Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

June 24, 2008

SABRES: Rookie camp at Niagara starts today

‘Camp’ implies lazy days and long, slow walks through the park. But little about the Buffalo Sabres Developmental Camp, which starts today at Niagara University’s Dwyer Arena, will be done at half-speed. In fact, the reason the Sabres moved the camp from the Amherst Pepsi Center to Lewiston was the need to get the entire experience “under one roof,” according to scout Jon Christiano, so workouts can start soon after the players rise from NU’s dorms.

The sessions might not make a dramataic impression on this year’s roster, but the impact will be felt down the line. Boston College star and Hobey Baker runner-up Nathan Gerbe will miss today’s opening day since he and his national champion Eagle teammates were spending the Tuesday at the White House. When Gerbe gets back, he’ll join Tim Kennedy, Andrej Sekera, Jhonas Enroth, Drew Stafford, and recent draft choices Tyler Myers and Tyler Ennis in a group of youngsters that should keep Sabres fans excited about the future.

WHO TO WATCH

Tim Kennedy

LAST CLUB: Michigan State

HOMETOWN: Buffalo

POSITION: Center

MINI-BIO: Score a goal and add an assist in the national championship game (in 2007), and you’re destined to garner attention. Then get dealt to your hometown team, especially at a time when the frothing fan base is looking for new heroes, and you’ve got a movie script. Kennedy is a South Buffalo kid who, finished last season tied for fifth in CCHA scoring (20 goals, 23 assists, 42 games).

EXPECT: Flashes of speed, solid puck-handling abilities, and more pop than you’d expect from a smaller frame.

Nathan Gerbe

LAST CLUB: Boston College

HOMETOWN: Oxford, Mich.

POSITION: Center

MINI-BIO: A dynamo, this diminutive dazzler finished his junior year at BC with 68 points in 43 games (35 goals, and 33 assists). He’s the ultimate Sabres gamble — if the game keeps slipping away from quick, little guys, he could have a tough career. If the league reverts to call things close to the vest, Gerbe could be a first-liner.

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