BUFFALO – Five minutes before his development camp session started this afternoon, Sabres prospect Austin Osmanski was sitting nervously inside the HarborCenter dressing room, wondering if he should go on the ice early.
Eventually, Osmanski, an East Aurora native, left the room and was the first player on the ice. Winger Justin Bailey, a Williamsville native, followed him.
“Justin Bailey was right behind me, so it was pretty cool,” Osmanski said.
Wearing a Sabres jersey for the first time on the ice was “a little different” and “amazing,” said Osmanski, a defenseman with the Ontario Hockey League’s Mississauga Steelheads.
During the early drills, Osmanski said he “was a little shaky.” But he settled down after he noticed other players wearing Sabres gear making mistakes.
“It’s the NHL, so it’s a little different,” he said.
Osmanski’s life has been a little different since the Sabres drafted him in the seventh round June 25 at the First Niagara Center.
He joked he has more Twitter followers and more people are saying hello to him.
“I think being a Buffalo guy drafted in Buffalo kind of helped my situation,” Osmanski said. “Nothing celeb status yet, but a little more popular.”
When the some of the hype around Osmanski’s selection settled down, Bailey, a 2013 draft pick, sent him a message and offered him any help he needed. This is Bailey’s fourth camp.
“Three or four years ago, I think I was a quiet kid who was definitely trying to take it all in, trying to prove myself,” said Bailey, who played eight NHL games last season.