The Buffalo Sabres have yet another goalie on their hands, as the team has invited François Brassard to training camp in September, according to Kris Baker of SabresProspects. Brassard confirmed the camp invite on his personal Twitter.
— François Brassard (@fbrass31) July 29, 2014
He’s been the starting goaltender for the past two seasons, but if he returns to the Q this fall, it’ll be with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. The Remparts traded Brassard to Cape Breton in May for a pair of draft picks.
Last season, Brassard played in 54 games with the Remparts. He had a 28-12-9 record with a 2.95 GAA and .909 save percentage. His season included six shutouts, and he also appeared in four playoff games with Quebec. One of his greatest assets is his size – he’s listed as 6-2, 165 pounds, so continuing to fill out his size will be one of the ways to improve his game going forward.
One player in the Buffalo Sabres organization that Brassard is familiar with? Remparts teammate Mikhail Grigorenko. Both have played for Quebec at some point in every season since 2011, so they’re likely well-versed with each other, and Brassard will see at least one familiar face when he comes to Buffalo for camp in September.
In addition to his familiarity with Grigorenko, Brassard is already known to Sabres GM Tim Murray. He was originally a 2012 draft pick of the Ottawa Senators, where Murray was assistant GM.
The Senators didn’t sign him and he re-entered the draft this year, and has now been invited to the Sabres camp as a free agent.
Brassard will likely play in the Traverse City Tournament, which runs from September 12 through 16.
The Buffalo Sabres are one of eight teams participating in the tournament, and they needed a goaltender.
Knapp is a free agent, so he’s out for this year’s tournament. Makarov and Lieuwen should both still be eligible — the eligibility rules aren’t descriptively outlined, but there’s basic rules regarding NHL experience. Lieuwen only played seven NHL games last season, so he should be alright, and Makarov never actually played a game with the Sabres, just dressed.
Two other Buffalo Sabres goalie prospects (Linus Ullmark, Jonas Johansson) are likely to already be with their respective SHL teams, as the Swedish Hockey League begins its season on September 10th. In addition, Cal Petersen will probably already be with his USHL team, as they start preseason the beginning of September. Finally, Matt Hackett is out until the middle of the season.
That leaves one open goalie spot for the Traverse City tournament, and Brassard is expected to fill that spot.
Stay tuned for more information about Brassard, the Traverse City Tournament and news about other prospects and camp invitees as the NHL season grows closer in the coming weeks.