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Sharpen Up: June 20, 2017

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

It's custom for every player selected in the NHL Draft to don the jersey of their new team and take some photos. With the NHL partnering with adidas to produce new uniforms starting this season, it means new duds are set to debut today so it's a big day for those of you who obsess over what your favorite team is wearing.

Here's what you need to know.

The NHL and adidas have been giving some sneak peeks at what we might expect from the new Sabres jerseys. We won't know for sure, of course, until the official unveiling. 

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: 6.20.17 #FormTheFuture pic.twitter.com/dgJuj8jwKp

I'm sure everyone has some ideas about what they'd like to see. 


Speaking of jerseys

Last week, right before the whirlwind of the Sabres hiring Phil Housley as head coach, USA Hockey and the IIHF were in town to make some big announcements. 
 

First off, the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game will return to Buffalo on Thursday, Sept. 21 at KeyBank Center. Over the last five years, the showcase has seen many top American-born prospects like Jack Eichel, Seth Jones, Dylan Larkin, Noah Hanifin and Zach Werenski compete in their draft-eligible seasons. 
 

Last year's Most Valuable Player, Casey Mittelstadt, is Kris Baker's No. 3 prospect in this year's draft. 
Tickets for the game will go on sale Aug. 16 at 10 a.m. ET at the KeyBank Center box office or online at Sabres.com. 

Also some news from the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, which Buffalo will host in December, broke.

New ticket packages are available for sale (more on that here) and a special jersey that Team USA will wear during the outdoor game at New Era Field was unveiled. You can preorder the jersey today.

Tweet from @usahockey: Photos from today's press conference where special #TeamUSA jerseys were unveiled for the #WorldJuniors outdoor game against Canada. #USAWJC pic.twitter.com/055lwMWBZs

You can watch the full press conference here:
USA Hockey Press Conference

 

Drafts on Drafts on Drafts and Drafts Over Drafts

The NHL Expansion Draft is set for tomorrow night during the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas and that's when we'll find out which member of the Sabres organization the Vegas Golden Knights will select for their roster. 

These players are available:

Forwards: William Carrier, Nicolas Deslauriers, Brian Gionta, Derek Grant, Justin Kea, Matt Moulson, Cal O'Reilly, Cole Schneider

Defensemen: Brady Austin, Mat Bodie, Zach Bogosian, Justin Falk, Taylor Fedun, Cody Franson, Josh Gorges, Dmitry Kulikov

Goaltenders: Anders Nilsson, Linus Ullmark

This afternoon, be on the lookout for a new feature called "Drafts Over Drafts." Lauren Hall sat down with Danny Gare and Martin Biron to talk about how things have changed since they were drafted. Danny was picked by Buffalo in the second round of the 1974 NHL Draft while Marty was a first-round selection in 1995.

Part One, which will debut today, focuses on what they remember about being picked. In Part Two (out tomorrow), Lauren quizzes them on pop culture items from '74 and '95.

If you can't wait for that, you're in luck. We have tons of other Draft coverage (presented by New Era) for you here at Sabres.com. Bookmark Sabres.com/2017Draft for everything draft related.

Prospect Avenue is rolling and you can catch the first four episodes here: 

Video: Prospect Avenue: Kris Baker's Deeper Sleepers for '17

Video: Prospect Avenue: Other notable 1st rounders

 Video: Prospect Avenue: Defensemen at 8?

Video: Prospect Avenue is back for a second season


Preseason dates

The 2017-18 preseason schedule was announced yesterday and Buffalo will play six games, including three at KeyBank Center and one at Penn State.

Here's the full schedule:

Day Date Opponent Time  Location
Monday Sept. 18 CAROLINA 7:00 PM KeyBank Center
Tuesday Sept. 19 PITTSBURGH 7:00 PM Pegula Ice Arena
Friday Sept. 22 at Toronto 7:30 PM Ricoh Coliseum (Toronto, Ont.)
Saturday Sept. 23 TORONTO 7:00 PM KeyBank Center
Wednesday Sept. 27 at Pittsburgh 7:00 PM PPG Paints Arena
Friday Sept. 29 NY ISLANDERS 7:00 PM KeyBank Center

 

And Thursday, NHL Network will reveal the league-wide schedule during the hour-long NHL Tonight: 2017-18 Schedule Release live at 3 p.m. ET. 

So stay tuned.

We'll be back with a new edition of Sharpen Up tomorrow..

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