Yesterday, during his segment on WGR's Schopp and the Bulldog, Buffalo Sabres GM revealed that the team is working on signing Wisconsin defenseman Jake McCabe to his entry level contract. What's more, he said that McCabe would most likely come to Buffalo for the remainder of the season rather than Rochester.
McCabe, a 6'1'', 210 lbs, left-handed defenseman, just finished up his sophomore season for the Wisconsin Badgers, where he wore an A on his sweater and was named to the first-team All-Big Ten squad. The Sabres drafted him in the second round (44) in 2012. McCabe's strengths are his excellent hockey mind and vision, his stick work and sandpaper in his own end, and his above-average skating ability.
Should he make it to Buffalo, McCabe would be the second defenseman over the past two years to jump straight from college to the Sabres, following in Chad Ruhwedel's footsteps last season. McCabe is highly thought of amongst Sabres prospects and by his Wisconsin teammates, and his play in Buffalo will be much more highly scrutinized than Ruhwedel's was in 2013.
The only issue with all of this is that, as of this writing, McCabe is currently unsigned. Murray's comments on WGR were very forthright and he seemed confident the deal would get done soon. McCabe could theoretically be on the ice for the Sabres as soon as Thursday when they play the St. Louis Blues.
One prospect who is signed is forward Justin Kea, who signed his ELC today, and will join the Amerks for their playoff push.
Kea will likely be a bottom-six forward in the NHL thanks to his defensive skills, but has found some offense the past two seasons, scoring 49 points in 58 games for the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL. He was picked by the Sabres in the third round (73) of the 2012 draft.
Others could still join the ranks as their season end (Grigorenko didn't report to Rochester until the AHL playoffs were underway) so this might not be the end of the reinforcements, but the chance to see McCabe play in the NHL this season could be an exciting opportunity for Sabres fans.