Maine Hockey Journal

Sabres add a surprise signing

Those who have followed the Rochester Americans have been warning Pirates fans obsessively since the rumored merger of Buffalo and Portland began several months ago to watch out for the Sabres and their constant mismanagement of their AHL farm team.

Well, although it’s not official – the Sabres and Pirates are expected to make an announcement next week – the Sabres have done a pretty good job so far in signed their key prospects.

I’m sure that has a few people in Rochester feeling queasy and screaming mad.

On Tuesday morning, the Sabres added another player when GM Darcy Regier announced the signing of the defenseman Dennis Persson to a three-year entry-level contract (terms not announced).

Persson, who just turned 20 yesterday, was Buffalo’s first round selection (24th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Last season, he spent time with both Djurgarden of the Swedish Elite League and Nykoping, a second tier team in Sweden.

In 21 games with Djurgarden, he scored one assist. In his time with Nykoping, he’s scored four points (1g-3a)

Persson has also played on the international stage competing with Sweden in the 2006 World Junior Championship, scoring one goal, five assists for six points in five games.

Persson has been called a steady player, someone who has solid skating ability and possesses good hands. It’s been noted by European scouts who have watched him play that while he doesn’t post high numbers, he has a booming slap shot and have a real sense of the game around him. At times, he may opt to take the safe play as to trying to carry it up the ice. His only flaw for North American hockey would be he doesn’t play physical and will attempt to avoid the body – mainly because of his size 6-1, 181-pounds, he needs to improve his upper body core strength and add muscle mass.

With that said, he should fit in nicely with the team currently under construction here in Portland – I mean Buffalo’s “unnamed” AHL affiliate, I’d wish they make the damn announcement already – with a real mix of fast skilled players and big, strong, hard hitting players.

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