The Buffalo Sabres opened their 2011 prospect development camp yesterday with what was surely a stirring and intensity-fueled practice at Dwyer Arena on the Niagara University campus.
Unfortunately, 2011 first-round pick Joel Armia wasn't there to experience the magic, as he was the only invited prospect to not show up. Early reports indicate that he either couldn't afford a plane ticket (Ed Note: not actually true) or simply doesn't lke buffalo wings (Ed. Note: unconfirmed.)
The 42-man roster includes 9 non-drafted players, and three of those are from Western New York. Sabres.com put it best when they said:
Forward Matt Zarbo (Grand Island, NY) had 14 points in 28 games for Clarkson University last season, after spending the previous two years in the USHL; 22-year-old blueliner Nick Bailen (Fredonia, NY) played for RPI last year, and finished with 36 points in 38 games; and goaltender John Cullen (Hamburg, NY) who posted a record of 15-14-2, while splitting his time in the OHL last year with Windsor and Sarnia.
What the prospects actually accomplished yesterday remains as of this writing a mystery, but you can at least view the cap roster by clicking on these red words right here.
We'll have more of the Sabres dev camp later this week, but for now just savor in the knowledge that future Sabres are working hard right now, just for you.