BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – This year’s edition of the Buffalo Sabres looks different from last year’s. They have a lot of guys with not a lot of NHL experience. This first preseason game is a great opportunity for a lot of the young guys like former first round pick Jack Quinn to get some NHL experience ahead of the season.
“I think it will just be cool to kind of be in that atmosphere and see what it’s like,” Quinn said. “I think at the end of the game all of us playing our first game will have some experience and that will help us wherever we play this year.”
For Rasmus Asplund, it’s a chance to get back on the ice and get his body ready for the grind of the regular season.
“It’s a great feeling to play games again against a team and fans and all that,” Asplund said. “It’s going to be great to just be back on the ice and you’re just trying to get back in your game shape and the timing and all that. That’s a little bit off in the beginning of the season so you’re just trying to get in the rhythm and get into the games here right away.”
Tuesday will be the first time in years that fans won’t see Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart or Rasmus Ristolainen in a Sabres uniform. It will be on this young group of guys to develop their own core for the future of the franchise. Some of the veterans say they’ve already noticed a few of these young players stepping up in camp.
“We are definitely a young team and I think we have good leaders in the group,” forward Zemgus Girgensons said. “There is young leaders as we know. I think anytime there’s a fresh team, fresh faces, it bonds the guys right away together.”
“The core has already started to form and you could pinpoint a few names that are for sure going to be a part of it, but there are some guys that are going to try and fight their way into that group,” forward Kyle Okposo said.
The Sabres have won two preseason openers in a row. Puck drops against the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday at 7:00.