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Sabres invite former Wild first-rounder Gillies to camp


The Buffalo Sabres have given Colton Gillies another shot at reviving his NHL career.

The Sabres released their training camp roster on Tuesday, revealing that Gillies -- the 16th overall pick at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft -- will be attending on a professional try out.

Gillies, 24, has fallen on hard times after making his NHL debut for Minnesota at 19 years of age.

Things started brightly with the Wild -- Gillies made the team out of training camp in 2008-09 and appeared in 45 games, scoring seven points -- but quickly turned south as he toiled in AHL Houston for the better part of two seasons.

Gillies appeared in just seven games for Minnesota during the 2010-11 season and 37 during the 2011-12 campaign before being placed on waivers, where he was quickly scooped up by Columbus.

While the former WHL Saskatoon standout did carve a role for himself with the Jackets -- he appeared in 27 games last season -- he was a healthy scratch on numerous occasions and wasn’t brought back after his contract expired in July.

All this said, Gillies does have some upside. He’s big (6-foot-4, 207 pounds), relatively young and has over 150 games of NHL experience.

He’s also competing for a spot on a Sabres team with just 11 forwards under contract (Cody Hodgson, still unsigned, will be the 12th) -- but it remains to be seen if he’ll get a shot ahead of promising youngsters like Zemgus Girgensons and Joel Armia.