The end of the summer is here for the Buffalo Sabres, and it is time to put away the summer toys and get ready for Lindy Ruff's favorite time of year, training camp.
The Sabres opened up the camp season with Day 1 of their rookie camp Monday afternoon at the Amherst Pepsi Center. 17 of the teams top prospects converged for the workouts.
Lindy Ruff and his staff put the boys through a fast paced workout, focusing mainly on stickhandling and skating drills.
One young kid to keep an eye on is Sabres 2005 1st round pick Marek Zagrapan. Zags spent most of the summer working on adding soem needed size to his 6 foot frame. Zags looks much stronger on the puck and may be in a sot to challenge for a forward position when camp opens with the rest of the team Friday morning.
Another impressive young player was forward Felix Schutz. Schutz showed great speed and poise in one on one drills with the defenseman, showing the speed that has made him a great talent for St. Johns of the QMJHL and for his native Germany in the World Junior Championships. Much like his fellow countrymen Jochen Hecht, Schtz has good hockey sense and a strong work ethic with solid hands a good first move to fake an opposing defenders. With rumours surfacing earlier in the summer that the Sabres are looking to sign him, a good camp could land him a spot in Rochester with the Amerks.
It was a tough day however for another Sabres prospect Defenseman TJ Brennan. This past Junes 2nd round pick struggled in puck control drills, but really seems to have the skills to be a solid puck moving defenseman with another 2 to 3 years of seasoning in Juniors and in Rochester.
It was also a rough day for Goaltender Adam Dennis. The young netminder looked rusty when taking shots all throughout the practice. As the only AHL eligible goalie on the roster, dennis has the Amerks job locked up, but for how long? Many were surprised to not see Swedish prospect Jhonas Enroth on the camp roster. Enroth will likely battle for the Amerks job next season.