Prospects Challenge set for September

The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team will host the Prospects Challenge from Sept. 12 to 14 at First Niagara Center and HARBORCENTER.

For $10 per game, fans can watch the Sabres' prospects compete with young guns from the Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils in a round-robin challenge. The participating teams will play two games during the course of the three-day event.
A full schedule for the Prospects Challenge is below:

Saturday, Sept. 12: Buffalo vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m., First Niagara Center
Sunday, Sept. 13: Boston vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m., HARBORCENTER
Monday, Sept. 14: Buffalo vs. Boston, 7 p.m., First Niagara Center


Prospect tournaments have long been a part of NHL rookie camps. The Sabres' partaking in late-summer fun goes as far back as 1999, when the club traveled north to Kitchener for battles with Toronto, New York and Carolina. Most recently, the Sabres enjoyed a three-year residency at the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich., winning the title in their 2011 debut and losing to host Detroit in the 2012 Championship. (I'm really going to miss those trips to Traverse City.)
From the business side, it's great that the Sabres were able to quickly scramble for partners to put together their own shindig after pulling out of the Red Wings' event. The aim, of course, is for the Prospects Challenge to become an annual gathering with deeper participation down the road. 

As far as the Sabres potential roster goes, let's assume that the pool of players is comprised of draft picks playing in the CHL and those slated for Rochester on entry-level contracts. 

The Swedish triumvirate of Jonas Johansson, Victor Olofsson and Gustav Possler will be starting the SHL season that week. Linus Ullmark, also Swedish, will begin his first North American season rehabbing his surgically repaired hips. 

The Sabres current batch of NCAA student-athletes -- all 11 of them -- will be enjoying fall semester classes in anticipation of the 2015-16 schedule.

With that in mind, here's what the Sabres lines could potentially look like for games against the Devils and Bruins:

Evan Rodrigues - Jack Eichel - Nicholas Baptiste
William Carrier - Sam Reinhart - Justin Bailey
Dan Catenacci - Giorgio Estephan - Vaclav Karabacek
Jean Dupuy - Justin Kea - Eric Cornel
(Jack Nevins - Colin Jacobs)

Jake McCabe - Brendan Guhle
Brycen Martin - Devante Stephens
Brady Austin - Josh Chapman

Andrey Makarov
C.J. Motte

Pretty straight forward estimate. As always, expect a few free agent invitees to be part of the Sabres entry. 

Hockey is right around the corner.
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