Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

November 5, 2011

Sabres rookie Tropp replaces suspended Kaleta



When the rest of his Rochester Americans teammates hopped on a Binghamton-bound bus Thursday afternoon, Corey Tropp stayed back in the Flower City, his cell phone close by his side.

Earlier in the day, the 22-year-old winger had been informed the Sabres would recall him if the NHL suspended agitator Patrick Kaleta for a head-butting incident.

“If he wasn’t suspended, I’d be driving myself to Binghamton, or if he was, I was coming to Buffalo,” Tropp said Friday prior to making his NHL debut in the Sabres’ x-x win over the Calgary Flames inside the First Niagara Center. “Obviously, when I got the call it was really exciting.”

Yeah, playing in the big leagues probably beats driving down Route 81 alone.

With Kaleta banned four games for hitting Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek illegally Wednesday – the winger can come back a week from tonight in Boston – Tropp, the 89th pick in 2007, has an opportunity to impress.

Wearing No. 78, he skated 6:19 on Friday, mostly on the right wing beside Matt Ellis and Cody McCormick.

“I think I bring a lot of energy,” said Tropp, who’s 6-feet and 183 pounds. “I look at myself as a guy that finishes my checks, competes real hard. I think on top of that I can bring some offense, too, and chip in playing an aggressive style.”

The Michigan native certainly possesses an edge. A wicked slash earned him a season suspension as sophomore at Michigan State University three years ago. He rebounded, though, becoming an assistant captain before a 20-goal, 42-point junior campaign.

Tropp, who compiled 10 goals, 40 points and 113 penalties minutes in Portland as a rookie, had a team-best four goals and seven points with the Amerks, who’ve started just 4-4-2.

Some expected the Sabres would summon Marcus Foligno or Zack Kassian, two higher-profile prospects. But Tropp has quietly played well during his two AHL seasons.

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