right) battles Brendan Lemieux during Tuesday's scrimmage. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – While other Sabres prospects have packed on weight this summer, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has “lost a couple pounds.”

“Fat, not any muscles,” the 19-year-old Finn said following Tuesday’s development camp scrimmage inside the First Niagara Center.

The 6-foot-4, 207-pound Ristolainen showcased some muscle early in the contest, hitting top prospect Sam Reinhart.

“I don’t watch who I’m hitting,” Ristolainen said. “If I get a chance, I hit. That’s all.”

Later on, Ristolainen and agitating winger Brendan Lemieux jawed at the end of …

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Justin Kea and Anthony Florentino fight Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Early in Tuesday’s Blue-White Sabres scrimmage, defenseman Anthony Florentino, who has a penchant for hitting, leveled forward Justin Kea inside the First Niagara Center.

In the second period, the prospects fought.

“Everybody’s got their niche in the game,” Rochester coach Chadd Cassidy, who’s running the camp, said about the fight. “They got to find a way to kind of get noticed. I think if there’s one thing we’ve preached to the guys, it’s play your game and play it like …

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