It was clear they needed some reinforcements, and the Buffalo Sabres have received them. The team has recalled both Casey Nelson and Brady Austin from the Rochester Americans, according to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News. The team recently lost both Taylor Fedun and Cody Franson, making it a quartet of injured defensemen when including Justin Falk and Dmitry Kulikov. They’ve decided to go in two interesting directions with the recalls of Nelson and Austin.
Expected to be next in line, Nelson been with the team on two other occasions this season, playing nine NHL games. The former NCAA signing made his NHL debut at the end of last season, after completing an outstanding three-year stint at Minnesota State University. In his rookie season with the Rochester Americans this year, Nelson has 13 points in 45 games and has had some trouble adapting to the speed of the professional game. He’ll get a chance to prove that he has made the necessary adjustments over the next few games.
Austin on the other hand will be making his NHL debut should he make it into a game. The seventh-round pick from 2012 has been a minor league soldier for the Sabres organization for the past three seasons and is likely being rewarded for all his hard work. While he’s not expected to make much of an impact at the NHL level, perhaps he can be one of those rare prospects that elevates his game even further on the bigger stage. A native of Bobcaygeon, Ontario, Austin is a big defender who isn’t afraid to drop the gloves and protect a teammate if he’s needed. He should at least infuse some nastiness into the Sabres lineup when (and if) he gets into a game.