Two more Sabres prospects were signed to entry-level contracts today, further stocking the rich cupboards they already boast. Dan Catenacci and Connor Knapp were signed to three and two-year enrty-level deals, respectively. According to the Sabres, they will each report to Rochester under amateur tryout offers.
They join Brian Flynn, Kevin Sundher and Phil Varone as newly inked prospects this season. Sundher was signed earlier in the year while Flynn signed a one-year ELC last week and is also with the Amerks on an ATO. By having these players join Rochester on an amateur basis, they save a year of their contract from burning up, an especially important detail regarding Knapp and Flynn.
Knapp probably won’t do much more than practice with the team and possibly sit as a backup to David Leggio for the remainder of the season. Catenacci will see some playing time down the line – along with Flynn – for an Amerks squad who could use some additional depth down the middle.
Catenacci, however, will only provide temporary relief for the Amerks. His age only permits him to play in the NHL or junior for next season. With the assumed lineup the Sabres will be looking at in 2012-13, Catenacci’s ELC won’t start working for him until his first professional season in the fall of 2013. That being said, getting Catenacci under contract is a step in the right direction for the Sabres. Joining Flynn, Sundher and Varone; Catenacci is another skilled center capable of producing at a point-per-game clip. His size is somewhat prohibitive and I wonder where he fits in the big picture, especially with Tyler Ennis establishing himself as a formidable talent as a center. With Ennis already on the roster and Sundher in the pipeline, there won’t be much room for too many undersized forwards – especially at center.
Looking at this year’s roster, the trio of mini-mites (Ennis, Gerbe and Roy) may be a little bit of two’s company and three’s a crowd in terms of assembling a complete roster. If that is indeed the case, I wonder where Catenacci ultimately will fit in the grand scheme. Of course, if Lindy Ruff is still coaching he will probably just end up playing wing. Truthfully, that may not necessarily be the worst case scenario for his skillset, either. Continue reading