By Ryan Nagelhout
Corey Tropp might be the newest Buffalo Sabre under contract, but he knows the deal is a long time coming.
The 20-year-old third round pick from the 2007 NHL Draft signed a three-year entry level deal worth $1.76 million, according to capgeek.com. The forward will skip his senior season at Michigan State University, where he notched 20 goals and 22 assists in 37 games.
“It’s exciting," Tropp said after development camp at Dwyer Arena on Tuesday. “Three years ago after I got drafted it was one of my goals to get a contract with Buffalo.”
Tropp will most likely play for the AHL-affiliate Portland Pirates this fall, leaving behind a successful, if controversial career at MSU. In January 2009, Tropp was suspended for the remainder of the regular season after a slash on University of Michigan’s Steve Kampfer. Tropp said he has moved past the incident and is ready to take the next step with the Sabres.
“I haven’t thought about that for a little while,” Tropp said about last year's incident. “My track record I’m not a player that plays like that.”
“You have to prove to people that's not the type of player you are and it’s not the type of person you are,” he added.
Tropp said he wasn’t sure he was leaving Michigan State until the last few weeks, when the team began contract talks with him.
“We had been talking for a month or so,” Troop said. “It was something that was on my mind all summer long, so to have that over with is kind of a relief.”
Felix Schutz is one of three players at Development Camp from outside of North America, and the German-born player says he is missing fellow-German Philip Gogulla, who left the Sabres to play in Cologne.
“We were roommates in Portland,” he said, adding that the Gogulla was good for German conversation as well.
“It was good to keep working with the language,” he added. “It was nice to be home and be with someone who spoke German.”
Tyler Ennis may have seen time with the big club last season, but he’s not immune to punishment at rookie camp. The winger has spent the last two days celebrating almost every goal he scores during drills, but on Tuesday he celebrated a bit too early. Goaltender Nick Eno made the save, and Lindy Ruff made Ennis pay with some on-ice pushups.
“I think it’s good to be relaxed but you still have to work really hard and have a good attitude and set a good example for the younger guy,” Ennis said after practice. “They see he older guys working hard and being respectful and enjoying themselves they're going to follow it.”
Fans were hoping to see the prospects scrimmage on Tuesday but were left wanting.
However, the most interesting moment of the day was when Tyler Myers and prospect Zack Kassian went one-on-one during a drill. The Calder Trophy winner got the better of the forward, chipping the puck to the corner and keeping Kassian without a shot. Sabres fans are hoping to see that intensity throughout the remainder of camp.
Camp continues at 4 p.m. today. The session is free and open to the public.