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.
In a tourney that answered the question "What would happen if a hockey tournament was held in Skelleftea, Sweden and no one showed up?", the Buffalo Sabres had ample representation amongst several teams taking part in the 2000 World Junior Championships. In total, five Buffalo Sabre prospects- LW Barrett Heisten and D Doug Janik (USA), RW Jaroslav Kristek (Czech Republic), D Matt Kinch (Canada) and LW Milan Bartovic (Slovakia)- took part in this year’s WJC. Unlike last year’s stellar showing by Sabre rookie Maxim Afinogenov, there were no spectacular performances put forth by these prospects, although a couple of the players played solidly enough to merit some mention.
Solid – …Of a satisfactory or substantial character. …Upstanding and reliable. Sound : valid. … Without gaps, crevices, or breaks : compact. – Webster’s Dictionary
With their second pick in the second round of the 1999 NHL entry draft, the Sabres drafted a 6′ 1″ 195 pound defenseman named Doug Janik. Doug had just completed his Freshman season with the Black Bears of Maine. It was a season that saw the University of Maine Hockey program win its second NCAA Division I championship this decade and Doug played an important role in winning this championship. Doug didn’t really do anything too spectacular, but he did do everything that was expected of him. I guess you could have called his performance SOLID.
Solid is probably the best way to describe Doug as a hockey player. He has excellent hands and is a gifted, but unspectacular skater. The combination of these abilities allows him to be able to carry the puck through the neutral zone when the situation requires that. The real strength of Doug’s game however is how he plays on either side of the neutral zone. This is where the word Solid comes into play as the dominant adjective to describe Doug’s game.
In the offensive zone, Doug possesses a NHL caliber slap shot. This makes him a threat to score from the blue line. So far, in 15 games this season, Doug has scored 4 goals to go along with 5 assists for 9 points. His ability to place his shot on net is evidenced by his 44 shots on goal, which ties him for third on his team.