Friday, July 13, 2012

A Wise guy

Yes, as of today, Sabreland knows the name of Jamie Wise.

The camp invite who stepped on the ice in the middle of the first day--the last camp invite--netted the hattie in the Blue/Gold Sabres Development Camp scrimmage at the F'N Center.

But if you had a roster, like we had at the scrimmage, you wouldn't have found his name on it. It's kinda like he just appeared on the scene.

And appeared, he did, to the point where Lindy Ruff, was somewhat confounded with what he had. Our good friend, Kris Baker, of was in the room after the game, and he started out his 2012 development camp scrimmage piece with Ruff saying this about Wise, "Either he had the game of his life or we just discovered something."

Ruff also mentioned that Wise "had a little of Kaleta to him," referring, of course to Sabres agitator Patrick Kaleta. But Wise, obviously showed some "stick" as well:

and is pretty good in tight quarters:

The 21 yr. old Stouffville, ONT native packs in 206 pounds on a 6'0" frame and scored 31 goals in 59 games for the Mississauga St. Michael Majors as an over-ager. According to Baker, OHL scout Yuri Khmylev caught his attention, and the Sabres brought him to camp.

Sunaya Sapurji of Yahoo Sports did a nice background piece on Wise a few months ago saying that he's "isn’t the most skilled forward in the Majors’ arsenal, but what he brings to the team is tenacity, fearlessness and an energy that has made him a difficult forward for the opposition to handle."

"Difficult to handle" is something that the Sabres are focused upon these days having been known for years as "easy to play against." The Derek Roy for Steve Ott trade is a perfect example of the transition, Roy put up points in his top-six role, but lost the tenacity he once had as a rookie. Ott isn't the most gifted athlete, but he's a bottom-nine forward with an edge. And what you'll get from him night-in, night-out is an honesty to his game.

Ott was a fan favorite in Dallas because of that edge, that honesty. He skated hard for them, took hits and gave them, took punches and threw them. He was the guy in the trenches doing the dirty work. Plus he could net you 10-15 goals--tough goals, at that--and get you 35 points or so.

Here's what Mississauga Major coach and general manager James Boyd had to say about Wise, "He's an unsung hero." Boyd continues, "The game that he plays cannot be pleasant. He plays hard and he does all the things nobody else wants to do and he’s been such a reason for our success. He was voted [in the OHL’s coaches poll] as the best penalty killer, he blocks shots – he’s reckless blocking shots. Most of his goals he scores are from five or 10 feet from around the net and a lot of time he absorbs punishment doing it."

What happens with Wise the rest of the way remains to be seen, but he may have caught himself a break with the Sabres being in this transitionary period. He's the type of player, like Ott, that they're looking for.

They gave him the opportunity, and boy did he take advantage of it.

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