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Kea

Josh Chapman laid out a big hit and fought Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The nifty winning goal in today’s three-on-three development camp tournament wasn’t scored by Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart or one of the Sabres’ other high-end forward prospects.

Try 6-foot-3, 210-pound Josh Chapman, an undrafted defenseman the Sabres invited.

“Someone asked him how many goals he scored this year,” said winger Evan Rodrigues, Chapman’s teammate in the eight-team tournament. “He said none.”

That’s right, Chapman scored zero goals in 44 games last season with the Sarnia Sting and two in his 164-game Ontario …

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Jack Eichel was held scoreless Friday. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – The 17,115 Sabres fans who chose a hockey scrimmage – or, more appropriately, an opportunity to watch center Jack Eichel – over spending a beautiful Friday night in July outdoors probably don’t regret their decision.

For $10, they watched their newest star up close, saw center Sam Reinhart score twice and were treated to a five-on-five development camp exhibition with some unusual intensity.

“That was probably one of the most fun games of hockey I think I’ve ever played in …

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Anthony Florentino loves to hit. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
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BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Anthony Florentino can relax a bit this week. The defenseman only has to defend slick center Jack Eichel during development camp drills and possibly a scrimmage.

Last season, the youngsters went head-to-head three times, including the national championship game, when Florentino’s Providence College Friars stunned Eichel’s Boston University Terriers 4-3 on April 11.

At times, Eichel, the second overall pick last month, gave Florentino fits.

“Defending him, he’s definitely the hardest player I’ve played against in my life,” Florentino …

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Jack Eichel will be the talk of development camp. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The thousands of Sabres fans who visit the First Niagara Center this week to watch the team’s prospects should leave with at least one special, indelible memory. For the first time up close on home ice, they’ll get to see slick center Jack Eichel.

Sure, it’s only a summer development camp. But watching Eichel in Sabres gear just two weeks after he was drafted second overall will likely never be forgotten.

Of course, Eichel will be the focus and talk …

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Luke Adam has dominated in the AHL. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – The Sabres sent 11 players to the Rochester Americans today, including forward Luke Adam, who must clear waivers.

The Sabres also sent forwards William Carrier, Dan Catenacci, Colin Jacobs, Justin Kea, Jordan Samuels-Thomas, Kevin Sundher and Phil Varone and defensemen Brady Austin, Jerome Leduc and Chad Ruhwedel to the AHL.

In addition, the Sabres assigned forwards Justin Bailey and Brendan Lemieux back to their junior clubs.

Adam, who has 11 goals and 26 points in 87 NHL games, dominated with the …

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Justin Kea and Anthony Florentino fight Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

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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Mikhail Grigorenko keeps the puck away from Jake McCabe during Tuesday's scrimmage. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – The comments are significant, Mikhail Grigorenko’s most telling since joining the Sabres months after they selected him 12th overall in 2012.

In a hallway outside the First Niagara Center dressing room hours before a development camp scrimmage Tuesday, the 20-year-old Russian spoke candidly about his short career, blaming himself for his NHL struggles.

“From past experiences, I kind of realized it was probably no one’s fault but mine I didn’t stay in the NHL,” Grigorenko said. “I want to play …

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Cody Hodgson had played center his entire career. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Ted Nolan doesn’t want to project his lineup too far into the future. But the Sabres coach said he must evaluate his top six forwards these last two weeks so they receive enough ice time next season.

If Tyler Ennis and Zemgus Girgensons are his top centers, where does that leave Cody Hodgson?

For the time being, on the left wing, a position Hodgson had played once in his career before Saturday, during a 2008 exhibition game.

“I don’t think I …

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Justin Kea will likely go to the AHL soon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – The Sabres today signed forward Justin Kea to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Kea, the 73rd overall pick in 2012, compiled 51 goals and 117 points in 253 games over four seasons with the Ontario Hockey League’s Saginaw Spirit. The 20-year-old had a career-high 22 goals, 49 points and plus-14 rating in 58 games this season.

Kea, 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, is expected to report to AHL Rochester soon on an amateur tryout agreement

In other news, general manager Tim Murray told …

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Zemgus Girgensons scored twice Sunday. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – With 8:12 left in the second period of Sunday’s preseason opener, Sabres prospect Zemgus Girgensons grabbed Kevin Porter’s pass off the boards at the Montreal blue line and zoomed in down the right wing.

A second later, the Latvian whistled a shot by goalie Zachary Fucale’s glove from the faceoff dot, the second goal of his NHL preseason debut.

“I was pretty happy with myself,” Girgensons said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center. “Probably at the start of last …

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