FSU forward Tyler Andrew scores in Buffalo Sabres’ prospect camp scrimmage

ANDREW: Ferris State University forward Tyler Andrew (center) skates during the Buffalo Sabres’ prospect development camp scrimmage on July 10 at First Niagra Center in Buffalo, New York. (Courtesy photos/Bill Wippert/Buffalo Sabres)

ANDREW: Ferris State University forward Tyler Andrew (center) skates during the Buffalo Sabres’ prospect development camp scrimmage on July 10 at First Niagra Center in Buffalo, New York. (Courtesy photos/Bill Wippert/Buffalo Sabres)

BIG RAPIDS — Forward Tyler Andrew continued to climb up the Ferris State University hockey depth chart last season as a freshman.

His play caught the eye of the Buffalo Sabres, who invited the 6-foot-5, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania native in January to their annual prospect development camp July 6 through July 12.

He accepted the invite and said the experience was a once-and-a-lifetime opportunity.

“I think it went very well,” Andrew said. “Going in, I was a bit nervous since it was my first experience doing anything like this, but it was a lot of fun.”

Andrew competed against more than 40 other players, who are either Sabres’ draft picks or free agent prospects, during the week-long camp. The players were separated into two groups and participated in various drills and workouts throughout the week.

“We woke up by 8:30 a.m. every morning and were at the rink by 9 a.m.,” Andrew said. “We were split into two teams. While one team was on the ice practicing, the other team did some off-ice stuff, such as fitness tests and seminars. Then we reconvened for lunch, and then switched in the afternoon.”

Andrew, who hopes to play professional hockey following his collegiate career, said the experience should pay dividends heading into his sophomore campaign. He had three goals and six assists in 29 games last season for the Bulldogs.

“I believe I got some good feedback,” he said. “The coaches said I did pretty well and raised some eyebrows. Being an invitee, not everyone knows who you are like a draft pick, but they said I’m on their radar and told me to keep working hard and focus on improving my game every day. I think this week is definitely a step in the right direction.”

Dave Cencer, FSU’s strength and conditioning coach, said the coaching staff expects Andrew to step into a bigger role next season.

“He’s that big body we need, and is a strong kid,” Cencer said. “He will definitely be one of those guys we will be looking to lean on.”

Andrew’s favorite moment at development camp was scoring a goal during the scrimmage. About 17,000 fans were in attendance at First Niagra Center, Buffalo’s home arena.

“At first, I was so focused I didn’t really notice it” Andrew said of the number of fans, “but once I stepped back and looked, saw how many people were there, it was pretty crazy. It was a great opportunity.”

A majority of spectators were there to watch the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft, Jack Eichel. The forward from Boston University is one of the sports’ highest regarded prospects in recent years. Andrew said Eichel lived up to the hype.

“He’s very solid,” Andrew said of Eichel. “He definitely showed why he was taken second overall. He’s a very good player and carries himself very well off the ice, as well.

“I wasn’t on the ice against him too much (during the scrimmage), but all of the attention was on him when he was on the ice. Everyone knew where he was, so he’s definitely an impact player.”

avatar

Posted by Ryan Zuke

Ryan is the sports editor for the Big Rapids Pioneer, covering local prep sports and Ferris State athletics. He can be contacted at (231) 592-8363 or rzuke@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply