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Sabres picks get hometown treatment in Lake Placid

Friday, 08.09.2013 / 4:24 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / World Junior Evaluation Camp blog

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World Junior Evaluation Camp blog
Sabres picks get hometown treatment in Lake Placid

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- It's about a six-hour drive from Buffalo to Lake Placid, but that hasn't stopped a number of Sabres fans from filling Herb Brooks Arena to get a glimpse of a few future Sabres.

American forward J.T. Compher and Swedish forward Gustav Possler have done well in their time at this week's USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp.

Possler, a right wing taken in the fifth round (No. 130) of the 2013 NHL Draft, has a team-high four points (two goals, two assists) in three games.

"Especially on the power play, it looks like he knows where the guys are and gets them the puck," Sabres director of professional scouting Jon Christiano told "He looks like a crafty player. He can move the puck to the open man and is happy doing that. His skating looks good. He's a player for us to continue to look at."

Possler likely will attend Sabres training camp, but almost certainly will spend at least one more season with Modo in the Swedish Hockey League. He got a taste of Buffalo and the team's fans during a stint at rookie camp earlier this summer, and has enjoyed being around more of them this week.

"It's fun to play in front of the Buffalo fans," Possler said. "You want to show what you can do."

Compher, the first of three 2013 Buffalo second-round picks (No. 35) is another future Sabre showcasing his skills this week. While he has yet to get on the score sheet through three games, he's shown great speed and tenacious forechecking, and was complimented for being a "blank disturber" by United States coach Don Lucia.

"He's a good skater," Christiano said. "Bit of a dog on the bone as far as trying to play hard. Defending, he's not delinquent in that regard. I think he understands he's got to take pucks away and block shots and be a guy that plays 200 feet. … I liked his skating and that dog-on-a-bone attitude."

Compher said he's been approached by Sabres fans for autographs during his stay here this week.

"It's nice to be in New York," Compher told "We're a little far, but we had some fans up here asking for some autographs [Thursday]. They traveled a little bit to watch the game. It's nice to have that support out here, have some fans coming to watch."


Quote of the Day

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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