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Sabres sign McNabb, a top defensive prospect

Brayden McNabb, who is preparing for Canada's junior hockey championship, has found time to sign his first professional contract.

McNabb and the Buffalo Sabres agreed on terms today for a three-year, entry-level deal. Financial details are not yet available.

McNabb, the Sabres' third-round pick in the 2009 draft, helped the Kootenay Ice win the Western Hockey League championship and will play in the Memorial Cup beginning this weekend.

"Brayden is a big kid with great offensive abilities, and he’s continued to improve every year in Kootenay," Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier said in a statement. "His outstanding performance in the WHL playoffs was just another positive sign in his development, and we are thrilled to now have him under contract for the next three years."

McNabb, a 6-foot-5, 216-pound defenseman, was a physical blue-liner with offensive potential when he entered the draft. He'll leave juniors as an offensive threat with a mean streak.

McNabb tied for second in scoring in the WHL playoffs, recording three goals and 27 points in 19 games. He had more assists (24) than any other defenseman had points. The run extended a season that saw McNabb record career bests with 22 goals, 50 assists and 72 points in 59 games.

The 20-year-old improved every season with Kootenay. He had two goals, 11 points and 63 penalty minutes during his rookie year of 2007-08. He followed that 10 goals, 36 points and 140 minutes. He put up 17 goals, 57 points and 121 PIMs last season before bettering the offensive numbers this year.

The Memorial Cup begins Friday in Mississauga, Ont. McNabb's first game is Saturday.

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

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Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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