The Eichel Era

Archive:
Nelson

Carlo Colaiacovo enjoys mentoring young players. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – Carlo Colaiacovo’s goal when he signed a one-year contract in July was pretty straightforward. Following three seasons of sporadic duty, the veteran defenseman wanted to become an everyday player again with the Sabres.

“When I signed in Buffalo, I believed that opportunity was there for me, and obviously things change,” Colaiacovo said last week.

Things changed a lot on the blue line in a hurry.

The Sabres signed Cody Franson days before training camp started. Jake McCabe, a prospect on the …

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Ryan O'Reilly was named team MVP Friday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – In his first season as coach, Dan Bylsma has experienced so much excitement surrounding the Sabres he wonders how crazy it would feel if his team becomes a contender again.

The Sabres, of course, will miss the playoffs for the fifth straight season. Still, to a rabid fan base yearning for postseason hockey, the progress the Sabres have made this season – they’ve improved 25 points with newcomers Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly and others – offers strong hope for …

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Jason Kasdorf turned pro last month. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – To Sabres goalie Jason Kasdorf, who will make his NHL debut in tonight’s home finale against the Columbus Blue Jackets, experiencing some nerves before games feels good.

“I’m just kind of naturally that way,” an excited Kasdorf said this morning. “Even for college games, I’d get nervous for them. It’s just who I am.”

Kasdorf, who said he slept well last night, will likely feel some extra nerves tonight, when he becomes the fourth goalie to start for the Sabres …

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Hudson Fasching has been busy doing homework. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – On Wednesday night, hours before Sabres rookie Hudson Fasching had to be at the First Niagara Center to prepare for his fourth NHL game, he was in his hotel room taking a quiz.

Fasching, 20, has kept working toward his entrepreneurial management degree since leaving the University of Minnesota last week following his junior season. He’s taking classes online and is on track to graduate in May.

Three nights earlier, Fasching wrote a one-page paper – it was a case …

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Chad Johnson made 42 saves Tuesday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

PITTSBURGH – What was shaping up to be the Buffalo Sabres’ most impressive and unlikely win this season quickly turned into a nightmare Tuesday and ended with another loss to the Penguins.

After going up 3-0 before the first period ended inside a stunned Consol Energy Center, the Sabres completely imploded during a disastrous second, allowing four goals, including two late short-handed scores during the same power play.

“I thought we were feeling good, then we took our foot off the pedal,” …

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Jake McCabe has established himself with the Sabres this season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

PITTSBURGH – Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe understands how valuable the late-season NHL experience rookies Hudson Fasching and Casey Nelson have been gaining will be for their development.

Two years ago, McCabe, 22, left the University of Wisconsin following his junior year. McCabe loved college and wanted to stay with the Badgers. Still, as a former second-round pick ready for pro hockey, he knew he needed to join the Sabres.

“It made too much sense for me to leave,” McCabe said Tuesday …

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Former Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers (57) skates past Paul Byron last season. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Drew Stafford called it a “healthy separation.” The Winnipeg Jets winger said he has no ill will toward anyone here. He enjoyed his nine-year Sabres career.

As a struggling veteran months away from free agency last year, Stafford knew the rebuilding Sabres would trade him. Sure enough, Stafford, 30, was dealt with defenseman Tyler Myers on Feb. 11, 2015 in the blockbuster that brought defenseman Zach Bogosian and winger Evander Kane to the Sabres.

“I was kind of expecting something …

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Sabres defenseman Casey Nelson spent three years in college. ©2016, Andy Visockis, Minnesota State Athletics
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Barely two years ago, Casey Nelson wasn’t ready for NCAA hockey. After some notable gaffes early in his freshman season, the newest Sabres defenseman got yanked from the lineup.

“His first couple games in college hockey were tough,” said Mike Hastings, who coached Nelson three seasons at Minnesota State University.

Nelson, 23, sat out a chunk of his first season before finally earning regular duty late in the year.

“I kind of got thrown in pretty early with a lot of …

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Hudson Fasching made an appearance at the First Niagara Center in 2012 at the All-American Prospects Game. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Somewhere in Minnesota earlier today, the Fasching family was probably anxiously waiting for Sabres rookie Hudson Fasching to phone home with some special news.

“I think they’re kind of ready if they get the call,” Fasching said this afternoon inside the First Niagara Center.

Minutes after Fasching spoke, following a chat with Sabres coach Dan Bylsma, he likely called his parents to tell them he would be making his NHL debut Saturday afternoon when the Sabres host the Winnipeg Jets.

“I …

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Hudson Fasching was excited to practice Thursday. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
By Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Hudson Fasching, of course, was supposed to crack the NHL. The Sabres rookie developed rapidly at the University of Minnesota, becoming one of the NCAA’s best power forwards by his junior season.

A year ago, Fasching, 20, decided he would turn pro following his third year.

But defenseman Casey Nelson, who debuted at practice with Fasching on Thursday, experienced a tougher route to the Sabres. The undrafted Nelson, 23, is a self-proclaimed “late bloomer.” He struggled early on at Minnesota …

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