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Sharpen Up: September 6, 2019

What you need to know on Day 1 of the Prospects Challenge

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Sabres hockey returns to Harborcenter tonight, and we're getting a matchup of two top-ten picks to open the team's Prospects Challenge schedule. 

Dylan Cozens, the seventh pick in this summer's draft, was cleared to play after practice on Thursday and will be in the Buffalo lineup. New Jersey's roster is headlined by center Jack Hughes, who will become the third straight No. 1 pick to play in the Prospects Challenge. 

"It will be fun to go out against him," Cozens said. "I've become good buddies with him over the last year and obviously there's a lot of hype around him, he's a great player, so it will be fun to matchup."

Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be streamed live on within the team's local broadcast market. 

Here's what you need to know.


More on the Prospects Challenge


Cozens, who is returning from a thumb injury sustained during development camp in June, practiced on a line with Matej Pekar and Lukas Rousek on Thursday. Here's how the Sabres lined up in full:

68 Victor Olofsson - 74 Rasmus Asplund - 52 Andrew Oglevie
73 Matej Pekar - 42 Dylan Cozens - 93 Lukas Rousek
84 Sebastian Vidmar - 25 Arttu Ruotsalainen - 76 Pascal Aquin
75 Bobby MacIntyre - 57 Brett Murray - 82 Kyle Olson
80 John Wiitala - 59 Stephen Harper 

78 Jacob Bryson - 10 Henri Jokiharju
44 Brandon Hickey - 3 William Borgen
56 Kurt Gosselin - 45 Casey Fitzgerald
61 Devante Stephens / 83 Justin Baudry - 70 Tobie Bisson

34 Jonas Johansson 
60 Matthew Welsh

That lineup is littered with players who are looking to make the jump to the NHL this season, a group that includes Rasmus Asplund, William Borgen, Henri Jokiharju, Victor Olofsson, and Arttu Ruotsalainen. We profiled more candidates to make the jump to Buffalo here

Rochester coach Chris Taylor said he has particularly high expectations for players who were rookies in Rochester last season.

"They had a really good year," Taylor said. "We need them to take the next step. That's big for them. I think they trained very hard. You look at all of them, I thought all of them looked a little bit bigger, a little bit more mature. Even on the ice, they just look a little bit different. More mature."


Taylor had more to say about Olofsson and his 30-goal season with the Amerks, which you can read in Thursday's practice report.


The Hamburglar 

Andrew Hammond has arrived in style.

Instagram from @sylabrush: "Went to pick up my burger 🍔 and look what they gave me😉" @hammond.30 #BuffaloSabres #AndrewHammond #SylabrushAirbrush @buffalosabres #BauerMask #Hamburglar

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