The Buffalo Sabres continued their exhibition slate with back-to-back games against the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets. The Sabres should be excused if they felt that their opponent seemed a little familiar, as Columbus had a total of seven former Sabres prospects/players on their training camp roster.
Those former Sabres still fighting for Columbus roster spots include D Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre, RW Matt Davidson, LW Geoff Sanderson, LW Barrie Moore and RW Martin Spahnel. Two former Buffalo prospects, C Brad Moran and D Sergei Klimentiev, were assigned to the Syracuse Crunch this past week. Sanderson and Grand-Pierre are probably locks to make the Blue Jacket roster, while Davidson, Moore and Spahnel are still in the thick of the roster battle with several other players.
The Buffalo Sabres 2000 training camp is now a week old, with the team wrapping up their “group hug” road trip in that well-known hockey hotbed, South Carolina. As usual, the annual embargo on training camp news is in place, but there have been some rumblings regarding the play of a couple prospects that are making a push to start the season in Buffalo.
One of those prospects, RW J.P. Dumont, is turning heads with his offensive play. Dumont was acquired in the seemingly one-sided trade with the Blackhawks that also brought Doug Gilmour to Buffalo. Rather than simply being a trade throw-in, however, J.P. has looked like the offensively gifted forward many scouts felt he would become, as he tore up the AHL last season in the late regular season and playoffs. Dumont has continued his strong play in training camp, displaying the nifty moves and quick release needed to become a scorer in the NHL. According to the Buffalo News, Dumont has been used on the LW due to the glut of veteran RWs on Buffalo’s roster, but this move has not affected J.P.’s game so far. Dumont has the coaching staff grinning from ear-to-ear, not just because of his offensive play, but also because he has shown the toughness and desire needed to be an impact player in the NHL.
Back in 1983, they chose high school goaltender Tom Barrasso with the 5th pick overall, which at the time was the highest a
goaltender had been chosen. In 1997, the Sabres called Finnish goaltender Mika Noronen’s name, a choice that was met with a
resounding chorus of “Who?”
Kriukov [6’3", 180lbs., Yaroslavl (RUS)]. There is certainly a lot to like about Artem- he is a well-rounded package of
offensive skills, as he possesses above-average speed, good size, sharp playmaking skills and a good shot. The major knock against
Kriukov has to do with his health, specifically his susceptibility to concussions. Artem suffered a major blow to the head early in the
99-00 season, causing him to miss a good portion of the schedule. The Sabres claim that this is the only concussion Kriukov has
suffered, and that they are comfortable with using the 15th pick overall to draft him. There are conflicting reports, however, that
indicate that this may not be Artem’s first concussion, so the Sabres could well be whistling past the graveyard with this pick. To
sum up, Kriukov will either be a major find for the Sabres scouting staff, or he will be a black mark on a drafting record that has
otherwise been good in recent seasons.