Is that excitement for Amerks hockey we’re hearing!?! Thanks to Randy Sexton and Jason Botterill the answer to that question is a resounding YES.
In what was the most active and exciting summer of signings since 2009-2010 – building what looks to be the deepest roster since 2004-2005 – we are now right on the doorstep of what hopefully is a fun and LONG season.
Let’s take a quick look at 13 of the key non-prospects who could spend significant time here this season… and who can hopefully help us get out of the first round for the first time in 13 years:
(Clicking on the name will take you to their hockeyDB page)
• Kevin Porter (Full VET)
Porter returns to the Amerks as one of the premiere 2-way AHL centers. He’ll provide depth for the Sabres… but look for him to be a huge part of the Amerks resurgence this season and maybe wear the C.
• Seth Griffith (Exempt VET)
One of the best scorers at this level. Better than a point per game kinda scorer. 4A player. Will provide depth for the Sabres, but if he’s here expect scoring like we haven’t seen in years.
• Steve Moses (Non Vet)
One of the more interesting signings I’ve seen here in awhile. Former KHL goal leader will spend the duration of the season here likely. Looking for 30+ goals.
• Kyle Criscuolo (Non Vet)
Underrated signing. Won a cup with Grand Rapids last season while contributing 50 points offensively (including the playoffs). Young enough to have future NHL upside but will for now be a nice part of core here.
• Nathan Paetsch (Full VET)
What else can you say about him? Hometown guy. Former Amerk. 2-time Cup winner. WANTS to be here and win here. Huge asset for the front office, too. Still a very good Dman at this level.
• Matt Tennyson (Exempt VET)
100 games in the NHL the last 3 seasons. He’ll likely compete for the Sabres 8th Dman spot (if they go with 8) along with Fedun+Falk. Expect excellence from him at this level.
• Andrew MacWilliam (Exempt VET)
Very solid AHL Dman with some NHL experience. Provides some much needed toughness. Might start the season a victim of the vet limit? – but will be a big part of the D overall.
• Justin Falk (Full VET)
Another 4A player and a big Dman who would be a dominating force if he’s here. Battling Fedun and Tennyson for potential 8th Dman in Buffalo – probably the front runner.
• Taylor Fedun (Full VET)
Now a premiere AHL puck moving Dman. Will see some NHL time if there are injuries but we need him to QB a hopefully potent PowerPlay.
• Conor Allen (Exempt VET)
Great defensive depth. Knows the league and his role.
• Adam Wilcox (Goalie)
An experienced AHL netminder to backup Ullmark and spell him reliably. Will have to stave off a hungry Johansson who played well here at times at the end of last season.
• Garret Ross (Non Vet)
Latest signing is an experienced sandpaper AHL forward who doesn’t count against the vet limit. 20 goals, 100 PIMs and a +20 two years ago for Rockford
• Barry Goers (Non Vet)
Another experienced AHL Dman who will provide good depth and who knows his role.
Full Vet = 320+ games at the AHL or higher level
Exempt Vet = 260-320 games at the AHL or higher level
Non vet = Not a rookie/Not a Vet
Goalies = Excluded from this rule
You can dress 6 Vets a game but only 5 can be full vets. As you can see above, the Amerks could have as many as 4 full vets and 4 exempt vets on the roster. Some combination of 2 of these players wouldn’t be able to dress as a result of this silly rule. But recalls and injuries will likely make this moot most nights.
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