Both 2013 first-round draft picks – defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov – and four other top picks are listed on the Buffalo Sabres’ roster for the 2013 NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Mich., Sept. 5-9.
Besides the two blue-liners, the Sabres roster includes 2012 first-rounders Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons, both forwards, as well as defenseman Mark Pysyk (2010) and right wing Joel Armia (2011).
The roster includes two local prospects – right wing Justin Bailey of Williamsville, a second-round selection this year, and defenseman Alex Lepkowski of West Seneca, a fifth-round pick in 2011.
The eight-team tournament features the top prospects from the Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers. The Sabres will face Carolina, Columbus and New York in the Ted Lindsay division plus one crossover game against a team from the Gordie Howe Division.
Also, the Sabres and the NHL announced that 12 Buffalo regular season games – four home and eight away – will be nationally telecast on NBCSN or NBC in the coming season.
The Sabres are slated to have 70 regular season games and a Sept. 25 preseason game against Columbus broadcast on MSG, where the games achieved the second-highest local TV ratings in the NHL in 2012-13. In addition, the Saturday, Oct. 12 game against Chicago will be aired on the NHL Network. Four of the national telecasts will be on Wednesday, three each on Mondays and Tuesdays and two on Sundays.
The Sabres’ national TV schedule: Oct. 2 at Detroit; 8 Tampa Bay; 14, Minnesota; 23, Boston; Jan. 14 Philadelphia; 27, at Pittsburgh; 28, Washington; Feb. 5, Pittsburgh; 26, Boston; March 3, at Dallas; 9, Chicago; April 6, at Philadelphia.
Sabres’ prospects roster:
FORWARDS—Joel Armia, Justin Bailey, Nicholas Baptiste, Daniel Catenacci, Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko, Colin Jacobs, Justin Kea, Johan Larsson, Eric Locke, Logan Nelson, Frederick Roy and Kevin Sundher. DEFENSE—Brady Austin, Connor Boland, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, Alex Lepkowski, Mark Pysyk, Rasmus Ristolainen, Chad Ruhwedel, Nikita Zadorov. GOALIES—Connor Knapp, Nathan Lieuwen, Andrey Makarov.