The Buffalo Sabres had a deadline of today at 5pm to re-sign two late draft picks, but the team decided to relinquish their rights to both players.
Giorgio Estephan and Gustav Possler are now no longer members of the Sabres organizations as their signing deadline passed minutes ago. Estephan will go back into the NHL draft pool, while Possler simply becomes a free agent.
The big question mark comes with the release of Estephan, a sixth round draft pick in 2015 who has put up 74 and 89 points respectively in his last two season in the WHL. His skating has been called into question (both Kris Baker and Paul Hamilton have said as much) but it’s curious the team would simply release a guy who has so much offensive potential.
Estephan did get a six game tryout in Rochester two years ago, putting up one point, and it’s not like the Amerks are exactly loaded at forward heading in to next season. The Sabres have not yet released a statement about either player, so all the speculation is left up to us. Good thing nothing ever gets blown out of proportion on the internet.
Less of a surprise is the release of Possler, who was drafted in the fifth round of the 2013 draft and has been playing in Sweden for the past few seasons. Possler’s offensive game hasn’t shown much growth over the past few seasons, with nine goals being his career high in four SHL seasons.
We’ll update this post should the Sabres or GM Jason Botterill release a statement.