Sabres Sign Centers Brian Flynn and Kyle Bailey
The Sabres have signed another center prospect. (Update: make that 2.)
Welcome to the fold, Brian Flynn. The 6’1, 185 pound center is a senior at the University of Maine. While undrafted at 23 years of age, he is certainly not without pro league potential.
From the Bangor Daily:
Spencer Abbott and Brian Flynn comprised two-thirds of the highest-scoring line in Division I men’s hockey this past season along with Joey Diamond.
Flynn notched 18 goals and 30 assists in 40 games and his 48 points left him in a ninth-place tie.
His 0.75 assists per game tied him with teammate Will O’Neill for 17th in the country.
O’Neill signed with the Winnipeg Jets earlier this week.
“I’m very excited,” said Flynn, who will sign a $92,500 signing bonus and will get a two-way contract that will pay him a salary based on whether he plays in the NHL or AHL.
Abbott also signed a two-way contract.
“It’s a great organization. I’ve always wanted a chance to play in the NHL, and now I’m going to be one step closer,” said Flynn.
He said the Sabres “showed a ton of interest in me” and that Buffalo would be an “awesome place to play.”
He will undergo a physical exam Thursday morning before joining his new teammates.
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For a better feel on Flynn as a prospect, here’s some insight from Hockey’s Future:
If there’s one undrafted collegian that could potentially become a top scorer at the pro level, it’s Brian Flynn. Since arriving in Orono four years ago, Flynn has been one of Maine’s top point producers. And while the Lynnfield, MA native is an outstanding playmaker; it is his ability to score goals that is among the attributes getting the attention of several NHL teams, including the Philadelphia Flyers. Flynn attended the Flyers’ prospect camp over the summer.
Flynn currently ranks second on the Black Bears roster with 45 points (17 goals, 28 assists) playing in all 33 games to date. His plus-23 leads Maine and is tied for second nationally. Flynn centers the Black Bears’ explosive top line that includes national top scorer Spencer Abbott and junior Joey Diamond. Back on February 17 versus UMass, he became just the 17th player in the program’s history to reach the 150-point career mark. Most recently, Flynn was named a semi-finalist for the annual Walter Brown Award, which recognizes the top American-born collegiate player playing in New England.
At 6’1, 185 lbs, Flynn is the biggest of Maine’s top line players. He has excellent finishing ability and great net presence. Two characteristics that separate Flynn from many other collegiate point producers are his ability to position himself for the best possible scoring opportunities and capitalizing on rebounds. These attributes are especially noticeable is on the Maine power play, where seven of Flynn’s 17 goals have come this season. He has also shown a knack for scoring timely goals as well.
Another of Flynn’s attributes that has NHL scouts taking notice is his terrific stick work. He utilizes his stick-handling skills quite well, both offensively and defensively. As the Black Bears’ top centerman, Flynn also excels in face-offs, winning well over 50 percent of his draws. He possesses a very good shot and can get pucks off quickly and smartly.
While Flynn isn’t an overly physical player, he has added some grit to his game. That has made him more effective in battling for pucks and in the defensive end. It’s unlikely that Flynn will ever become a physical force at the pro level, but he certainly has the potential to become a dominant offensive force.
Chances are we may see Flynn in a Sabres jersey someday. It certainly won’t be this season, but it’s the sort of low risk, high reward collegiate signing that Regier loves. In 2008, Buffalo signed a then 20 year old Nathan Gerbe out of the NCAA (who they had drafted in 2005). It will now be up to Rochester coach Brian Rolston to turn this latest gem into a pro-payoff for the Sabres.
And, of course, it always feels good to steal a prospect away from the Philadelphia Flyers.
Update: The Sabres have also signed Kyle Bailey (forward, University of New Brunswick). From Amerks.com:
Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier today announced that the team has agreed to terms with forward Brian Flynn to a one-year, entry-level contract that will begin next season. Flynn will join the Rochester Americans for the remainder of the year on an amateur tryout.
Flynn (6’1”, 185 lbs., 7/26/1988) recently completed a four-year collegiate career at the University of Maine. During his senior season, Flynn appeared in 40 games and recorded 48 points (18+30), along with 37 penalty minutes and a team-leading plus-18 rating, while serving as captain. His 48 points ranked second on the team and ninth among all NCAA Division I skaters, earning him Hockey East First Team honors.
The Lynnfield, Mass. native registered 156 points (69+87) in 153 games during his four-year career, finishing in 11th place on Maine’s all-time scoring list. As a junior in 2010-11, Flynn scored a team-high 20 goals and received the Len Ceglarski Sportsmanship Award presented by Hockey East.
The Rochester Americans also announced that they have signed forward Kyle Bailey from the University of New Brunswick to an ATO, and he will also join the Ameks for the remainder of the season. Bailey (6’2”, 200 lbs., 10/15/1986) was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the fourth round (110th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. In five years at the University of New Brunswick, Bailey totaled 153 points (65+88) and 160 penalty minutes in 138 games.
More on Bailey, from The Brunswickan:
In Junior hockey, Bailey had the opportunity to play alongside players such as Brandon Dubinsky of the New York Rangers, Brayden Coburn of the Philadelphia Flyers, and Jannik Hansen of the Vancouver Canucks.
Although he is captain of the top-ranked university hockey team in Canada, Bailey says he has faults like every other player. Having many scoring opportunities, he believes he doesn’t score as much as he should.
“I seem to produce offensively pretty good, but I get a lot of chances to score and a lot of chances on nets. I guess I wish I had a little better scoring touch around the net, but I can’t complain,” Bailey says.
With fewer goals in his favour than he would like, Bailey still believes he has a strong work ethic, which he attributes to his mother and father. He believes no matter how the game is going, whether it is in UNB’s favour or not, one thing that can always be controlled is how hard each player works.
“That’s something I try to do before every game; make sure that no matter how things go, no matter how the game unfolds, make sure you’re working as hard as you can and trying to provide as much leadership as you can for your teammates.”
As captain of the team, Bailey believes the biggest part of his job is leading by example. He believes his actions speak louder than words, and if you’re doing things right, there isn’t much else you can do.
Leading by example is not something Bailey does just on the ice, but on land as well. Having just won a Community Service Award for his leadership in the V-Reds Prospect Program, created by Gardiner MacDougall and Roger Shannon, Bailey says it is a huge honour.
“I almost feel embarrassed about getting the award because there are so many guys on our team that I think do amazing things in the community with underprivileged people,” Bailey says.
“It’s a huge honour but I feel as though I should be accepting the honour on behalf of several people.”
next post: Hope Stings Eternal in the B-lo.