HIckey said there are some factors in the Sabres favor for him signing

Buffalo can sign Hickey starting July 1

Paul Hamilton
June 28, 2018 - 1:18 pm

Photo: Paul Hamilton (@pham1717)

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - When it comes to development camp, this isn’t Brandon Hickey’s first rodeo.

Hickey was taken in the third round of the 2014 Entry Draft by Calgary and then was traded to Arizona as part of the Mike Smith trade. Hickey said all three teams run their camps differently, “The first couple of years in Calgary, it was a little bit longer, a little bit harder and Arizona was a shorter camp, so it’s a little bit of a change of feel for each organization.”

It seems like Arizona traded Hickey because they weren’t going to be able to sign him by Aug. 15 when he becomes a unrestricted free agent. Hickey said, “I was trying to feel out what the market was and what kind of a role they have for me. The negotiations stalled a little bit and then we didn’t talk for awhile and then I got traded.”

The Sabres can’t sign Hickey until July 1, but Jason Botterill said he’s comfortable that they’ll get something done. Hickey said, “I’m not sure yet, but you can’t look at it until the first of July, so I’ll have to see what goes on and see what they tell me in my meeting.”

Hickey played with Jack Eichel, Evan Rodrigues and Danny O’Regan at Boston University. He said the young core here will make a difference in his decision, “When it’s a young core, there’s going to be a lot of upside, so it’ll definitely have an impact on the decision.”

Another thing that will play in Hickey’s decision is having a Hall of Fame defenseman as his coach in Phil Housley, “Yes definitely, I definitely wanted to come here and show him what I’m’ made of and I’m a mobile defenseman like him, so it’s pretty cool to be able to be in the same room and talk to someone like him.”

After four years at BU, Hickey is 22-years-old and if he signs here, will likely start in Rochester. He’s already helping the young players as this year’s second round pick Mattias Samuelsson is his roommate. Samuelsson is going to Western Michigan in the fall and has spent a lot of time picking Hickey’s brain.

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