Botterill - The key to our success here is developing our young players

January 08, 2019 - 7:10 pm

While the Buffalo Sabres looking to fight back in the standings after going on a bit of a slide, some of the team's newest prospects shined in the World Juniors in Vancouver. Sabres general manager Jason Botterill joined Schopp and Bulldog on Tuesday to talk more on the matters going on with the Sabres, as well as the four Buffalo prospects who participated in the IIHF World Junior Championships 

On the four Sabres prospects who played in the IIHF World Junior Championships (Matej Pekar, Mattias Samuelsson, Oskari Laaksonen and Ukko-Pekka Lukkonen): 

"For us, we had four players there. The fact that Pekar made the Czech team was a huge step for him. I thought Samuelsson played very steady on the US team and was a good player for them as an 18-year old, we really think he's going to be one of their leaders next year. And then you had Laaksonen and Luukonen step up for the gold medal winning Finns. Especially Lukkonen, he had a disappointing tournament here last year in Buffalo, taking the step to leave Finland, come over and play in the OHL in Sudbury, having a good first half and carrying that right into the World Juniors, very proud of him." 

On the team's play while Buffalo has slid down the standings in the Atlantic Division: 

"There's so much parity in the league. In November, we were finding ways to win those one-goal games. Right now, we're struggling to find ways to win those games. I think, over the last couple of weeks, it's not as if we'ver been playing poorly but at key times in the games we haven't found that opportunity to get to the net a little bit more, to find a way to create more opportunites, to find a way to get that goal to get the win versus a OT loss or a loss in regulation." 

On remaining patient with the roster and long term success for the Sabres: 

"The key to our success here is developing our young players. We're always looking to add pieces and add scoring if we can, but if you start trading away draft picks, if you start trading away young players to get scoring for right now, we're going to have the same issues a year from now or two years from now." 

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