Jason Botterill wants youngsters to push for spots. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill expects prospects to battle for roster spots

BUFFALO – Right now, just one day before the Sabres open training camp, veterans and established youngsters seemingly take up every roster spot for the upcoming season.

Counting returning regulars and offseason additions, the Sabres have 13 forwards and seven defensemen, more than a full lineup.

So what about the prospects? Could some force themselves onto the roster?... Read the full article

Sean Malone was a sixth-round pick in 2013. ©2017, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign West Seneca’s Sean Malone to entry-level contract

BUFFALO – The Sabres have signed West Seneca’s Sean Malone to a two-year, entry-level contract, the team announced this morning.

Update: Malone will make his NHL debut tonight at center against the Panthers, according to reports out of Florida.

Malone, a forward the Sabres drafted in the sixth round, 159th overall, in 2013, played four years at Harvard University.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Malone, 21, compiled 42 goals, 99 points and a plus-31 rating in 115 ... Read the full article

Anthony Florentino loves to hit. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Anthony Florentino developing into one of Sabres’ top defense prospects

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 ... Read the full article

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

Sabres have plenty of shiny prospects to showcase beside Jack Eichel

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, ... Read the full article

Tim Schaller was recalled Tuesday afternoon. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

With Cody McCormick still sidelined, Sabres recall Tim Schaller

BUFFALO – Tim Schaller had just eaten lunch and gotten comfortable on the couch Tuesday afternoon in Rochester when Americans coach Chadd Cassidy phoned the center.

“Get yourself to Buffalo tonight,” Cassidy told Schaller, who had been sent down following his NHL debut Saturday.

Schaller hopped in his car and arrived at the First Niagara Center around 4 p.m.

The Sabres summoned Schaller for their 2-1 shootout win against the Tampa Bay Lightning because forward ... Read the full article

Justin Bailey wanted to represent Team USA badly. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Justin Bailey can learn from Team USA snub

BUFFALO – Of the 17 forwards on the Team USA preliminary world junior championship roster released today, only two youngsters – Adam Erne and Auston Mathews – have scored more goals this season than Williamsville native Justin Bailey, who was left off despite having 15 goals in only 24 games with the Kitchener Rangers.

As I wrote about two weeks ago, making the world junior squad has been a huge motivational tool for ... Read the full article

Cody McCormick will miss his fourth straight game tonight. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Cody McCormick out against Lightning; Sabres could make recall

BUFFALO – After participating fully in this morning’s skate, Sabres forward Cody McCormick left the ice and spoke to reporters about his recovery from a possible concussion.

It was assumed McCormick, out since Eric Fehr’s skate hit him in the head Nov. 22 in Washington, would return tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning inside the First Niagara Center.

But McCormick will miss his fourth straight game. With winger Drew Stafford out (lower body), the Sabres ... Read the full article

Hudson Fasching skates earlier this week. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Photo: Sabres prospect Hudson Fasching with Team USA at Lake Placid

Winger Hudson Fasching is one of three Buffalo Sabres prospects left at Team USA’s National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid. J.T. Compher and Anthony Florentino are still participating. The U.S. cut Connor Hurley and Sean Malone on Tuesday.

Based on his past exploits, Fasching, a power forward at the University of Minnesota, should be a lock to make this year’s world junior squad. The 19-year-old, fresh off a 14-goal, 30-point freshman season, had two ... Read the full article

J.T. Compher has played one college season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect J.T. Compher earning notice by agitating opponents

BUFFALO – Early during Sabres development camp, J.T. Compher, proud University of Michigan student-athlete, noticed Hudson Fasching, his roommate from the University of Minnesota, brought a Big Ten shirt.

“I threw it on the ground,” a smiling Compher said. “I didn’t want to see that out of his suitcase again.”

Their rivalry started last season, when Compher’s Wolverines lost three of their four conference meetings to Fasching’s Golden Gophers, who captured the first-ever ... Read the full article

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

Photo: Sabres prospects Justin Kea and Anthony Florentino fight

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, ... Read the full article