Prospects of the Buffalo Sabres will defend the team’s title at this year’s 2013 NHL Prospects Tournament, held in Traverse City, Michigan. The round-robin tournament begins September 5.
The tournament was not held last September due to the impending NHL lockout at that time, so its last affair was held back in 2011. That year, the Buffalo Sabres prospects took the championship, defeating New York Rangers prospects in the final game to seal the deal.
The team of prospects that year included a number of current Rochester Americans players, along with several players who have since seen playing time with the Sabres. Marcus Foligno, Corey Tropp and Mark Pysyk were among the contenders in that tournament. Luke Adam, Nick Crawford, Shawn Szydlowski, Matt MacKenzie and Jonathan Parker also played, with goaltender Nathan Lieuwen in net.
Former Buffalo Sabres prospect Zack Kassian also participated in the tournament on the Sabres team that was coached by none other than now-head-coach, Ron Rolston. The 2011 tournament marked the first year that the Buffalo Sabres participated in the tournament.
This year’s schedule for the tournament was just released. The tournament involves eight NHL teams, split up into two respective divisions.
The Sabres will play in the Ted Lindsay Division, facing prospects from the Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers. The Sabres will face off against each team in their division, before the final day of the tournament, which will feature crossover games.
The Gordie Howe Division will host prospects of the Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues.
The Sabres begin their tournament play with a 4 p.m. game on September 5 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. They’ll face the New York Rangers prospects September 6, followed by a game against the Carolina Hurricanes on September 8.
This is the 15th year of the annual tournament, which includes AHLers, prospects below the AHL level and often invitees or free-agent signings. Many of the prospects who participated in the Sabres’ recent week-long development camp and Blue & Gold Scrimmage will take part in the tournament, but a full roster won’t be released until it gets closer to the date.