Another trio of invites tabbed for d-camp

With the Sabres 2014 Development Camp set for July 14-18, three more players have received a call to head to Buffalo as free agent invites. Drake Caggiula, Patrick Russell and Brandon Prophet join the previously reported Christian Hilbrich (Cornell) and Liam Pecararo (Maine commit) as players set to attend camp who are currently unclaimed by an NHL club.

Pickering, Ont. native Caggiula will make the short drive south to Buffalo following an excellent sophomore season with the University of North Dakota that saw him ring up 11 goals and 24 points in 42 contests. Prior to entering the NCAA, the 20-year old winger was ranked the 185th North American skater in Central Scouting's 2012 final ranking. This will be his first NHL development camp.

A product of the OJHL's Stoufville Spirit and 2011-12 league playoff MVP, the speedy Caggiula comes in at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds but holds his own against the big boys with loads of energy and a willingness to play a physical game. There is high-end goal scoring upside in play (see below), so good on the Sabres for taking a closer look at the talented forward.

Joining Caggiula in the forward grouping will be Russell, a 6-foot-1, 205 pound native of Birkenrod, Denmark who posted 49 points last season as a member of the USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks. Russell's 29 goals were tops among all Waterloo skaters, and fifth-most in the entire league. He added another five markers in the Black Hawks' 12-game run to the Clark Cup Final.

An established goal scorer at every level he's competed at, Russell arrived in Waterloo after capping a four-year junior stint in Linkopings (SWE) with a 18-goal, 36-point effort at the J20 level. The move to the smaller North American ice seems to be paying off, as Russell is a big, strong body who gets into position to rifle the puck. He's strong on his skates, and while lacking high-end acceleration, gets to where he needs to be at both ends of the rink.

Russell, who turned 21 in January, is committed to St. Cloud State University this fall, where he'll join Sabres prospect Judd Peterson in the class of '18. If familiarity counts for anything, it should be noted that the right-handed Russell often skated on the same line in Waterloo with fellow camp invitee Pecararo.

Prophet, an 18-year old defenseman, played last season with the OHL's Saginaw Spirit alongside Sabres prospects Justin Kea and Eric Locke. The stout stay-at-home rearguard has netted five goals, 30 points, and a plus-nine rating through his first two years of major junior duty. He's not being rewarded for his offense, but rather his ability to play tough in the trenches.

Prophet (6'2", 202 lbs.) has the size and footwork to succeed, and is at his best when he plays a safe game that sees him quickly move the puck to more talented carriers. The simple style was best displayed late in the year when he was paired with the more mobile Jesse Graham (NYI). Lauded as a high character team-first player, Prophet answered the call for four fighting majors this past season.
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