Sam Reinhart skates last week at the NHL Prospects Tournament. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres training camp will have plenty of storylines

BUFFALO – If you love roster battles, the next three weeks of Sabres training camp should be fun.

About 34 players have a legitimate chance to crack the opening-night lineup. They have a prized prospect, slick center Sam Reinhart, vying for a spot. The starting goalie job is up for grabs. Defense spots are open. Nine or 10 guys will be competing for three fourth-line spots.

Players report for physicals today. The first on-ice session ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) jostles with Hurricanes prospect Trevor Carrick for position in front of the Carolina net today. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Photo: Sam Reinhart debuts for Sabres in Traverse City

It’s not quite an NHL regular-season contest, but slick prospect Sam Reinhart finally wore a Buffalo Sabres uniform in game action today at the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich.

The No. 2 overall pick in June was held scoreless in the Sabres’ 6-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Vaclav Karabacek, a 2014 second-rounder, scored Buffalo’s lone goal.

The Sabres play the New York Rangers on Saturday.... Read the full article

Nikita Zadorov was sent back to junior early last season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Nikita Zadorov believes strong training camp could earn NHL roster spot

BUFFALO – After a seven-game NHL trial as a rookie early last season, Sabres prospect Nikita Zadorov feels ready for primetime. The 19-year-old defenseman believes an impressive training camp could force the Sabres to keep him.

“I’m a year older, a year stronger – everything,” Zadorov said earlier this week. “I have experience.”

Zadorov will be at least a few games richer in experience by next week, after the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart was drafted No. 2 in June. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sam Reinhart headlines Sabres’ Traverse City roster

BUFFALO – Four first-round picks, including center Sam Reinhart, the No. 2 overall selection this year, are on the Sabres’ 24-man roster for the 2014 NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich.

Winger Joel Armia and defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov are the other first-rounders.

The eight-team tournament runs from Friday until next Tuesday. The Sabres won in 2011 and finished second in 2013.

The complete Buffalo roster the team released today is ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart scored a goal Tuesday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Photo: Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart with Team Canada

Sam Reinhart hasn’t stopped much this “offseason.” Before the Buffalo Sabres selected him second overall June 27, the slick prospect spent the spring preparing for the NHL Entry Draft. Following his whirlwind draft experience, Reinhart participated in Buffalo’s summer development camp three weeks ago.

Reinhart’s back on the ice again, skating at Team Canada’s world junior camp this week in Quebec. The 18-year-old captained the Canadians and scored a goal in a 6-2 ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis signed a five-year, $23 million contract last week. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Tyler Ennis ready for new challenges after signing 5-year contract

BUFFALO – The setting made Tyler Ennis reflect on a career that almost never started.

The slick Sabres center was about to skate at Callingwood Recreation Centre, the rink around the corner from his childhood home in Edmonton, when word arrived last week his new five-year, $23 million contract had been finalized.

His best friend, Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon, was with him. So were the memories of his struggles as a youngster.

“I was ... Read the full article

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

Sabres’ Ted Nolan close to hiring new assistant coaches

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 ... Read the full article

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

Top Sabres prospect Sam Reinhart has maintenance day from development camp

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.... Read the full article

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

Sabres prospect Rasmus Ristolainen looking leaner, impressing during development camp

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 ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart believes he can play in the NHL soon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sam Reinhart and deep prospect pool show Sabres could have bright future

BUFFALO – Up and down they went side-by-side, each stride drawing eyes inside the First Niagara Center. For a few moments during development camp Monday, Sam Reinhart and Brendan Lemieux, the jewels of the Sabres’ 2014 draft class, skated together, a brief-but-memorable glimpse into the future.

If the Sabres become contenders again someday, this week’s camp could be remembered as one of the building blocks.

Seven first-round picks are participating, including Reinhart, the slick ... Read the full article