Towering trio remains as Sabres return junior prospects

The Buffalo Sabres have announced that nine players were returned to their junior clubs over the weekend.

Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier announced today the team has returned the following nine players to their respective junior clubs: forwards Riley Boychuk (Portland, WHL), Cedrick Henley (Val d’Or, QMJHL), Steven Shipley (Niagara, OHL), Kevin Sundher (Chilliwack, WHL), Gregg Sutch (Mississauga, OHL); defensemen Corey Fienhage (Kamloops, WHL), Jerome Gauthier-Leduc (Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL), Matt MacKenzie (Calgary, WHL) and Mark Pysyk (Edmonton, WHL).

No real surprises on the list with eight of the nine being 2010 draft picks, while the other, defenseman Corey Fienhage, is set for his first season of juniors after two years of inconsistent WCHA reps.

The cut down leaves three CHL prospects, Windsor's Zack Kassian, Kootenay's Brayden McNabb, and Sudbury's Marcus Foligno, with the Sabres for an extended look.

Kassian and McNabb suited up in Friday's 3-1 win over Toronto, with the big Windsor forward garnering positive mainstream media vibes for his physical play, including a strong forecheck that lead to a late Rob Niedermayer goal, and a solid offensive performance highlighted by an assist on a Tyler Ennis tally. The effort was consistent with Kassian's training camp performance to date, and appears to be the trigger that has re-opened contract talks between the Sabres and their 6'3 banger. Kassian is expected to be in the Sabres lineup Monday when they travel up the QEW for another pre-season meeting with the Leafs.

For McNabb and Foligno, the extended stay is opportunity to be exposed to be as much game-speed as possible with the hope of setting up dominating starts to their junior seasons. Sticking around should be considered a well-earned reward for the hard-working Foligno after the budding leader spent quite a bit of the offseason in WNY. Thje 6'3 forward has taken great year-over-strides since his drafting, and the extra pro reps are a continuation towards building out a two-way grind game. For McNabb it's all about raising his level of competition to in-turn elevate his stature among Canadian hopefuls for the 2011 World Junior Championships. At this point, Kassian and McNabb represent the Sabres best chances at having a prospect skate in the tourney. You have to think that every little bit of camp helps those chances.
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Monday, September 27, 2010 ×

Hey Kris -- love your stuff. Always top notch. Quick question: is TJ Brennan in camp? I read a lot of positive things about him but have not seen his name this camp. Did I miss him by chance? Thanks! Keep up the awesome work!

Kris Baker
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 ×

Eric - sorry for late reply here, but Brennan has been in camp. (You probably know that by now if you're watching the Sabres/Sens game). He looked sharp in the final scrimmage of rookie camp. Showed some mobility moving the puck out in the the first period of tonight's game. There are so many defenseman in the pipeline right now. Something has to give soon.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 ×

Butler hasn't seemed any different to me. Schiestel and Brennan both have stood out to me and I just hope the Sabres aren't in love with Butler, because to me they are knocking on the door and like you said something has to give soon. On another note, Stafford looks really good.


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