Sabres get Crawford under contractNews: The Sabres have signed defenseman Nick Crawford to a three-year entry level contract. Crawford finished second in voting for the Ontario Hockey League defenseman of the year, after a career high 70 points in 68 games split between Barrie and Saginaw. The signing was announced Thursday, two days after Barrie was eliminated by Windsor in the OHL final Analysis: Among Canadian junior defensemen, Crawford was fourth in points last season. He finished with 23 goals and 117 assists in 264 career games. Sabres general manager Darcy Regier noted how much Crawford has progressed since being drafted 164th overall in 2008. Still, we aren't sure Crawford is going to have the same impact as fellow Buffalo blueliner Tyler Myers had as a rookie in 2009-10. Crawford has minimal Fantasy appeal as a long-term keeper.
Sabres assign six to junior teamsNews: First-round pick Zack Kassian is one of six Buffalo Sabres prospects returned to their respective Canadian junior clubs. A gritty forward who was selected 13th overall in the NHL draft in June, Kassian was returned to Peterborough of the Ontario Hockey League. The moves leave Buffalo with 50 players on its training camp roster and were made Thursday, before the Sabres hosted Washington to open their preseason schedule. Also returned to the juniors were forwards Luke Adam (Cape Breton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League), Marcus Foligno (Sudbury, OHL), Jacob Lagace (Chicoutimi, QMJHL) and defensemen Nick Crawford (Saginaw, OHL) and Brayden McNabb (Kootenay, Western Hockey League. Analysis: Kassian is the biggest name in the group, but Adam, Lagace and McNabb are also considered top 20 prospects in the Sabres' system. None of these guys are anything more than long-term Fantash keepers.