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Sharpen Up: June 27, 2019

Here's what you need to know before Day 2 of development camp

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

Development camp presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York will continue today at 10:15 a.m. at Harborcenter for the first of two sessions. Those are free and open to the public. 

We have full coverage of yesterday's practices here at Sabres.com.

Here's what you need to know.

 

Development Camp Day 1

For some unique sights and sounds, we mic'd up Amerks coach Chris Taylor, who is helping run the summer camp:

Video: Chris Taylor mic'd up at development camp

One player we've had our eye on is 2017 third-round pick Oskari Laaksonen:

Oskari Laaksonen was surprised by the amount of media awaiting him inside the Canisius dressing room at Harborcenter on Wednesday afternoon, but he was ready for it. 

The Finnish defenseman is a long way removed from when he stepped into that same room at his first development camp two years ago, not long after the Sabres selected him in the third round of the NHL Draft. He said that day he had been expecting to be selected between the fifth and seventh rounds, if at all. 

"It feels like yesterday when I came here," Laaksonen said following the first session of camp. "I was so nervous. Just stepping in this room brings back a lot of memories. I was just talking about it … When I first got here, I was so nervous with everything. Now, everything feels normal."

Video: DEVELOPMENT CAMP: Laaksonen

"Confidence" was the word of the day for Laaksonen. He's more confident at camp, having been a member of the organization for three years. His on-ice accomplishments have made him a more confident player, too. 

Laaksonen was unranked by NHL Central Scouting Services at the time of his draft in 2017. He won gold playing for Finland at World Juniors this past January, playing against many of those same players who were drafted and ranked ahead of him. 

"I've never won anything, so that was unbelievable," he said. "I was so proud to be a part of that team."

Read more on him and Arttu Ruotsalainen here.

Brian Duff and Dan Dunleavy shared some thoughts on Ruotsalainen, Rasmus Asplund and Dylan Cozens here:

Video: Development Camp Day 1 Recap (6/26/19)

Lots of video from yesterday. Who do you want to hear from?

Video: DEVELOPMENT CAMP: Olofsson

Video: DEVELOPMENT CAMP: Thompson

Video: DEVELOPMENT CAMP: Ruotsalainen 

Video: DEVELOPMENT CAMP: Pilut 

Video: DEVELOPMENT CAMP: Asplund 

Video: DEVELOPMENT CAMP: Taylor 

We also caught up with fourth-round pick Aaron Hugelin for a camp diary. He isn't skating due to an injury, but he's happy to be a member of the organization. Here's part of the blog:

When they traded up to pick me in the fourth round, it was pretty special. The call came from Steve Greeley, Buffalo's assistant GM. He congratulated me, asked how I was feeling, and said he would arrange for me to get to Buffalo for development camp.

And, well, here I am. 

It's a bummer that I'm not able to skate this week because of an injury, but I'm already so impressed with the organization. The facilities are amazing. And, judging from the first day of practice, there are so many skilled players here. 

We were able to hear from Ralph Krueger on Tuesday night. He told us that everyone is here to help, just use all the available resources and learn. This camp isn't so much about evaluation, it's more just learning what the organization's about.

Video: Ralph Krueger addresses prospects at development camp

Read it in full here.

Also, be sure to check out our Facebook page for a photo gallery featuring yesterday's action.


Remaining session times

Thursday, June 27
• First Session: 10:15 to 11:15 a.m.
• Second Session: 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Friday, June 28
• First Session: 10:15 to 11:15 a.m.
• Second Session: 12 to 1 p.m.

On-ice sessions from June 26 to 28 are free and open to the public. Admittance will be on a first-come, first-served basis and not guaranteed. 


Saturday, June 29
• French Connection Tournament: 10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The French Connection Tournament, an intra-squad 3-on-3 tournament, will highlight the final day of camp on Saturday, June 29, beginning at 10:45 a.m. The tournament will be a ticketed event. Tickets will be made available exclusively for 2019-20 season ticket holders. Tickets are free and limited to two per account and will be limited and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The French Connection Tournament will also be streamed live on Sabres.com and on the team's social media platforms. Rick Jeanneret, Rob Ray and Brian Duff will call the action. 

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