Sabres' development camp begins
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — "It was fun to be out there against them. It's challenging to defend against guys like that. So it's going to be a fun week," said Mark Pysyk, defenseman prospect.
On the first day of development camp, the Sabres organization got their first look at a highly-rated draft class. The focus is on the top two selections - 6'3" Russian center Mikhail Grigorenko and versatile forward Zemgus Girgensons, selected 12th and 14th overall.
"I started to train like two weeks ago here. I got a few pounds and I'm getting stronger and I feel more comfortable against big guys now," Grigorenko said.
"I just take it easy. I just play my game and try to work hard every day and do my best. I lead by example, that's for sure. I'm a hard worker. I work hard on the ice and off the ice, so those are things about me," said Girgensons.
Grigorenko and Girgensons spent some of their session playing alongside 2011 first round pick Joel Armia, who was also making his first appearance at this camp. Armia missed last year to attend to duties in his native Finland. He'll play one more season in Europe before joining the Sabres organization full time next year.
"Of course, it give a little something when you play with men in Finland. It's toughness and they know what they're doing on the ice. They're more wise," Armia said.
And that's wisdom derived from experience - just like Sabres prospects are hoping they can gain from this week's camp.