Colorado's Compher appreciates the fact that the Sabres drafted him

October 11, 2018

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - In 2013 the Sabres moved up in the draft so they could take J.T. Compher. To get to the 35th overall pick, Buffalo sent Andrej Sekera to Carolina. The Hurricanes made the Sabres take Jamie McBain too.

I always heard great things about Compher in his three seasons at Michigan and he did very well in his two prospects camps in Buffalo. I remember him getting under players skin and never giving up on any battle.

In 2015, Tim Murray decided he wanted Ryan O’Reilly. To get something, you have to give up something and Murray gave up the farm. Joining Compher in Colorado were 2013 first round pick Nikita Zadorov, 2012 first round pick Mikhail Grigorenko and a second round pick in 2015 that became Jeremy Roy. The pick wound up going to San Jose and Roy is in his second season in the AHL.

Buffalo also got Jamie McGinn along with O’Reilly. I cautioned at the time that Murray might really regret giving up Compher and by last season, I had come to the conclusion that I’d much rather have Compher and Zadorov than O’Reilly.

In 93 NHL games the 23-year-old has 18 goals and 12 assists for 30 points. He is a high motor guy that never gives up on a battle and players hate playing against him.

Compher was still at Michigan when the trade happened and he was of course surprised, “Yes a little bit, I was still at school so I wasn’t really even here yet, but I appreciate the Sabres for drafting me in the NHL.

“I came here for two development camps and learned a lot which I tried to bring with me when I went to Colorado.”

Compher said in Buffalo he learned about NHL work ethic and how to take care of your body.

In 2016, Compher played for Team USA at the World Championships. That was before he ever played a game in Colorado or in the AHL with San Antonio. There are many NHL players that play in that tournament and Compher, said, “That was a great experience for me going in there with an open mind and playing against some of the best players in the world and I continued to learn getting that first taste of pro hockey.”

At Michigan Compher played with Kyle Connor, Tyler Motte, Zach Werenski, Boo Nieves, Dylan Larkin and Andrew Copp.

This season Compher has two goals in his first three games. He did pick up an assist on Colorado’s second power play goal in the first period.