When the final horn rang the New Jersey Devils were 6-3 winners over the Buffalo Sabres in their first game at the Sabres Prospects Challenge.
As fans began to walk to their cars, one fan in an Erie Otters jersey said to another fan “They needed more Otters out there, then (the Sabres) would’ve won.”
That fan was referring to Sabres prospect and former Erie Otter Nick Baptiste, who spent all of least season in Rochester. Saturday, he made his case to stay in Buffalo.
"Well it was really important. Anytime you're in front of Sabres brass and they're watching its important to show what you can do," Baptiste said. "I thought I did that tonight and hopefully I can continue that throughout camp."
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) September 18, 2016
Baptiste had the Sabres only three goals Saturday night and he could’ve easily had a fourth. The 21-year-old forward was one of the few bright spots for the nearly two thousand fans in attendance. The hat trick is what most fans will remember but after the game Dan Lambert, Rochester Americans head coach said Baptiste played a complete game.
"This one time he tracked extremely well, he came back like somebody shot him out of a cannon,” Lambert said. "That's the type of effort we need from him and a lot more guys."
Last year in Rochester, Baptiste played in 62 games and finished the year with 28 points. After the game Baptiste said last year he was trying to score. This year, he just wants play better in his own end because he says that will lead to opportunities and goals.
"There's so many guys that play two-way games and score 30 goals in the NHL and that's what teams look for, those guys that can play both ways.”
Baptiste will be one of the prospects on the ice next week when the Sabres opening training camp. Buffalo’s next game at the Prospects Challenge is Monday night against the Bruins at HARBORCENTER.
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