C.J. Smith enjoyed a big junior season. ©2017, UMass Lowell

Commitment to defense helped C.J. Smith reach Sabres

BUFFALO – After C.J. Smith led UMass Lowell in goal scoring for the third consecutive season, River Hawks coach Norm Bazin knew his star forward would have opportunities to turn pro.

Smith, who signed a two-year contract with the Sabres on Thursday, enjoyed a huge 2016-17 campaign, scoring 23 goals and 51 points in only 41 games.

But something besides Smith’s scoring prowess helped him morph from an undrafted youngster into an NHL prospect ... Read the full article

C.J. Smith just finished a strong junior season. ©2017, UMass Lowell

C.J. Smith sees fit with Sabres, Buffalo

BUFFALO – As a speedy forward fresh off a 23-goal, 51-point junior season, Sabres newcomer C.J. Smith had plenty of suitors earlier this week after he decided to leave UMass Lowell and turn pro.

So why did Smith, 22, ultimately sign a two-year, entry-level contract with the Sabres? The city certainly played a factor.

“It just kind of fits the person I am,” Smith said Thursday following his first NHL practice. “I grew up in ... Read the full article

C.J. Smith, shown here with the USHL's Chicago Steel, signed a two-year, entry-level contract today. ©2017, MJB Images, Chicago Steel

Sabres newcomer C.J. Smith believes Buffalo ‘fits the person I am’

BUFFALO – As a speedy forward fresh off a 23-goal, 51-point junior season, Sabres newcomer C.J. Smith had no shortage of suitors earlier this week after he decided to leave UMass Lowell and turn pro.

So why did Smith, 22, ultimately sign a two-year, entry-level contract with the Sabres? The city certainly played a factor.

“It just kind of fits the person I am,” Smith said this afternoon following his first NHL practice. “I grew ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart sat out all of Tuesday's loss. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart says misread text led to benching

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Sam Reinhart said a “mistake” – he misread a text and missed a team stretch – caused him to get benched for Tuesday’s 3-1 loss in Columbus.

“It was 10:30, I thought it was 11,” Reinhart said this afternoon following practice inside KeyBank Center. “I was just sitting in my bed waiting to go down for breakfast.”

Reinhart, 21, said Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe eventually called him and he was five ... Read the full article

C.J. Smith, shown here with the USHL's Chicago Steel, could join the Sabres soon. ©2017, Chicago Steel

Report: Sabres to sign college free agent C.J. Smith

BUFFALO – The Sabres plan to sign undrafted college free agent C.J. Smith, who just finished a 23-goal, 51-point junior season at UMass Lowell, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Update: Smith has officially signed a two-year, entry-level deal.

Smith, a 22-year-old winger, compiled 56 goals and 125 points in 120 games with the River Hawks, including 41 appearances this season. Notre Dame eliminated UMass Lowell from the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound ... Read the full article