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Frequently Asked Questions

Buffalo Junior Sabres

Website FAQ



My son wants to try out for the Pee-Wee team next year. What is the process?

All details are available on



I see the costs for the teams. What does this include? Will there be any additional costs?

The cost per team covers all ice fees, tournaments, Impact Training, Academy Of Hockey. The only additional costs would be the usual travel to away games and hotels for tournaments, which parents usually pay for.


If my son makes the Jr. Sabres will he need to wear a specific brand of equipment?

The Jr. Sabres have a deal with Ad-Pro Sports. In addition to jerseys, socks, bags, and apparel we provide all new players with Warrior gloves and shells. We require these specific pieces of equipment to be worn. Skates, helmets, and all other protective equipment is at the discretion of the player. Returning players in need of new equipment can order through our website.



Will the team fees be due up front or will there be payment options?

There will be an initial deposit of $500 when the team is selected but a payment plan will be set up for the remainder of the money that is due. All season fees are due by August 1st prior to training camp. To be eligible to start the season all player fees must be paid in full.


What league will the Jr. Sabres teams play in?

All Bantam and Midget teams will compete in the Tier 1 Elite League. The Tier 1 Elite Hockey League is the Nation’s premier amateur hockey league featuring 20 organizations stretching from coast to coast.  With significant visibility, top level talent, and elite coaching often coming from the upper levels of professional hockey, the Tier 1 Elite League boasts the ability to move young, talented players to organizations such as  Major JuniorTier I Jr HockeyNCAA HockeyNHL, and other professional leagues. 



We currently play in the SCTA but heard that the Jr. Sabres teams will not. How will this change affect my son’s development?

The development model of the Jr. Sabres program goes beyond just games and opponents. With our coaching staff and partnership with The Academy of Hockey, our players will be able to develop every layer of their games, both on and off the ice.


What is the Academy of Hockey and how does it benefit my child?

The HARBORCENTER Academy of Hockey is dedicated to being the premier development destination for hockey players and coaches. The Academy provides on-ice, off-ice and classroom programming to elite hockey players. The Academy of Hockey’s staff will work full-time to enhance and accelerate the development of hockey players and will provide year-round programming.


If selected for a team, how far away would my son have to travel for games/tournaments?

We are planning schedules and tournaments within driving distance. We do not anticipate any of the Pee-Wee or Bantam teams having to fly anywhere besides nationals. The current 15U, 16U and 18U teams could fly 1-3 times per year.


How much school would my child miss due to away games and tournaments?

Education is very important to us. Buffalo Jr. Sabres players will only miss minimal school time consistent with all local WNY teams.


What if my child is not an AAA caliber player? Will there be any other teams?

The Buffalo Jr. Sabres teams will be AAA but HARBORCENTER will offer programming and hockey events for players of all ages and skill levels.


Will teams have specific goaltender coaches?

The Academy of Hockey will have specific goaltender coaches who will work with all the Buffalo Jr. Sabres teams on a regular basis. John Daigneau is the Director of Goaltending for Academy of Hockey and leads goaltending instruction for the Buffalo Jr Sabres. John and his staff, which includes Marty Biron, will work with our goalies on a weekly basis.


Are the assistant coaches in place for next year’s teams?

No, assistant coaches have not been finalized and will not be until after the tryout process. 


Is there any information about the Fitness/Off-Ice Programs and who will run the off-ice, training?

Our athletes will train at Impact Sports in Harborcenter. Impact Sports Performance believes that proper training requires a serious, focused approach that is personalized for each athlete’s strengths, weaknesses, and individual performance goals.  When an athlete comes through the doors of IMPACT to train, they will be stepping into a very intense, motivating environment where maximizing an athlete’s potential and performance is the driving force. Our 4,500 square foot facility is outfitted with the most authentic playing surfaces and movement-specific equipment that goes way beyond the realm of what is found at your elite training facility.


Will off-ice training be hockey-specific or general training?

The off-ice training will be hockey-specific training catered to the individual player.


What will the practice and game schedules look like? What does a typical weekly schedule look like?

We are aiming to have three weekday sessions: two team practices and one skill session with the Academy of Hockey. Teams will also have dryland training before 1-2 practices each week through IMPACT Sports Performance at HARBORCENTER. On weekends, teams who are not on the road will host games or practice with their allotted weekend ice.


How long does the season last and will there be any summer activities?

The season will begin in Mid-August and end in March.

How will tryouts be structured?

A selection committee will evaluate all tryouts to aid the head coach in selecting the most qualified players throughout the process.

Will we need a release from our existing organization to try out?

Yes. All players attending the Buffalo Jr. Sabres tryouts will need a release from their prior organization.


Are the major teams state/national bound?



For Pee-Wee and Bantam, will the team participate in local qualifying for States (Q-Games)?

Yes, the Pee-Wee Major and Bantam Major teams will compete annually for all State Tournament events.


Will there be team-mandated fundraising?

Fundraising will be at the discretion of each team. There will be no mandatory fundraising.


What tournaments are the team targeting to attend?

The Buffalo Jr. Sabres teams will compete in Super Series hosted events as well as other competitive events in the greater Buffalo, Toronto and Detroit areas. The Bantam & Midget teams will compete in Tier 1 hosted showcases.


How will the teams interact with the Coaching Academy staff?

The Buffalo Jr. Sabres players will be exposed to the expert teachers and coaches on the HARBORCENTER Academy of Hockey staff.


What do the HARBORCENTER facilities consist of, and what unique resources are available to these six teams?

HARBORCENTER will feature world-class on- and off-ice facilities and cutting edge technology to enhance teaching, training and athletic performance.





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