Marcus Davidsson stayed at home for the NHL Draft. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Marcus Davidsson wishes he attended NHL Draft

BUFFALO – If Marcus Davidsson had known he would be selected so early – the Sabres grabbed the center in the second round, 37th overall – then he would’ve attended the NHL Draft last month in Chicago.

Instead, Davidsson, 18, followed the draft at home in Sweden with his family and friends.

“I didn’t know that I was going to go in the 30s, actually,” Davidsson said Saturday following the first session of development camp inside HarborCenter. “I kind of regretted it afterwards. It would’ve been much fun to be there.”

Still, the Davidsson family enjoyed a memorable day, as the Columbus Blue Jackets drafted Marcus’ older brother, Jonathan, 20, in the sixth round, 170th overall. He had been bypassed in the last two drafts.

The Davidssons have been teammates and even linemates at various levels of hockey, including last season with Djurgårdens IF of the Swedish Hockey League.

“We played together for a couple years,” Marcus Davidsson said. “He was always a role model for me. So it has been nice. He’s always helped me in my development and we always compete.”

Naturally, playing against grown men in the SHL “was very difficult,” said Davidsson, who had five goals and nine points in 49 games.

“They have their tricks that I wasn’t used to,” he said. “The past season I learned a lot, especially in the physical game.”

The 6-foot, 191-pound Davidsson said he’s a “two-way center.”

“A good skater, has a good hockey sense,” the prospect said of his talents. “So basically pretty good all around.”

Davidsson’s first small taste of the NHL at development camp opened his eyes.

“It’s very professional,” he said. “All the testing and stuff that we have done, it’s much more advanced than anything I’ve done before. All the coaches and teammates, everybody is just so professional. It’s fun to be here.”

The Rochester Americans added another assistant coach Thursday, naming former NHL forward Toby Petersen to head coach Chris Taylor’s AHL staff.

Petersen, 38, spent the last two seasons as an assistant with the AHL Cleveland Monsters, winning a Calder Cup in 2016.

The Minneapolis native played 398 NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars, scoring 33 goals and 81 points. He also played 550 AHL contests, compiling 148 goals and 374 points.

Taylor also named former NHL defenseman Gord Dineen an assistant when he was hired to lead the Sabres’ affiliate last week.

The Sabres will host the “Prospects Challenge” rookie tournament for the third straight year at HarborCenter from Sept. 8 to 11, the team announced Thursday.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, Sabres general manager Jason Botterill’s old team, will be joining the Sabres, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils.

The schedule:

Friday, Sept. 8

  • Pittsburgh vs. Boston, 3:30 p.m.

  • Buffalo vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 9

  • New Jersey vs. Pittsburgh, 3:30 p.m.

  • Buffalo vs. Boston, 7 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 11

  • Boston vs. New Jersey, 12 p.m.

  • Buffalo vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

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