Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian loves jumping in the rush and utilizing perhaps his most underrated asset, his skating. “Unfortunately, the last two years in Buffalo I haven’t really had that role,” Bogosian said Saturday following practice inside HarborCenter. That time span, not coincidentally, was Dan Bylsma’s run as coach. Part of Bylsma’s downfall, of course, was his reluctance to showcase a fast, attacking style. Following a solid first year under Bylsma, Bogosian, 27, endured perhaps his worst NHL season in 2016-17, losing more than two minutes of ice time a game as he struggled to find a role. “I was frustrated,” Bogosian said of a campaign in which he scored a career-low 11 points in 56 games. “That’s in the rear view now.” These days, Bogosian looks refreshed by the team’s new regime. Sabres coach Phil Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman, is implementing an aggressive five-man attack during training camp, meaning his defenders will be active. “I’m looking forward to getting up in the play and making sure I’m that second layer of offense,” Bogosian said. “He wants us to get up there. Everyone that’s playing defense on our team can skate, so it’s going to bode well for us.” It might bode well for Bogosian, the third overall pick in 2008, the Sabres hired Housley, an assistant with the Nashville Predators for four years. If anyone can unlock his potential, it might be Housley, “a hell of a player in his day,” according to Bogosian. “The guys were pretty excited over the summer when they hired Phil,” said Bogosian, who likes to pick Housley’s brain. Housley, whose 21-year playing career spanned from the wide-open 1980s to the clutch-and-grab early 2000s, has adapted to the modern game, Bogosian said. “He seems to be part of that new group with the skating and getting up in the play on the offensive side of things,” the Massena native said. “Guys are looking forward to playing that style.” Clearly, Bogosian is energized for his 10th NHL season. Through two days of camp, Housley said “he’s doing all the right things out there,” leading skates and helping younger players.
Sabres' Bogosian hopes Housley will help tap into his offensive potential
Buffalo Hockey Beat | Sep 17