Buffalo, NY -- He wasn't the most heralded prospect on the ice -- in fact he wasn't even listed, but Jamie Wise quickly made a name for himself on the final stage of Buffalo Sabres development camp.
Wise scored three goals, paving the way to a 7-3 win for the Blue team in the team's Blue and Gold scrimmage held at First Niagara Center Thursday night.
"I didn't really know what to expect coming in. I just tried to play my game," the wide-eyed Wise said post-game, admitting that he hadn't been interviewed like that before. "I'm kind of like a physical guy, I'm good around the net and I get pucks out. So I was just trying to do that and I was lucky enough to get a few goals so it was a good game for me."
Wise, not even listed on the team-issued development camp roster, picked up two of his goals in the second period on the way to giving the Blue squad the victory.
"He either had the game of his life or we discovered something no one else knew about," head coach Lindy Ruff joked after the scrimmage. "No, I knew very little about him. And again, we were looking for a few players and he was if not the last, the latest addition to the camp. He had a great scrimmage here tonight.
"I know a little bit that he's a hard body, he's got a little bit of a Kaleta to him, so I definitely think he's opened some eyes. You don't score three goals and all of a sudden the chatter in the coach's office has gone up and 'Who is this guy?' So it was a good first day for him."
Zemgus Girgensons, one of the team's first round selections in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, started the scoring for the Blue team with perhaps the prettiest goal of the evening. In a do-it-himself goal, Girgensons took the puck from the sideboards, evaded a sliding Kevin Sundher and pulled a forehand-to-backhand move that beat goaltender Nathan Lieuwen.
"It was a pretty good goal," said the Latvian forward modestly. "[Joel] Armia made a good pass to me and I made it happen at the end."
Jacob Lagace, Corey Fienhage and Joel Armia (empty netter) rounded out the scoring for the Blue team. On the Gold side of things, Luke Adam had the initial goal of the contest -- a deflection that beat goaltender Connor Knapp. Dan Catenacci and Justin Jokinen were the other goal scorers for the losing squad.
With 10 goals scored and plenty of tape to pour over, Ruff was pretty pleased about the overall skill and competition level throughout the camp and scrimmage.
"I think we've got maybe as heavy a load of talent as we've had," the head coach summarized. "Some real good skill, some good size. We've got some good skill on the back end and up front I think we saw some of that talent there in the scrimmage."
The Sabres will next get back to team activities and work for the start of training camp in September.