It's not October yet, but it is gameday. The Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils will meet on Saturday night to kick off the Prospects Challenge, pitting 2016 first-round draft picks and Mississauga teammates Alexander Nylander and Michael McLeod against one another at HarborCenter.
Rochester Americans coach Dan Lambert will be behind the bench for the Sabres, and he said Friday that the emphasis for Buffalo will be to see what they have in some of their younger, more recent draft picks. That includes seventh-round picks Austin Osmanski and Vasily Glotov, both of whom are expected to be in the lineup.
Glotov stood out at development camp, not only for the skill he displayed on the ice but also for his spirited attitude. He's been working to put on size while training in Moscow, as his coaches instructed him, and he's back in Buffalo with the same mindset that he came with in July.
"I just want to go on the ice every shift, put 2,000 percent and win every faceoff, win every battle," Glotov said. "Play the North American game, but also playing my Russian game, skill game, smart game."
Osmanski, meanwhile, is an East Aurora native who will suit up for the first time against another NHL organization. He too played with Nylander and McLeod in Mississauga, so surely he's looking forward to squaring off with his Steelheads teammate.
"Uh, no," Osmanski said, laughing. "No, it will be fun … I know what he's going to do, it's just a matter of if I can stop it or not."
Puck drop tonight is set for 7 p.m. Tickets are still available for $10 and can be purchased here.
71 Evan Rodrigues - 58 Giorgio Estephan - 70 Alexander Nylander
85 Daniel Muzito-Bagenda - 72 Jean Dupuy- 74 Vaclav Karabacek
86 Eric Cornel - 59 Cliff Pu - 52 Hudson Fasching
62 Brandon Hagel - 83 Vasily Glotov - 73 Nichols Baptiste
67 Brady Austin - 45 Brendan Guhle
54 Brycen Martin - 51 Austin Osmanski
53 Devante Stephens - 79 Vojtech Budik
35 Linus Ullmark
33 Jason Kasdorf
First Unit: Nylander, Guhle, Rodrigues, Estephan, Glotov
Second Unit: Hagel, Baptiste, Fasching, Cornel, Martin