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Hudson Fasching signs with Sabres, could make NHL debut Saturday

With the Sabres and Hudson Fasching both eager to come to terms, it didn’t take long to do so. The sides agreed to a three-year contract Monday night.

“Hudson showed us the kind of player he can be during his college career, and we are pleased to sign him,” Sabres General Manager Tim Murray said in a statement. “We believe he has the potential to be an effective NHL player and wanted to bring him in as soon as possible.”

Fasching, who was rated as the organization’s No. 2 prospect by the Hockey News, is scheduled to arrive in Buffalo on Tuesday for a physical. The Sabres play in Carolina on Tuesday night, and Fasching will join them for practice when they return. He’ll likely make his NHL debut Saturday when the Sabres host Winnipeg in First Niagara Center.

Fasching is leaving the University of Minnesota after a junior season that featured 20 goals and 38 points in 37 games. The 6-foot-2, 216-pound right winger led the Golden Gophers with seven game-winning goals.

“I think the fans are really going to take to him,” Fasching’s agent, Steve Bartlett, said by phone. “He really showed leadership and proved able to score big goals at big times. He just really took it up another level.

“He felt he accomplished what he wanted to do. He’s ready to leave with a degree and fulfill the dream he’s always had of being an NHL player.”

Fasching has finished most of his coursework and is on pace to graduate this year. To help persuade the 20-year-old to leave Minnesota, the Sabres are starting him in the NHL despite having only nine games remaining. The first year of his contract will burn off with the limited number of appearances, but it’s a common negotiating practice for college players.

Unlike many college signees, Fasching was able to sign a three-year deal because of his age. College players typically get a two-year contract, so burning a year isn’t much of a loss for Buffalo.

Fasching signed for the rookie maximum of $925,000 per year.

“The team really stepped up and worked with me to get a contract done in a quick and efficient manner,” Bartlett said. “It’s a big step from college to the NHL and no one’s trying to get ahead of the game, but it’s a great opportunity for him to get in, get involved with the team.”

Fasching played with Sabres rookie Jack Eichel with the U.S. National Development Team in 2012-13. During Fasching’s three seasons in Minnesota, he recorded 46 and 94 points in 115 games.

“Unbelievable past three years,” Fasching wrote on Twitter. “Had a blast being part of the U of M! Want to thank the entire program and fans for the support along the way. Extremely honored and excited to be a part of the Buffalo Sabres organization! Can’t wait to see what the future holds!”

email: jvogl@buffnews.com

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