A pair of Sabres 2013 draft picks, J.T. Compher (USA) and Gustav Possler (SWE) will miss the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship due to injury.
Compher suffered a broken foot after blocking a shot during Monday night's practice. He was unable to skate Tuesday prior to an exhibition tilt with Minnesota State, and was released from camp prior to the national junior team's departure for Sweden on Wednesday. The freshman centerman, who co-leads Michigan with 14 points (5+9), is expected to miss three-to-four weeks while recovering. He was a virtual lock to make Team USA prior to getting injured.
Possler previously missed a month of action after suffering a knee injury Nov. 3 in MODO's game versus HV 71. He was in and out of MODO's lineup for two weeks leading up to Sweden's selection camp, and after being unable to skate in Tuesday's practice session with lingering pain in the knee, was sent home for further evaluation. The injury was initially deemed "minor" by the usually tight-lipped MODO staff, but Possler was a bit tentative in his return prior to the international break, making many suspect that he had come back too early to achieve his goal of representing host Sweden at the prestigious international tourney.
The tough break for the pair leaves the Sabres with two prospects assured entry into the tourney, with Mikhail Grigorenko and Nikita Zadorov set to play leading roles for Team Russia. Finland's Rasmus Ristolainen has been released by the Sabres to play in his third-straight World Junior Championship as well pending a clean bill of health. His status will be evaluated in the coming days, but as of now it is very likely that he will be the third Sabres prospect to play in the event beginning Dec. 26.