Sabres' Baptiste learning consistency

November 3, 2017

Dallas, TX (WGR 550) - Many thought Nick Baptiste would make the Sabres out of training camp, but things didn’t work out that way. The kid didn’t show much in prospects camp or training camp and started the year in Rochester.

His year with the Amerks also started slowly and he was starting the get heat down there. The past few weeks, things have gotten much better and he got the call to Buffalo after Justin Bailey got hurt.

Baptiste is a gifted skater and has scored goals at every level he’s played at. As far as his start in Rochester, Baptiste said, “It’s gone alright, but I have a lot more to give. I think I’ve got better in me.”

“The last three games have been better than I started off, but for me it’s not really points, I’ve got to worry about using my speed, play hard defensively and I think that’s why I got called up, I was playing the right way and that’s what I’ve got to do.”

Thanks to the last three games, Baptiste had three goals and two assist for five points in eight games.

It’s always interesting to find out why it goes wrong for a player. When he was asked, Baptiste didn’t hesitate, “It was just work ethic, I wasn’t working hard enough in my own end, I was too worried about scoring and getting points and creating offensively, I got away from playing hard and playing fast.”

Baptiste spoke like a player with a chip on his shoulder, but he knows Phil Housley and Chris Taylor aren’t going to just hand him anything, “I’m not going to come in here and steal somebody’s job on the top line, I’ve got to earn my way up, play on the fourth line and just do the little things it takes to help the team win.”

“This team is where I want to be for my career, I want to be in Buffalo and play for the Sabres and I’ve got to work hard to make that a reality.”  

Baptiste can score goals. Last year in Rochester he had 25 goals in 59 games and in his final year of junior, he had 32 goals in 53 games. The season before that was his best with 45 goals in 65 games.

The Sabres flew to Dallas Friday morning to prepare to play the Stars on Saturday night. The team didn’t arrive until late afternoon so practice was canceled.