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DUFFER: VIEWS FROM THE CREASE

by Brian Duff / Buffalo Sabres

While our “Sabres In :90” video focused on development and equipment today, another goalie angle, if you will, is what kind of shooters are they seeing this week at Development Camp?

Who has the hardest or most accurate shot?

It’s no surprise which shooter received multiple mentions.

“Well obviously Jack Eichel,” said Notre Dame netminder Calvin Petersen. “He’s got a fantastic shot and unfortunately I was there to face that during the college season. But him and [Victor] Olofsson – a little bit smaller guy – but he’s got a pretty good rip. I mean, really, I haven’t faced a guy that has a weak shot or anything like that, but those are just two examples of guys that can rip the puck pretty good.”

Four-year QMJHL goalie, and former Minnesota Wild draft pick, Alexandre Belanger is here at camp as an invitee.

“A lot of players here have good shots, accuracy, high level of shooting skills. I can say that Jack Eichel is pretty good, [as are] a lot of them,” he said. “It’s hard for us, coming from major junior and you go here with the pros, the guys are a lot faster and more accurate.”

Also an invitee is Austin Lotz, who just completed his fourth season with the Everett Silvertips of the WHL.

“It’s kind of tough to say because you notice the guys, you notice the front of them, you get a read of how they look from the front,” he said, “but I don’t really know their names yet so it’s tough to say who has the hardest shot.”

As Lotz was explaining his answer, I got the feeling he may not offer up the name of the shooter even if he did know him.

“We don’t like to make their heads too big,” he laughed.

Soon to be a senior at RPI, Jason Kasdorf – acquired from Winnipeg in the deal that also brought Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian to Buffalo – offered the exact same sentiment as Lotz.

While Jonas Johansson, taken 61st overall by the Sabres in the 2014 NHL Draft, limited his response to two words, and a player who was taken 17 picks ahead of him last year: “Eric Cornel.”

Andrey Makarov, who signed as an undrafted free agent in 2012, skated for the first time at camp on Wednesday and wasn’t ready to divulge.

“Don’t ask me that question because I didn’t practice with the team yet!” he said. “I didn’t really see who was shooting the hardest.”

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