10 Questions with Sabres Prospect Dan Catenacci

“With the 77th pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the Buffalo Sabres select Daniel Catenacci.”


We’ve talked about his stats and achievements already here on Buffalo Sabres Nation, but we thought it would be great to know more about one of Hockey Heaven’s newest and most promising draft picks. Well, Daniel was quick to agree to an interview with us, a small but down to earth kind of gesture that makes me think he’ll be a great fit in the City of Good Neighbors.


lunapic 130904903262444 7 1 10 Questions with Sabres Prospect Dan Catenacci

He's fast. Still photography just doesn't do him any justice.


Without further ado (Daniel’s responses are in bold):

1. Being drafted by the NHL is obviously a pretty huge moment – but what about on the ice? What is your favorite on-ice memory (and is there a Youtube video of it)?

My favorite moment on the ice has to be when I won the gold medal for Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka tournament. That was my first real taste of international play and to be a part of a great group and win a medal for your country is something I’ll never forget.

2. Being from the Richmond/Newmarket ON, area, you must be pleased that you were drafted by a team near your hometown. Did you grow up as a Leafs fan? (And more importantly, did you grow up as a Sabres fan?)

I grew up a Leafs fan because I’m from Toronto but the past couple years I have been a Pittsburgh fan because of Sidney Crosby. He is my favorite player and he’s the kind of guy I’d shape my game and attitude after. Now that I am a part of the Sabres organization, Buffalo is definitely my new favorite team.

3. You’re one of the faster (or fastest) players in the draft. Was training with “Scary Gary” Roberts a part of your foot-speed development? What was it like training with him, and what areas of your game improved the most?

I think i’ve always had that speed in my game. My Dad played 16 years professionally in Europe and he was the same type of player I am. He had the speed and I think it’s in my genes. Gary has definitely helped me with my strength over the past 2 years. I am currently at 5’10 193 lbs, so I think as a smaller player I need to have a lower centre of gravity and that quickness to get away from guys.

4. A friend with Italian lineage pointed out to me that your surname translates to “door bolt,” or more importantly, a word “used to describe a very effective and clinical defense.” Well, we all know a lot about your offensive game, but can you tell us about your game in the other zones?

I see myself as an all around offensive player. I think if your just an offensive guy then it’s tough to play in the NHL. Every player these days has to be strong in all 3 zones and I try to be the guy the coach can count on in any situation, whether it’s a power-play, or if were holding onto a lead with a minute left. 

5. At 5-10, many Sabres fans are wondering how you compare to Derek Roy (5-9), Tyler Ennis (5-9) and Nathan Gerbe (5-5). Which of these players do you think your style of play resembles the most?

I’m not sure, I’ve heard comparisons to a Mike Cammalleri.

6. NHL.com notes your favorite player is Sidney Crosby (as you also just noted). Do you model your game after him, or are there any other NHLers you focus on?

Yes, I try to mold myself after Sidney Crosby. He’s the best player in the game today and the way he conducts himself on and off the ice is something I also try to mold myself after.

7. I’m sure that by now you’ve met with Terry Pegula and Ted Black. What are your first impressions of “Hockey Heaven?”

Once I was drafted I knew I was coming to an amazing organization, but once I met all the staff and owners I was so impressed and excited. I couldn’t of asked to come to a better place then Buffalo. Buffalo is a destination where players want to come, and I’m so happy and grateful to be a part of the organization. 

8. Kris Baker (of SabresProspects.com) has you already listed as our #1 prospect at center. What are your goals for this season?

My first goal is to make the NHL. I know not many players make it at 18 but I want go into camp with the mindset of trying to make the team and hoping for the best and gaining experience. 

9. I noted your “hockey pedigree,” as your father played for the Blues. Was there a father-son moment during the draft that you’d like to share? What has been his best piece of advice to you since being drafted?

My Dad has been along my side every step of the way. From minor hockey to the OHL, and now the NHL. Me and my dad talk before and after every game to give me advice and help me succeed. He has been a huge part of my life, and He was so excited when I was drafted to buffalo. 

10. What is/are your game day superstition(s)?

I put on my left side of equipment on before my right. I try to stay away from superstitions though and just play the game.

Thank you, Daniel!

And welcome to Hockey Heaven.

Go Sabres.

See also: “Daniel Catenacci Joins Sabres’ Stampede of Draft Day Steals (and He’s on Twitter!)

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