BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - On Monday the Buffalo Sabres announced that the team has signed Cliff Pu to a three-year entry-level deal. Pu was selected with the 69th pick in the 2016 NHL Draft by the Sabres and is currently playing in his fourth season with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. Pu's three-year deal begins whenever the 19-year-old decides to turns pro.
Over the summer Pu stood out for all the right reasons during the Sabres Prospects Challenge, training camp and into the preseason. The 19-year-old impressed the Sabres coaching staff so much that he was given an extended look into the preseason and was the last junior player left on the roster. Sabres' head coach Phil Housley said it was a reward for an excellent camp.
Despite the strong summer, Pu is off to an average start, at least statistically, in his fourth season with the Knights. In 11 games Pu has one goal and five assists. Last year was far and away Pu's best year in London, finishing with 86 points [35G, 51A] in 63 games.
There was a reason Cliff Pu was the last junior left standing during training camp. Everyone knew he was going back to London, but that didn't stop Pu from making a strong impression, leaving fans excited about his future in the organization.
#Sabres return Cliff Pu to London (OHL). He had a very nice prospects challenge/training camp. Another player Sabres fans can be excited for— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) September 23, 2017
During the Prospects Challenge, Pu was on the ice during all situations. He was their top-center, played on the power play and even spent some time killing penalties. Like so many others, Pu still needs to improve in plenty of areas but he's a great piece for the organization to lock up for the next several years.
There's a chance Pu represents Team Canada at the upcoming IIHF World Junior tournament in Buffalo, adding yet another storyline and player to watch in the much-anticipated tournament.