Sabres Development Camp: Day two recap

Even though there has only been two days worth of practice, it is probably safe to say the blue squad is a deeper and more talented bunch than those in gold at Sabres Development Camp.

With an opportunity to watch the gold group’s practice today I noticed that there is a little less flash as compared to the blue team anchored by Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons. The gold team’s top set of players – Luke Adam, Cody Hodgson and Corey Tropp – certainly has the most fluidity in terms of chemistry, but the rest of the squad lacks the polish of the blue team.

Day two of camp was a little more focused on game scenarios and playing in traffic as compared to day one. There was still a fair amount of flow drills done in the early going, but the latter half of the ice time was primarily centered in a scrimmage setting.

The Adam, Hodgson, Tropp trio was heads and shoulders above the rest of the group during most of the drills. They were particularly dangerous in odd-man situations, shredding the defense on a few occasions during three-on-two drills. They also had success during the final four-on-four scrimmage to close the session.

On the whole, the gold team looked a little disjointed at times during the day and there was certainly an obvious lack of chemistry from top to bottom. I’d venture a guess that two days of 4:30 wakeup calls and SEAL training coupled with a full on-ice practice with conditioning to follow would kick anyone’s ass. So perhaps that, plus the fact that a vast majority of these players have never played together has something to do with the sloppy play. Continue reading

Sabres digging up scorers with Development Camp invites

After seeing the undrafted players brought in by the Sabres for last year’s Development Camp, the four camp invites for 2012 should be interesting to keep track of.

With so many more draft picks and players under contract expected to be at this year’s camp, there are significantly fewer invitees coming for this year’s Development Camp. Seven players, including goaltender John Cullen, came to camp without a contract and a pair ended up signing a contract and playing in the minors with Buffalo last year.

Jonathon Parker and Phil Varone each signed a deal to play in the minors after some strong play at the mid-summer evaluation camp. Parker only played a few games in Rochester and most of the year in Gwinnett. Varone, however, was a revelation and became a fairly significant scorer for the Amerks last season.

Although there are only three skaters and one goaltender (with a totally awesome name) invited to this year’s camp, each should be worth a once over during the four days they’re on the ice. Frederick Roy is particularly intriguing based on his 92 point (27+65) year with Quebec in the QMJHL.

A teammate of first-round pick Mikhail Grigorenko, Roy is a bit undersized (5’10” 160), but put up serious numbers. The Q can always be a bit deceiving because of the general lack of defense played by every single team in the league, but 92 points is 92 points no matter where you’re playing. Except Quebec high school hockey, right Mr. Feaster? Continue reading