After 278 games in the American Hockey League, Williamsville native Cole Schneider is finally getting his chance to pull an NHL sweater over his head. Better yet, that uniform will be of his hometown team.
Schneider will make his NHL debut on Friday when the Sabres host the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was called up from AHL Rochester Thursday morning.
On coming to the First Niagara Center today for practice Schneider said: "I had season tickets growing up so it was always fun coming to games. But it was a little different this morning."
The 25-year-old forward was acquired by the Sabres from the Senators as part of a seven-player trade in late February. He had requested a trade from Ottawa after never getting the callup with the Sens over five seasons.
"I was pretty excited when I got traded. To get the call (to come to Buffalo) yesterday it felt pretty good," said Schneider.
Schneider has 20 goals and 34 assists this season between Binghamton (AHL) and Rochester.
He is the second Western New York native to make his NHL debut with the Sabres this season. Williamsville native Justin Bailey played for Buffalo as well.
Also called up with Schneider was forward Evan Rodrigues. He played with Jack Eichel at Boston University and has 9 goals and 19 assists in his first pro season in Rochester.
Shawn Stepner on Twitter: @StepnerWKBW