The Buffalo Sabres caught Corey Tropp’s eye during the 2007 playoffs. Little did he know, he was in their sights, too.

“I remember in ’07, my actual draft year, watching the Sabres and how cool it looked in Buffalo,” Tropp said to The News by phone Thursday. “Then, a month later, I was getting drafted by them.”

It turns out Columbus General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen also was watching Tropp back then, so he pounced when the Sabres waived the 23-year-old. Tropp’s run in the Sabres’ organization came to an end Thursday when the Blue Jackets claimed the right winger.

“I was a little disappointed with what transpired,” Tropp said while getting ready to head to Ohio. “It was an honor to be a Sabre. One of my greatest memories is my first game I ever played at home. It was real excitement.

“They were great to me and gave me an opportunity to get my first NHL games and help me grow as a person on and off the ice.”

The Sabres helped him hone his competitive spirit, and it will be on display with the Blue Jackets. He’s eager to show the Sabres they made a mistake.

“I’m a passionate player, and I think that shows,” Tropp said. “It was definitely tough getting the news, but it’s exciting to have a good opportunity in front of me. At the end of the day, I’ve got to go out and hopefully make Buffalo regret making that move.”

There’s a chance of that happening. The former third-round pick has hustle and grit, but he’s coming off a knee injury that cost him nearly of all last season. He couldn’t find a spot under new Buffalo coach Ted Nolan, who wanted to see what Tropp could do with significant playing time in Rochester.

“If we’re going to start developing players, we can’t develop them with five, six minutes on the fourth line,” Nolan said. “We have to give them some real minutes and let him see what kind of player he can be. I don’t know if he’s going to be a fourth-line chipper or if he’s going to be a third-line guy. We have to let him play and find that out.

“You’re happy for the young guy,” Nolan added. “That’s unfortunate that we don’t have enough positions or room for him right now. It’s good for him to be picked up by somebody else and get his career going there. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t happening here at that moment. You take a chance, and now it’s good for Corey.”