Ethan Magoc of the BG News recently ran a feature on former Bowling Green standout, Derek Whitmore. The Rochester native signed with the Sabres as a free agent last spring, and is focused on making an immediate impression once camp commences.
BG's former tri-captain gained experience in his degree field this summer when he served as a strength and conditioning coach during an internship with Puckmasters Hockey Training Center in Buffalo. Whitmore also attended a Sabres summer training session with current Falcons Jake Cepis and Nick Eno - the Sabres' 2007 seventh round draft pick. The former Falcon teammates worked out together from June 25 to July 1 with other Buffalo players and prospects. "His goal, since he was signed, is to solidify his position with the Sabres and keep improving to give himself a chance to play in the NHL," said Scott Paluch, Whitmore's former coach at BGSU. "He has an opportunity to play with the world's elite, and he needs to continue to progress to that level." At five feet nine inches, the 23-year-old forward is the second smallest player on Buffalo's roster, but he said he's not intimidated by that because "so many small players have gone on to successful NHL careers." So is he the next Brian Gionta, the New Jersey Devils' forward who stands five feet seven inches and has more than 250 NHL points in six seasons? Rochester is about all the two players currently have in common - both were born there. But Whitmore does feel confident heading into his first NHL training camp. He said he thinks that by working out every morning before his afternoon internship with Puckmasters, he is in prime physical condition.After a four year collegiate sheet that saw him pile up 70 goals and just 32 assists, Whitmore will begin his pro career finishing plays with Portland of the AHL.