Tag Archives: Buffalo Sabres

T.J. Brennan(3) Toronto Marlies

TJ Brennan

Toronto Maple Leafs‘ 5th year defenseman T.J. Brennan(3) is continuing his career year in the minors with affiliate Toronto Marlies.

He played in a season high 75 AHL regular season games scoring a new best 25 goals and 47 assists for 72 points, which basically doubled his previous yearly totals in the three scoring categories. His 2013/2014 totals were also good enough for lead on the team in tallies and overall. He was also 3rd in the league for points.

The 6’1″ 213 lbs. blue liner recently won the Eddie Shore Award for best d-man this year.

He only has 40 NHL games to his credit, despite being a Buffalo Sabres‘ 2nd round high selection pick.

The irony to those numbers is his best numbers with on a short, freshly traded 19-game stint with Florida Panthers, where he put up a pair of goals and 7 assists in 19 games.

He was picked up for a draft pick and then sent in an off-season trade to Nashville Predators, who decided not to qualify the pending restricted free agent.

Picked up by the Leafs, they, as the story goes never recalled him because they didn’t need him long-term and feared potentially losing him on waivers. It is so much easier to just call up an entry level player.

Now marching the Marlies through the Calder Cup Playoffs he has 4 goals and 4 assists in 9 games without a loss going into the Western Conference Finals.

The 25-year old is set to become a free and in the clear unrestricted free agent this summer. He received one-way contract money but will someone step up for 2014/2015 to try his experience for a full campaign? We’d sign him.

See related: 4/7-11, 11/24-11

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Derek Whitmore(11) Adirondack Phantoms

Derek Whitmore

Undrafted 6th year left wing Derek Whitmore(11) was having problems fitting in to a veteran laden  Hershey Bears‘ lineup after signing a one-year minor league contract with the team upon his return from a short, half season stint in Germany’s DEL skating for Augsburger Panther.

He did reasonably well overseas connecting for 9 goals and 14 assists in 26 games.

Loaned in a player swap at the trade deadline to Adirondack Phantoms, the 5’11” 185 lbs. forward has benefited, scoring almost as many points with his new squad in half the amount of contests.

He’s well off his 40+ point pace from 2010-2012 in Buffalo Sabres‘ affiliate system but given another full season workload could find the mark again.

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Luke Adam(72) Rochester Americans

Luke Adam

Buffalo Sabres‘ 2nd round pick in the 2008 draft (#44 overall) center Luke Adam(72) is playing in his 4th season in the team’s prospect system.

Initially signed to a three-year entry level deal, he was qualified for another season and will become a restricted free agent once again at the end of the current campaign.

He’s played in 85 NHL games with the parent club (only 10 so far this season with 1 goal) but will likely surpass a career high 30-goal mark in the AHL with minor league affiliate Rochester Americans.

The 6’2″ 206 lbs. power forward put up 29 in his first year, when he was voted Rookie Of The Year.

Maybe a bit surprising he wasn’t moved before the trade deadline, the still super-young 23 year-old will probably receive another one-year extension but needs to step it up.

See related: 10/13-11, 9/14-11, 4/16-11

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Jacob Lagace(83) Orlando Solar Bears

Jacob Lagace

4th year unrestricted free agent left wing Jacob Lagace(83) signs on for the 2013/2014 season with Orlando Solar Bears.

He just wrapped up his 3-year entry level deal with Buffalo Sabres that saw him skate 120 AHL games (20-23-43) with Portland Pirates and Rochester Americans and 70 in the ECHL (16-26-42) with Greenville Road Warriors and Bakersfield Condors. He was originally a 5th round pick in the 2008 draft (#134 overall).

The 5’11” 190 lbs. forward posted his best numbers in 2012/2013 with 16 goals and 20 assists last season with Bakersfield only reassignment but only had four AHL appearances.

He was a scoring machine in 3 junior hockey campaigns in the QMJHL with 90 markers and 114 helpers in 191 games.

The 23-year old should be able to surpass his high marks with a full season in the ECHL but he could also be on the short list for a recall.


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Nick Crawford(20) Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo Sabres‘ 6th round pick in the 2008 draft (#164 overall), restricted free agent defenseman Nick Crawford(20) re-signs to rejoin the team’s prospect system for a fourth season.

He has yet to earn an NHL call-up but has skated in 199 games for AHL affiliates Rochester Americans and Portland Pirates scoring 18 goals and 54 assists.

The 6’1″ 192 lbs. blue liner has shown the ability to be a play maker throughout his playing career, especially in his last two seasons of OHL junior hockey with Saginaw Spirit and Barrie Colts and his first year as a pro.

The 23-year old is fairly steady on ice but will need to step up those appearances on the score sheet to continue to find his spot on the minor league roster and keep the eyes of the suits on his game.

Nick Crawford


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Riley Boychuk(45) New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Devils shed more salary cap to pick up 3rd year larger than life left wing prospect Riley Boychuk(45) from Buffalo Sabres, the team that drafted him in the 7th round of 2010 (#208 overall).

He is in the last season of a three-year entry level deal that has seen him play mostly AA pro hockey, last year in the Central Hockey League reassigned to Fort Worth Brahmas and in his rookie campaign he played 20 games with Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL.

The 6’5″ 205 lbs. player put up career high goals, assists and points (8-9-17) in his sophomore year.

He’s anticipated to join Albany Devils for 2013/2014. He was recently invited to the parent club’s development camp and will definitely be joining them again in September.

The 23-year old played 26 AHL games in his first season with Rochester Americans and had a pair of helpers but is still looking for his AAA tally.

No doubt, this is a big frame forward that needs to be stepping it up.

Riley Boychuk


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Nathan Paetsch(4) Grand Rapid Griffins

11th year, double-drafted defenseman Nathan Paetsch(4) re-ups with Grand Rapid Griffins for another couple of seasons after a year overseas in DEL with Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg.

He appeared in 70 AHL games scoring 4 goals and 27 assists with a +13 rating and added another 11 assists in 24 Calder Cup Playoff contests on the way to the league championship.

The 6′ 195 lbs. blue liner has 319 AHL games to his credit.

He had been under NHL contract from 2006-2011 and skated in 167 match-ups mostly with Buffalo Sabres, the second team that drafted him in the 7th round in 2003 (#202 overall).

He was initially picked by Washington Capitals in 2001 in the 2nd round (#58 overall) but never signed.

The 30-year old is likely to happy to have secured a place to play pro hockey through the 2015 season, if not beyond that and will likely continue in his assistant captain role with the team.

Nathan Paetsch

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Brayden McNabb(7) Rochester Americans

Buffalo Sabres‘ 3rd round pick in the 2009 draft (#66 overall), 2nd year defenseman Brayden McNabb(7) missed the last month of the regular season with a knee injury and the hope is he will be able to return as the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs start imminently.

He set career highs in AHL games played with 62 and 31 assists and 36 points in 2012/2013, while tying his goal scoring total at 5. He also was a bit more physical out there increasing his penalty minutes to 50 and was chosen to play in the 2013 AHL All-Star Game for a second straight appearance.

The 6’4″ 205 lbs. always put up better numbers in each successive year of junior hockey with Kootenay Ice and was team captain when they won a WHL title in 2011.

He played 25 NHL games in his rookie season scoring his first big league goal and adding 7 assists. It’s a bit of a thinker why he failed to get games in this lockout shortened season though.

The 22-year old signed a three-year entry level deal that takes him through next season.

But first things first, he needs to return for the postseason.

Brayden McNabb

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Kevin Porter(12) Rochester Americans

5th year, unrestricted free agent center Kevin Porter(12) signed a two-year deal with Buffalo Sabres in early July. In its first season, the deal is a two-way contract but for the second year it pays him NHL money even if he’s put on waivers and reassigned to their AHL affiliate, Rochester Americans.

Due to the lockout in the big league, the 6″ 190 lbs. forward was loaned to the Amerks to start his first campaign with the organization, his first time playing in the league since late-ish 2010. He was named team captain at the beginning of the season.

The 26-year old won the Hobey Baker Award in 2008 for being the best player in college hockey and was originally a Phoenix Coyotes‘ 4th round in the 2004 draft (#119 overall).

He spent his rookie season splitting time between the Coyotes and San Antonio Rampage before being dished at the trade deadline to Colorado Avalanche, where he had a career 2010/2011 run before seeing his ice time all but evaporate, limiting his games played to just 35 the following year.

In the AHL, he’s always been a nearly point-per-game player and this season is no different, as he’s scored 9 times with 14 assists in 31 games.

He’ll have to find a role with a team to step up permanently and could very well do it.

Kevin Porter



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Brian Flynn(10) Rochester Americans

Buffalo Sabres‘ undrafted rookie right wing Brian Flynn(10) signed a very conservative one-year entry level contract with the team following an NCAA college career that saw him as basically a point per game player.

Starting on reassignment with their affiliate Rochester Americans, while the NHL goes on prolonged lunch break, the 6’1″ 185 lbs. forward is continuing in the pro ranks where he left off. In 20 AHL games he’s well in front of all first year players with 9 goals and 8 assists and is 3rd overall in team scoring, ahead of a roster that is stacked with proven talent. His totals also put him in the top 10 of rookie point totals thus far.

If he stays on this pace, the Sabres would be wise to extend his contract for at least a couple more seasons as he’ll probably fill out that still undersized frame and looks to become a nice power forward pick-up with plenty of scoring punch.

Brian Flynn

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