RUFF PLEASED WITH PROGRESS
Monday, 07.12.2010 / 10:39 AM ET / News
|Development Camp (Buffalo Sabres)|
After a week of watching the Buffalo Sabres’ prospects at the team’s annual Development Camp, the head coach is happy to report that the future looks bright.
“I thought it was a great camp,” Ruff said. “Obviously you can see the progress made from the players that have been here a year or a couple years. It gives our players, our draft picks from this year, a good reference point to see how much stronger they get.”
Recent picks, including the Sabres’ first-round selection Mark Pysyk, were on hand at Niagara University for the duration of the five-day camp to be evaluated and take some notes. And while the camp specifically targets the team’s newest additions to help them acclimate to the organization, it’s not without its veterans.
Current members of the Sabres roster like Chris Butler and Tyler Myers were at the coaches’ disposal to not only lead the way, but to continue their own development as defensemen.
“When you look at those players, it keeps sending a message that you can always get better,” Ruff said. “Tyler, he won the Rookie of the Year - but it’s only a great year if you follow it up with another good year.”
More importantly, with the departure of several players – like Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman via free agency – it’s a chance for them to get noticed.
“If you look at the Butlers, the [Andrej] Sekeras and [Mike] Webers of the world, I think in the long run we’re going to be well off,” Ruff said. “We need these players to take the next step for us.
“We’ve seen in years past when we get concerned about losing players that all of a sudden somebody steps in and gets a greater opportunity and does a good job for us.
“I’m excited to see where these guys are at camp, I’m excited to see what they’re going to do with their opportunity.”
As for the youth:
“I think it’s about understanding how hard we work with all of our players to give them a chance to be able to play for the Buffalo Sabres. To understand that we develop players, we want our players to take part and play in the NHL and play for our team. We take pride in growing out own players.
“I love how hard these kids work. The talent level of the players now, it’s incredible. It’s been a great week.”