Buffalo Sabres Offseason Update: Zack Kassian Arrested in Windsor


The Buffalo Sabres may have gotten more than they bargained for when they drafted Zack Kassian 13th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

The Windsor Star has reported that the 19-year-old Kassian was arrested and later released early Sunday morning after an “altercation” with another man at a Windsor bar.

Kassian recently collected his first Memorial Cup with the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. He finished with seven goals and 16 points in 19 playoff games, and also had 38 penalty minutes.

The arrest is not the first problem the young prospect has had so far this year.

Back in January, Kassian received a 20-game suspension for an open-ice headshot on Matt Kennedy of the Barrie Colts.

“I’m shocked that Zack received 20 games,” Spitfires coach Bob Boughner told The Sporting News after the suspension was handed out. “I thought it was a pretty steep penalty, especially after the presentation the organization made to the league. You can agree or disagree with the decision, but at this point there is nothing that we can do about it.”

Standing at 6’3” and weighing 215 pounds, Kassian’s massive frame—to no fault of his own—gives him the ability to throw his weight around in the OHL against some of the players who may have not completely physically developed yet.

The Sabres drafted Kassian to add a strong, skillful, hard-hitting forward into a lineup with little tenacity—aside Patrick Kaleta—and even less size.

Sabres star forward and leading scorer Derek Roy stands at 5’9”, as does future star Tyler Ennis. Nathan Gerbe, another potential star in the Buffalo organization, is the smallest player in the NHL.

Kassian was drafted with players like Roy, Ennis, and Gerbe in mind.

But as his playoff numbers with the Spitfires suggest, Kassian is more than just a big hitter. During the 2008-09 OHL season, he finished with 24 goals and 63 points in 61 games with the Peterborough Petes.

While the opening stages of Kassian’s career might not have gone as planned, the best part about him is that he is only 19, and there is plenty of time to improve his decisions both on and off the ice.




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