We've known since clinching 30th place last season that the future is bright for the Buffalo Sabres, but the level of excitement surround tomorrow's scrimmage at development camp is approaching supernova status.
According to multiple reporters, the Sabres have already sold almost 10,000 tickets to tomorrow's scrimmage, and will almost certainly add another thousand-plus in walk-up sales. More fans will be attending this mid-July scrimmage than most of the Sabres home games after the trade deadline last season.
#Sabres update: The team says about 9,500 tickets have now been sold for tomorrow night's scrimmage. Yowza.— Mike Harrington (@BNHarrington) July 9, 2015
The obvious draw for the scrimmage is to see wonderboy Jack Eichel play his first "game" on home ice in Buffalo. EichelMania has been running wild all over Buffalo since well before the draft, but since the rookie showed up in town, it's been taken to a whole new level. He has enormous expectations on his broad shoulders, and has so far handled everything thrown his way with maturity and professionalism.
Those expectations will take yet another step forward with a strong showing tomorrow playing in a game with a number of other talented, interesting prospects. Lining up across from Eichel will be his camp roomie Sam Reinhart, who by all reports is looking bigger, stronger, faster, and more confident than last season. Also involved in the game are players on the NHL bubble like Jake McCabe, Nick Baptiste and Justin Bailey, expected to help lead the Amerks this season, new draft picks such as Brendan Guhle and Giorgio Estephan, and prominent college players Hudson Fasching and Anthony Florentino.
Sabres scrimmage: - Close to 8k tix sold - 300 level will open to accommodate crowd - Expecting big walk up crowd - Advising early arrival— Jeremy White (@JeremyWGR) July 9, 2015
We'll be heading down to the scrimmage tomorrow and will have a full recap and report on Saturday focusing on who stood out and just how great is Jack Eichel anyway? Let us know if you'll be at the scrimmage in the comments, or who you'd like us to keep an eye on tomorrow.
When: Friday, 7pm, First Niagara Center
How to watch: Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online or at the box office
Will the game be streamed? At this point, no it will not
Really? I know, man, I know
Rosters: Right here