The Buffalo Sabres have announced their annual development camp dates, giving fans their first chance of the summer to see prospects in the organization, as well as the 2019 NHL Entry Draft picks. Camp begins June 26 and runs through June 28, with the annual French Connection 3-on-3 tournament held on June 29 at 10:45 a.m. All on-ice sessions will be held at Harborcenter.
The three days of drills and camp have multiple sessions and are free and open to the public. The popular 3-on-3 tournament is free to Sabres season ticket holders only.
Related: The French Connection
Each season ticket holder may get two free tickets to the tournament per-account beginning Monday, June 24. Tickets will be limited and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Sabres Development Camp Schedule
There are several goals of development camp. First and foremost is to introduce prospective players to professional work habits and organizational standards. The players will have an opportunity to become familiar with the team and the resources available to them through the Sabres’ development staff and performance team.
The full schedule of on-ice workouts open to the public at Harborcenter is below. All times are subject to change and any updates will be posted at Sabres.com.
Wednesday, June 26: 1:00-2:00, 2:30-3:30
Thursday, June 27: 10:15-11:15, 11:45-12:45
Friday, June 28: 10:15-11:15; 12:00-1:00
Saturday, June 29: 10:45-1:30
Sabres Development Camp Roster
The development camp roster will be announced in the coming days. Many past prospects are sure to attend camp while those selected in this weekend’s 2019 NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver will also likely make the trip. It’s a great opportunity to see the pipeline of talent in the Sabres’ system as well as catch a glimpse of them in blue and gold.
Some players at camp will have NHL experience under their belt, like Alex Nylander. The 21-year-old winger has appeared in 19 games for the Sabres over three seasons.
Others like Rasmus Asplund will have AHL games on their resume. He played 75 games for the Amerks last season, putting up 10 goals and 31 assists.
Finally, some players are ready to make the next step, such as goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. The 2017 second-round pick had a banner season with the Sudbury Wolves, appearing in 53 games and posting a record of 38-11-2 with a .920 save percentage and six shutouts.
Luukkonen underwent successful hip surgery in April of this year. Since his recovery was pegged at six months, it’s doubtful he will be on the ice.
Fans can also expect to see players like defenseman Ivan Chukarov (2015 seventh-round pick), left wing Max Willman (2014 fifth-round pick) and center Christopher Brown (2014 sixth-round pick). They’re players the Sabres must sign by August 15 or lose them to free agency.
Sabres 2019 Preseason Schedule Announced
The Sabres will play six preseason games leading up to the 2019-20 season. They’ll play two home games at KeyBank Center, three road games and one neutral-site contestat Pegula Ice Arena at Pennsylvania State University. Ticket information and pricing have not been announced yet.
The preseason opens on Monday, Sept. 16 when the Sabres faceoff against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a rematch of the last NHL contest at Pegula Ice Arena in 2017. The game will be the third game ever contested between NHL teams at Pegula Ice Arena since the arena opened on Oct. 11, 2013 as home of Penn State’s NCAA Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey teams. The 5,782-seat arena, which was funded as part of a $102 million donation by Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula, was planned in 2010 with the amenities required to host professional exhibition games.
The next night, Sept. 17, the Sabres visit Nationwide Arena for a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
On Sept. 20, the Sabres travel up the QEW to play the Toronto Maple Leafs, then host their rivals the next night at KeyBank Center.
The preseason wraps up with an afternoon tilt against the Penguins at PPG Paints Arena, scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.
Jeff has been covering the NHL for over a decade for various sites. He’s been with The Hockey Writers as a lead Sabres writer three years, while also writing a satire column called “Off the Crossbar.”