Draft over

Archive:
Ennis

Ryan O'Reilly sees a bright future in Buffalo. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly’s ready to tackle a new challenge. During his first six NHL seasons, the 24-year-old wasn’t viewed as one of the Avalanche’s leaders. Colorado stars Matt Duchesne, Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon often overshadowed him.

But O’Reilly, acquired in a blockbuster deal Friday at the NHL Draft, will have a new role next season. The Sabres want him to be one of the guys to shepherd a team filled with youngsters.

“I think it’s going to be …

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Ryan O'Reilly might get a new contract soon. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

SUNRISE, Fla. – If the Buffalo Sabres win the Stanley Cup someday, remember Friday as the perhaps one of the most pivotal days in the franchise’s 45-year history.

In addition to drafting center Jack Eichel second overall, the rebuilding team swung two significant trades, including a blockbuster deal with the Colorado Avalanche that brought center Ryan O’Reilly to Buffalo.

After two wretched seasons in which they finished 30th and became the NHL’s laughingstock, the Sabres sent a strong message to the rest …

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Zemgus Girgensons could have a long career with the Sabres. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
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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Josh Gorges' first season with the Sabres ended Feb. 10. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – A player’s mind stays focused on the current season, Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges said. Athletes live in the present. They don’t think a year ahead like their team’s brass.

“You come in with a mindset of we’re going to win, we’re going to try to win,” the veteran said Sunday morning as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers following a 30th-place finish. “As players, our job is not to play for the future and play for development of players. …

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Patrick Kaleta had another injury-filled season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Following the end of another injury-filled season in which he played only 42 games, Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta received some good news.

“I passed my physical for the first time in five years, so that was a positive this morning,” Kaleta said Sunday as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers inside the First Niagara Center.

That’s how banged up the passionate Kaleta has been over the years.

This season, a year after tearing his ACL, the Angola native broke his face …

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Josh Gorges' season ended Feb. 10. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – The mindset of a player at the start of the season is never focused on building for the next one, Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges said.

“You come in with a mindset of we’re going to win, we’re going to try to win,” the veteran said this morning as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers following a 30th-place finish. “As players, our job is not to play for the future and play for development of players. It’s just to compete …

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Zach Bogosian battles with Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby (87) on Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – The roughest season in the Sabres’ 45-year history is finally over, a 2-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday capping an 82-game slate that was tumultuous from start to finish.

The outcome, of course, hardly mattered. The rebuilding Sabres, who never quit throughout the campaign, had already locked up 30th place and either the first or second draft pick in next Saturday’s draft lottery.

The season finale was about regaining some normalcy, hearing some of those Sabres fans who …

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Johan Larsson (22) battles Pittsburgh's Rob Scuderi on Saturday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Three months ago, when the Sabres seemingly banished Johan Larsson to the minors, the 22-year-old’s future here seemed iffy.

Upon arriving in Rochester, Larsson complained about playing on the fourth line with the Sabres, something that angered coach Ted Nolan, who basically told Larsson to shut his mouth.

At that point, Larsson had one goal and six points in 41 NHL games.

Larsson entered Saturday’s season finale against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a 2-0 loss inside the First Niagara Center, as the …

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Ted Nolan took over the Sabres early last season. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

BUFFALO – Six weeks into last season, Sabres winger Tyler Ennis was struggling badly. The Xs and Os of hockey were overwhelming him and sapping the creativity from his instinctive game.

In the past, Ennis said, some coaches “limited me in terms of my creativity and what I’m allowed to do.”

Then coach Ted Nolan took over the Sabres 21 games into 2013-14.

“He’s smart in that he understands what guys can do and what guys can’t do,” Ennis said about Nolan on …

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Mikhail Grigorenko celebrates his first-period goal Monday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Emotionally, the Sabres’ 4-3 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes was a difficult game to play in, coach Ted Nolan said.

The bottom-feeders were skating for pride Monday. They Sabres were trying to stave off clinching 30th place for the second consecutive season.

“When you’re out of the playoffs and you’re trying to lift that emotional level up, it’s quite a challenge,” Nolan said following the Sabres’ third win in the last five outings.

At times, the two lightweights played some ugly, …

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