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by Erin Pollina / Buffalo Sabres
Luke Adam (photo: Brian Wheeler)
Luke Adam could not have asked for a better situation.

After being selected 44th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, the winger is participating in his first development camp with the organization this week.

Helping him become acclimated with his new club are two familiar faces from his current team in the QMJHL: defenseman TJ Brennan and centerman Jean-Simon Allard.

“Coming in with two teammates, it definitely makes it easier,” Adam said. “They know a couple people in camp from last year so I get to fit in a little easier. It’s great having them here and not having to start from scratch.”

Brennan (31st overall) and Allard (147th overall) were both selected by Buffalo in 2007 and make their second appearance at the Sabres development camp.

The trio spent the last two seasons playing together for the St. John’s Fog Devils in Newfoundland, Canada. Combining for 68 goals and 197 points in 2007-08, their chemistry could help them in camp as they face an NHL coaching staff.

“We played a lot together [in St. John’s],” Brennan said. “As a defenseman I was with them a lot on the power play as well as some five-on-five stuff so it’s definitely an advantage. Anytime you know a player, their tendencies, it helps on the ice and I think you feel more comfortable too.”

Adam (7) , Allard (4) and Brennan (9) combined for 20 goals with the man-advantage last season.

Although they have not spent much time in camp on the same line, the familiarity inevitably translates.

“You just feel more relaxed,” Adam said. “But at the same time there are so many talented players here that I can definitely learn a lot from all of them.”

Adam said he immediately felt reassured when drafted by the Sabres in the second round.

“They’ve told me a little bit about Buffalo throughout the year so when I was picked, I was really happy,” he said. “TJ and JS were really excited when they found out and congratulated me... Coming from them, it meant a lot.”

“It’s nice to have Luke around,” Allard said. “ He’s a little bit younger than us but he’s pretty mature and just an overall great guy. I thought [Buffalo] was a good place for him to go and I was pretty happy for him when I watched the draft."

Now Allard and Brennan look to help their teammate in a new setting, preparing him for what to expect and how to succeed.

“It’s a tough camp. You’ve got to have a lot of energy to do it and it’s hard on the body,” Adam said. “But they definitely got me ready and answered all of my questions. You don’t realize how helpful it is.”

“We just filled him in and told him to work hard,” Brennan said. “He’s a great player. He has a lot of potential and he’s already doing great things. He’s made a step up from the year before and I know he will make some improvements this year. He’s well on his way.”

While donning the blue and gold may be a long-term goal for all three players, their immediate future in the QMJHL will be changing as St. John’s roster relocates to Montreal.

“It was a nice place to play juniors,” Allard said. “I learned English there, had great billets and developed a lot. It’s a great hockeytown and really fun to play there.”

They hope their next move will be to the NHL to play together for the Buffalo Sabres.

“The organization has been known to do that, to bring up prospects up together from the start,” Adam said. “If one day I get to skate on an NHL team with JS and TJ, it will be a great honor... I’m looking forward to it.”
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