… but where you’re going.
Today the Sabres’ development camp opens at Niagara University’s Dwyer Arena. It’s a week-long chance to see the future of the team play meaningless scrimmages and run drills you never wanted to watch in the first place.
However, if you’ve been to rookie camp before it becomes a nice chance to see how things are moving along with some of the Sabres’ biggest prospects. Unless you’re Kris Baker it’s difficult to keep tabs on who the Sabres have in the system, and this is as good a time as any to refresh your familiarity.
I have a lot less to bring to the table on this front, but here are a few guys I’m interested to see. If you’re headed down there, here are a few players you might want to keep your eye on.
– The NHL Five– Of course this means Chris Butler, Mike Weber, Marc-Andre Gragnani, Nathan Gerbe and Tim Kennedy, the five prospects who saw NHL action last year. These five should be a step above hte rest of the players invited to camp, for obvious reasons. We simply have to see these five players stand out at camp. I remember when Drew Stafford participated two years ago and looked like a man among boys. Expect the same from guys like Weber and Butler.
Prospects are the future of your hockey team, but fans always want to see something that matters right away. What we want to see is Nathan Gerbe dominate despite his size, and Weber look downright bored with the level of competition. That’s as good a sign about the immediate strength of this team as you will find here.
– Luke Adam– Luke was drafted last year by GMDR, and was having a solid year with the Montreal Juniors before a freak injury ended his season. Adam had emergency surgery after he ruptured his spleen thanks to a combination of mono and an open ice hit.
Adam’s far from NHL ready, but I’ll be curious to see how he looks after his recovery. He’s also one of my favorite interviews from last year’s Facebooking the Draft Class, and had a pretty strong showing at last year’s camp. I’m hoping for more of the same this time around.
– Tyler Myers– Conventional wisdom says he will see NHL competition this year. Myers stock has risen considerably over the last season, so let’s see just how much better he is. He looked smooth and in control last year, and I expect the same from him here. The further into the summer we go the more likely it appears that Jaro’s points will not be replaced on the free agent market. That means an even bigger impact will be expected from guys like Myers, Butler, and Weber. Again, if that’s the case you want to see domination over the next week.
– Zack Kassian– When you’re the 13th overall pick in the draft, you better put on a show. Don’t expect him to drop the gloves with anyone here, but I bet you see some physical play from him despite the friendly nature of the competition. This will be the first time most Sabres fans get to see Kassian in action, and the pressure will be on.
Is there anyone else you guys are looking forward to seeing?