BUFFALO, N.Y. – Former Bemidji State University defenseman Matt Prapavessis is among nearly 60 of the Buffalo Sabres’ top prospects this week, participating in the National Hockey League Organization’s development camp in Buffalo, N.Y.
A staple of the Beavers’ blueline for the last four seasons, Prapavessis inked an Amateur Tryout (ATO) contract with the Rochester Americans, the American Hockey League affiliate of Buffalo, March 26 and played out the remainder of the season. In 10 games for the Ameriks, he registered an assist, two penalty minutes and eight shots on goal. Following the season the Sabres extended his contract to the 2015-16 season and he was invited to participate in the organizations development camp.
This week’s camp includes on-ice coaching and skills sessions as well as off-ice testing, strength training as well as other activities with the culminating events being an intra-squad “Blue and Gold Scrimmage” set for 7 p.m. Friday and an intra-squad three-on-three tournament to close camp Sunday beginning at 10 a.m.
The Sabre’s camp features many of the top players in the Sabres’ organization, including Tyler Andrew of Ferris State University, the University of Minnesota’s Hudson Fasching and Buffalo’s recent No. 1 draft pick and 2015 Hobey Baker Award winner Jack Eichel.
An All-WCHA Second-Team selection at BSU as a senior, Prapavessis posted 24 points (9g-15a), which includes a career-high nine goals, during the regular season to become the first BSU defenseman to lead the team in scoring since Stephan Bjork collected 34 points in 1999-2000. The Oakville, Ontario native recorded 18 points (7g-11a) in league play to rank fourth among WCHA blueliners. The senior also led the team with four power-play goals and nine points (4g-5a) on the man advantage. With 69 blocked shots, Prapavessis ranked second on the team, sixth in the WCHA and 13th in the nation. He was named as the WCHA’s Defensive Player of the Week Dec. 5.
With 70 career points in four seasons, Prapavessis ranks 20th on BSU’s all-time defensive scoring list and is among the Beavers’ top 20 NCAA Division I-era scorers.
Prapavessis has never missed a game—dressing in 150 consecutive contests to tie Beaver great Brad Hunt for the program’s record for games played.
Equally as talented in the classroom, Prapavessis was a three-time Academic All-WCHA selection and earned the league’s scholar-athlete award as a senior.
Bemidji State, which finished the 2014-15 campaign 16-17-5 overall and posted a 12-11-5 mark in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play to earn the right to host its first WCHA Playoff series before bowing out to Ferris State.
The Beavers open the 2015-16 season Oct. 9-10 with a home-and-home nonconference series against long-time regional rival University of Minnesota Duluth. The Beavers and Bulldogs will clash in Duluth, Minn. at AMSOIL Arena to open the series at 7:07 p.m. Friday and will wrap up the two-game set in Bemidji at 7:07 p.m. Saturday.
For more information on the Sabres’ Development Camp visit sabres.nhl.com.
For more information on the Bemidji State men’s hockey program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers or @BSUMHockey), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).