BUFFALO – The Sabres have apparently passed on signing center prospect Giorgio Estephan.
NHL teams had until 5 p.m. today to ink their 2015 non-collegiate draft picks to entry-level contracts. While a late contract announcement could be made, it is highly unlikely.
Estephan, 20, enjoyed a big junior season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in 2016-17, scoring 35 goals and 89 points in 68 games. He added 11 goals and 24 points in 18 playoff contests.
Clearly, those numbers didn’t impress new Sabres general manager Jason Botterill.
Former Sabres GM Tim Murray, who was fired April 20, selected Estephan in the sixth round, 152nd overall. Greg Royce, Murray’s director of amateur scouting, was also let go. Had they stayed, then perhaps Estephan would’ve received a contract. Estephan can reenter the NHL Draft.
The 6-foot, 197-pound Estephan played four full seasons in the Western Hockey League, compiling 101 goals and 239 points in 258 appearances.
The Sabres also apparently passed on signing forward Gustav Possler, a fifth-round pick, 130th overall, in 2013. Possler 22, had two goals and four points in 21 games with Djurgardens IF, a Swedish Elite League team, in 2016-17.