When the Buffalo Sabres signed Brian Flynn, nobody in Buffalo knew who he was. Flynn was a 23-year old kid who captained his University of Maine Black Bears hockey team to a 23-14-3 record in his senior year. Flynn also helped lead the Black Bears the NCAA Frozen Four Tournament, where they exited after a first round loss to the University of Minnesota Duluth. In his four-year college career, Flynn accounted for 69 goals and 87 assists in 153 games played. His point total of 156 points places him 11th in all time points in the school’s history.
On March 28, 2012, Flynn agreed to a two-year entry-level deal with the Buffalo Sabres. His two-way capabilities were ideal for the organization, and the Sabres were interested in him, even while he was still at Maine. Flynn got the chance to play in five games with the Rochester Americans, but only registered one assist.
The next season did not start well for Flynn, as he was a scratch for the season opener for the Americans. However, Flynn was able to bounce back and be a valuable asset to the squad. Flynn would finish the season in Rochester with 16 goals and 16 assists in 45 games with Rochester.
His first big chance with the Sabres came when he was called up on March 1, 2013. He would play the next day in his first NHL game against the New Jersey Devils at the First Niagara Center. Flynn played 8:50 of total ice time, but did not put up any numbers on the stat sheet.
Flynn scored his first NHL goal on March 7th in a game against the Devils in Newark, N.J. Flynn scored off a rebound in front of Johan Hedberg that gave Buffalo a 2-0 lead. The Sabres ended up losing that game 3-2 in a shootout.
“I think it’s obviously exciting. I was having some pretty good chances throughout the game, and then to finally capitalize there felt pretty good,” said Flynn after scoring his first NHL goal.
Flynn would go on to finish the rest of the season playing in 26 games and registering six goals and five assists. Ron Rolston really liked his two-way play, and put Brian on the penalty kill often with teammate, Kevin Porter.
During the preseason, Brian Flynn was even part of the brawl with the Toronto Maple Leafs. After John Scott went after Phil Kessel, Flynn was the player that fought with Phil Kessel. Brian put up a good fight, but cam out of that battle bloodied up. “I had no choice, I did what I had to do.” It just comes to show that Flynn is a team player, and that he is not afraid to stick up for his teammates.
So far this season, Flynn has played in all nine games, scoring his first goal of the season Monday night against Minnesota. Flynn took a pass from Zemgus Girgensons, was stopped on his first try, but buried home his own rebound past Josh Harding. Along with his one goal, he has one assist on Zemgus Girgensons’ goal in the season opener. Flynn has been one of the better players for the Sabres this season. He has been creating plenty of offensive chances, and has been solid on the defensive side of the game. He also continues to play a huge role on the second penalty kill unit with Kevin Porter.
What will Flynn bring to the Sabres roster? Flynn is signed on through this year and next year, and will most likely be able to stick around on the Sabres roster. Flynn will continue to play the way he has been playing this season. Flynn will get those offensive chances and probably produce 10-15 goals this year. Flynn is a smooth skater and has skilled hands that will catch a goaltender off guard with a quick shot. Flynn will also help defensively by being the penalty kill specialist he is. Flynn is also not afraid to be right in the middle of a scrum along the boards to fight for a loose puck.
Flynn still has a lot of room to grow in the organization. He has had the experience of growing through the AHL, and now looks to make his impact in the NHL. He could become a future leader of this team through leading by example on and off the ice. With his style of play and his determination, he will become a favorite amongst the fans.
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