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Sharpen Up: June 28, 2019

Here's what you need to know on Day 3 of development camp

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Today is the final day of on-ice practice sessions at Sabres development camp presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. Prospects will be on the ice at Harborcenter starting at 10:15 a.m. 

Then on Saturday, season-ticket holders can come down for the French Connection Tournament starting at 10:45 a.m. For anyone unable to attend, we'll be live streaming the 3-on-3 tournament on and our social media channels with Rick Jeanneret, Rob Ray and Brian Duff on the call.

Here's what you need to know. 


Development Camp Day 2

Victor Olofsson was wired for sound yesterday:

Video: Victor Olofsson mic'd up at development camp

He, along with William Borgen, was the centerpiece of Brian Duff and Dan Dunleavy's recap:

Video: RECAP: Dev Camp Day 2

We also took a look at Erik Portillo, Buffalo's third-round pick in the draft. The 6-foot-6 Swedish netminder is going to play at Dubuque in the USHL next season before heading to the University of Michigan:

The Sabres selected Portillo in the third round of the draft last weekend, adding to the organization's depth at goaltender behind NHL regulars Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark, highly touted prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, and third-year pro Jonas Johansson. 

Portillo was passed over in the draft a year ago, then spent last season dominating with Frölunda in Sweden's J20 circuit. He led the SuperElit league in goals-against average (1.99) and save percentage (.931), and his improvement was enough to catch the eyes of Buffalo's regional scout.

"Being a big guy and being a little bit of a late bloomer physically, he had to catch up to himself," Sabres director of amateur scouting Ryan Jankowski said at the draft. 

"The way he played for his club team down the stretch and in the playoffs and the steps that he took as a goaltender, we see a future there for him and that's what we like about him."


Portillo credits his success to the arrival of Frölunda goalie coach Peter Andersson, who took on a mentor role and helped transform his game. 

"He's an amazing guy," Portillo said. "He really came into the team and both me and the defense work good together. I would give him a lot of credit for that. He's my mentor right now, I would say. He's the big difference from years before."

Lots more in yesterday's written recap.

We have more interviews for you here, including scrums with Marcus Davidsson and Brett Murray:


Video: DEVELOPMENT CAMP: Davidsson

Video: DEVELOPMENT CAMP: Samuelsson


While the camp is filled with Sabres prospects who were either drafted by Buffalo or signed to contracts, there are also a handful of players outside of the organization who were invited to attend.

We caught up with one such player - Caleb Moretz, who hails from Fairbanks, Alaska, played for Flin Flon of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League last season, and is set to attend RIT this fall. His story is pretty unique.

Click here to read the full blog entry. Here's a sample, recounting a recent phone conversation with a Sabres scout:

He asks, "What are you doing next week?" 

 "Working, hockey, the usual," I said. 

"Can you get some time off?"


"I'd like to invite you to development camp."

I was like, "Well, I'll quit my job right now if I get to come down to development camp."

It took me the whole phone call to really process what was happening. Luckily, my job handling bags at the airport was very supportive. 

I got here for my physical and it was determined I won't be able to skate this week, which was unfortunate. But just being here has been surreal. I'm watching everything, taking it all in. Everybody knows something - the coaching staff, the training staff. I'm just trying to soak in as much as I can.


Catch the action this weekend

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. 

Here is the camp roster, broken up into two groups. 

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.

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

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