The Sabres fully expect forward Kyle Okposo to be ready for training camp after a medical scare late last season landed the 29-year-old in intensive care, reportedly due to a bad reaction to medication.
But still, there's no substitute for doing.
Okposo played (somewhat) competitive hockey for the first time since his hospitalization Wednesday night in Minnesota, marking another significant step in his recovery.
Per NHL.com, Okposo suited up and recorded an assist in Da Beauty League, a glorified summer pick-up league for elite players in Edina, Minn, just outside Okposo's hometown of St. Paul.
"I've spent a lot of time with him this summer," Wild star and Minnesota native Zach Parise told NHL.com. "It sounded like a pretty scary thing to happen, so for him to be out here and skate, it was great. I'm sure for him mentally it feels good, but for us as friends, it's really good to see. ... I guess this was kind of his return back to the scene and to the public. He didn't play [in Da Beauty League] last year."
Okposo didn't meet with media after the game.
"I've seen him a lot this summer and he seems to be doing well, which is good, and it was good to see him back out there," added defenseman Casey Nelson, who played 11 games with the Sabres last season.
A number of notable NHLers are listed on the league rosters. Other Sabres players/prospects include Zach Bogosian, Hudson Fasching, Casey Mittelstadt and Adam Wilcox.
Da Beauty League was formed in 2015 by local businesses looking to bring professional hockey to Minnesota year-round. Similar to the Fattey Hockey League in Buffalo, the teams are made up of NHL, AHL and college hockey players.
Games in Da Beauty League are four-on-four with goalies and feature two 30-minute periods. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales and merchandise benefit two charities, the United Heroes League and the Shine a Ligh7 Foundation.
🚨 Here is #DaBeautyLeague Week 2️⃣ Lineup Card!
— DaBeautyLeague (@DaBeautyLeague) July 19, 2017