Sabres Make Player Development Hires in Appert and Ellis

Former USNTDP coach, Seth Appert has been named the head coach of the Rochester Amerks while former-Sabre Matt Ellis has been hired as director of player development

This afternoon, Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News reported that the Buffalo Sabres had made two front office hires. Seth Appert, formerly the head coach of the USNTDP, has been hired in the same role for the Rochester Ameks. Former-Sabre Matt Ellis has also been brought on as the director of player development.

Before his time with the US National Program, Appert spent 11 seasons in the NCAA with RPI. During his time there, the Engineers went 88-120-34 before he was let go in 2017. The 46-year-old was quickly scooped up by the USNTDP.

Despite not having the most illustrious collegiate resume as a coach, he certainly has experience behind the bench. Appert is a hire from outside the organization, which is a first sine the mass-firings that took place two months ago.

As one of the coaches at the PSE-owned Academy of Hockey at HARBORCENTER, Ellis has been part of the organization in that capacity since 2015. During his NHL career, he spent parts of 11 seasons between the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, and of course, the Sabres.

Interestingly enough, Ellis was actually on the Buffalo roster when Adams was an assistant coach under Lindy Ruff in 2011. Clearly, after crossing paths there, then subsequently continuing to work together at PSE, they’ve built some semblance of a rapport.

We’ll see how these two men fare moving forward. Neither of them has served in their respective roles at such a high level. The organization seems to be entrusting a lot of “first-timers” with a great deal of responsibility as pressure mounts for the team to be competitive.