LEWISTON, NY (LGS) — The Buffalo Sabres Development Camp took place at Niagara University's Dwyer Arena from June 25th through July 1st. The camp – a week of practices and study sessions – was designed to enlighten Buffalo's young prospects on what it takes to make the leap into the NHL. Below is a recap of the highlights that took place at this development camp:
Day One Recap
The opening day of camp was mostly filled with two-on-ones and puck-moving drills. Mike Weber seemed to have trouble with the breakout pass out of his own zone. In a lot of one-on-one matchups, Weber really outplayed Marek Zagrapan but Zagrapan would show some flashes of offensive potential later on. TJ Brennan was a force in the defensive zone. Nathan Gerbe showed he had an explosive burst of quickness, but tried to get too fancy at some points in the practice. Dylan Hunter proved that he still has a deadly wristshot; especially top shelf. JS Allard proved that he has improved his strength when carrying the puck. Adam Dennis played stellar, stopping all four breakaways he faced. On a side note, Jhonas Enroth was sporting some brand spanking new blue and gold goalie pads.
Day Two Recap
Jordon Southorn and Tyler Myers played rather well together as a pair throughout the drills today. Enroth can locate the puck well with his catching glove, but he can have trouble hanging on to the puck at times. The Swedish goalie plays the butterfly style to a tee in that he is almost always in the right position. Marc-Andre Gragnani seems to be improving his offensive play with some good up-ice rushes. Patrick Kaleta looks to be working on his skill, putting in a couple of top shelf shots. Gragnani is playing mostly defense in these drills. Southorn seems to be holding his own in the drills. I have noticed that Tyler Ennis goes fearlessly to the net despite his smallish frame. Luke Adam has real good hands in front of the net
Day Three Recap
Rob Ray made an appearance at the development camp practice today. Drew Schiestel seems to improving in each practice so far. Call me crazy, but I see a little bit of Brian Rafalski in Sabres' prospect Alex Biega. The stick handling that Biega possesses is similar to that of Rafalski. It seems to be a day for the Boston College Eagles as Nathan Gerbe and Andrew Orpik are making some pretty plays. Phillip Gogulla is scoring goals "Jochen Hecht" style from odd angles; it must be a German hockey player thing. Tyler Myers knows how to use his long reach and is not afraid to make some offensive rushes. Brady Irwin, a development camp invitee from Vermont, is impressing me. Irwin is 6-foot-5 and has a nose for the net where he can put the biscuit in the basket. Dennis Persson is getting more confident in joining the rush and pinching into the offensive zone.
Day Four Recap
The first scrimmage of camp comes in the form of two periods with a 30 minute running clock in both periods. The scrimmage will take place without Drew Stafford and Adam Dennis. Jhonas Enroth and Bradley Eidsness start off the game in net. Marc-Andre Gragnani is playing as a defenseman. Jacob Cepis and Phillip Gogulla are getting shots on goal and driving to the net. Mike Card gets fancy with the puck and dips around two guys to get a quality shot on goal, but is foiled by Enroth. Andrew Orpik and his line have their hard work pay off with a goal by Orpik; 1-0 Blue at the first intermission.
It is Eno vs. Enroth in the second period of the scrimmage. Felix Schutz gets taken down on his way to net (all penalties become penalty shots). Schutz goes five-hole on Enroth; 2-0 Blue. Mike Kostka puts a hit on Tyler Myers that puts the 6-foot-t 12th overall pick face down on the ice. Swedish teammate Dennis Persson puts one past Enroth five hole again; 3-0 Blue. Nathan Gerbe jams home a puck from the side of the net; 4-0 Blue. A three-on-one develops on Eno, but he makes a stellar save. Gerbe places an absolutely perfect shot top shelf on the glove side of Enroth; 5-0 Blue. Weber dives to swipe the puck away from Andrew Orpik who would have had a clear break on goal. Myers seems to be gaining more confidence in his game as the scrimmage goes on. The scrimmage ends with Blue winning 5-0.
Day Five Recap
There is not a whole heck of a lot going on today at practice. There are three stations on the ice for accuracy shooting, hardest shot and passing drills. Andrej Sekera is delivering the best passes out of the camp roster. 44’s passes are crisp and get to where they need to go quickly. Patrick Kaleta probably did the best on the sniper version of the practice as he was 4 for 7 in the accurate shooting contest. Mike Weber had the hardest wrist shot at 74 mph. TJ Brennan had the hardest slap shot hitting the twine at 93 mph. Alex Biega bested everyone else with a backhand of 49 mph.
Day Six Recap
The second scrimmage is today with Stafford suiting up for this one. It is Eno vs. Enroth to start things off. Marc-Andre Gragnani is playing up at forward in the scrimmage today. Andrew Orpik bangs home a loose puck; 1-0 Blue in a hurry. Nate Gerbe lifts a sweet backhander on Enroth; 2-0 Blue. A penalty shot is awarded to Mike Kostka, but is stoned by Nick Eno. Tim Kennedy and Andrej Sekera are the key cogs in putting the pressure on the Gold team. Josh Vatri gets a breakaway on Eno but is stopped; however Cory Tropp follows up scoring on the rebound; 2-1 Blue. Eidsness comes into goal for gold switching with Enroth at the midpoint of the 1st period. Gerbe scores on Eidsness with a slapshot from the slot; 3-1 Blue. Tim Kennedy has a good scoring chance broken up by a good Vincent Scarcella backcheck. Chris Butler has really improved his play from the start of camp. Kennedy shows great vision with a cross ice pass to Gragnani who scores the goal; 4-1 Blue. Alex Biega makes a good sliding dive to break up a two on one. Kennedy can’t control a pass that would have given him an open net to end the first period 4-1 Blue.
The second period starts with Schutz scoring from an Orpik pass; 5-1 Blue. Ennis finds Drew Stafford cross ice who puts the puck home; 5-2 Blue. Patrick Kaleta found his way around two players to then score a goal; 5-3 Blue. Corey Tropp goes top shelf on Dennis; 5-4 Blue. A mad rush put on by Gold, but they fail to score. Blue gets the victory 5-4.
Day Seven Recap
Adam Dennis and Nick Eno start off the last scrimmage of camp in the nets. Sekera gives Tyler Ennis a no look pass that provides with a breakaway, but Ennis hits the post. Philipp Gogulla starts off the scoring for Blue; 1-0. Tyler Myers pops in a shot from the point; 2-0 Blue. Drew Mackenzie adds another one for Blue; 3-0. Andrew Orpik receives a nice pass from Felix Schutz. Jhonas Enroth comes in at the midpoint of the first period to make a nice save on Gerbe. Corey Tropp puts gold on the board; 4-1 Blue. Tyler Myers finds Gerbe; 5-1 Blue.
The second period starts off with Tyler Ennis scoring a phenomenal goal shooting the puck across his body; 5-2 Blue. Felix Schutz tips a nice pass from Orpik on goal, but Enroth snares it with his glove. Nathan Gerbe is awarded with a penalty shot that he cashes in putting a fake slapshot move on Nick Eno; 6-2 Blue. Nick Crawford receives a penalty shot and scores five hole; 6-3 Blue. Tyler Ennis gets a penalty shot where he faked forehand and went backhand, but Adam Dennis steals the show with an amazing glove save. Luke Adam gets his first goal of rookie camp; 6-4 Blue. Pat Kaleta throws a nice pass Adam’s way where Luke gets his second goal of camp; 6-5 Blue. Felix Schutz puts a backhand home; 7-5 Blue. Patrick Kaleta gets a goal from the top of the point blocker side; 7-6 Blue. Luke Adam gets the hat trick with some good stickhandling and a backhander top shelf; 7-7. Josh Vatri scores the go ahead goal for the Gold team with 1:30 left; 8-7 Gold. Andrej Sekera and Blue put on a flurry at the end, but Gold gets the victory 8-7.
|Team Blue Roster:
Line #1- Gerbe, Zagraphan and Gogulla
Line #2- Kennedy, Hunter and Allard
Line #3- Van Guilder, Schutz and Orpik
Pairing #1- Sekera and Myers
Pairing #2- MacKenzie and Card
Pairing #3- Southorn and Persson
Pairing #4- Gragani and Generous
Goalie #1- Dennis
Goalie #2- Eidsness
Team Gold Roster:
Line #1- Tropp, Byron and Stafford
Line #2- Ennis, Cepis and Whitmore
Line #3- Adam, Irwin and Kaleta
Line #4- Vatri, Scarcella and Lagace
Pairing #1- Brennan and Crawford
Pairing #2- Butler and Weber
Pairing #3- Schiestel and Kostka
Pairing #4- Funk and Biega
Goalie #1- Enroth
Goalie #2- Eno