Knapp, Catenacci under contract

Written By Kris Baker on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 | 4/03/2012

The Sabres announced Tuesday that they have signed goaltender Connor Knapp (2009, 6th round, 164th overall) and center Dan Catenacci (2011, 3rd round, 77th overall) to entry-level contracts. The duo are expected to join the Rochester Americans of the AHL, who are currently in Abbotsford, B.C. for a Tuesday/Wednesday set with the Heat.

The 5'10 Catenacci inks a three-year deal on the heels of a 2011-12 campaign that saw him pot 33 goals and  72 points in 67 games for the OHL's Owen Sound Attack. The quick-footed pivot earned the contract with a strong finish, including a red-hot stretch from January 21st to March 3rd that saw him gather 13 goals and 23 points in 16 games. After spending the balance of this season on an amateur tryout, the 19-year old Catenacci is expected to return to Owen Sound in 2012-13 and hope to get on the radar for Team Canada's selection Camp for the 2013 World Junior Championship.


The 6'6 Knapp emerged as one of college hockey's hottest goaltenders after January 1st, taking control of the RedHawks #1 job for the first time in his career by posting a 12-4 record with five shutouts in his final 16 starts as a collegian. He'd finish the year 15-8 while placing among national leaders with a 1.69 goals against average and .933 save percentage. His 13 career shutouts are Miami University record. Like Catenacci, Knapp will finish the season on an ATO with the Amerks and begin his two-year deal next season.

The club not waiting until the last minute to get the deals done is just another sign that the new ownership group is committed to improving the team's image around the league. 2010 draft picks Mark Pysyk, Kevin Sundher, and Jerome Gauthier-Leduc were previously locked in well before due date. It's quite a change from the days of the Sabres going into May with a plate full of entry-level decisions.

8 comments:

boos said...

nice work, kris...

yeah, the sabres are getting things done contract-wise which is quite the departure...

but...

there really wasn't the need to sign catennaci if he'll be in junior next season, was there?

kinda eats into their 50 contracts thing, i would think

Kris Baker said...

i may have misled a bit in previous comments/tweets when discussing Leduc/Sundher/Pysyk signings, but possible they all (Cat included) only hit their protected list until the contracts are exercised, i.e. he likely hits that 50 number when he's on AHL/NHL roster. Not 100% but pretty sure that's how it works though...I'll look into that.

Anonymous said...

What's the problem with gettin The Cat under contract???

Speedy centreman that can score.

Go figure that somebody has a problem with that...

We got our top 4 picks signed from 2010 draft class. And we got our 2nd pick from the 2011 draft. And Armia is mentally ready to play in the NHL next year. We got 2 picks in the first and 2 picks in the second round of this year's draft. We are tied for the last playoff spot with 2 games left.

Life is good.

Enjoy it.

boos said...

@11:54

teams can have up to 50 pro contracts per season...signing cat, i think, counts against that and with him in junior next season, it will take away one of those contracts for the sabres and amerks...

it also takes away one year of his entry-level contract as he heads to rfa-status...

it's no biggie, really...just askin'

Kris Baker said...

the clock won't start ticking on Catenacci's contract until he gets over the minimum games threshold - i.e. when he starts playing in the NHL. If he begins playing in Roch/Buff in 2013-14, that's year one.

Anonymous said...

Kris: any word on who the amerks might pickup from the sabres. is hodgson and ennis eligble ?

thanks doug

Kris Baker said...

Tropp and Foligno on way back now. Brennan and McNabb will go back following Saturday's game vs Boston.

Kris Baker said...

Ennis/Hodgson will be done when Sabres are done.

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