Rochester Comments from Sexton and Botterill at the Draft

The 2018 NHL Draft is in the history books and everyone knows what Buffalo did so here’s some Rochester related comments. Jason Botterill and Randy Sexton met with the media after the draft and here’s what they had to say with direct relation to Rochester.

The two interviews below are worth watching in their entirety for anyone who’s clicked here at this point. These are a couple of sound bites from both Botterill and Sexton that relate to Rochester since this site is focused on the Amerks.

Talking about not taking a junior player from the CHL …

“In a scenario where you have a more extended period period of four years in most situations for Europeans or players going to college. Just allows you more opportunity for them to develop.”

This is important because it provides a lot more flexibility for development and growth.

Botterill talking about drafting defenseman …

“As much as we’re excited about Brendan Guhle, we want to make sure there’s more Brandan Guhle’s coming and that was a point of emphasis for us the last couple of days.”

On where they are as an organization with scoring …

“We’ve brought in players such as CJ Smith. We look at a player such as Baptiste and Bailey that have scored at different levels that we want to continue to help them out.”

He didn’t really add much but emphasized these three players and continuing to help them improve. CJ Smith would have been a likely AHL Rookie of the Year candidate if he didn’t get injured. Justin Bailey had a tremendous end to the regular season and was one of the best offensive players in the playoffs. Nick Baptiste appeared to find his role within the organization and was determined more than ever to solidify his role.

In terms of goaltending for both Buffalo and Rochester …

“You look throughout our organization it’s something we have to add in our mind, we feel we have to add two goalies for sure.”

Asking about Victor Antipin he said they’ve been upfront with Lehner and added …

“For the rest of our qualifying offers we’ll make a statement on Monday.”

Randy Sexton had a laugh with the media when asked about Lawrence Pilut …

“I thought you were going to ask me if Dahlin needed a year in Rochester, I was going to say absolutely maybe two.”

“Lawrence Pilut fits the mold that we have. He’s a mobile puck moving defenseman. He’s not necessarily the biggest guy but you don’t need to be big to play anymore particularly on the back end. You need to be smart. You need to have vision and read the play well and need to be able to identify your options quickly and execute wth precision. That’s what he does.”

“We do believe because of his high hockey IQ it won’t take him long to get adjusted.”

In other words, he’ll likely start in Rochester with a lot of opportunity to move up. We can likely expect Pilut to start in Rochester and if things go well for him he’ll get a look in Buffalo, much like Guhle did during the 2017/2018 season.

“We’re in great shape on the back end for Rochester. We have a little bit of work to do up front. And we certainly have work to do organizationally in net, that certainly will be a focus for us.”

On what else is needed in Rochester to get to an elite level …

“If you want to compete with the elite teams and go deep in the playoffs you need your veterans but you need a very good core of talented young players and we’re not quite there yet to be candid. So we have to do that. Number two we have to learn to win consistently. It’s easier said than done.”

He went on to praise the development and coaching staff.

Sexton on his message to Nylander …

“Probably the most important off season of training in his young life.”

“The American League is a very good league and it’s a very difficult league to play in for young players. It’s not unusual for them to struggle a little bit and Alex is no different. He’s in Buffalo now and has been doing his training a little bit. Big summer for him but continue to have high expectations, high hopes for Alex.”

Randy Sexton on Colin Blackwell …

“I’ve had some ongoing discussions with Colin’s agent. We would like to have him back. Just trying to find the right mechanism to make things work for both parties.”

Again, if you’ve made it this far set aside 20 minutes and watch both of these.