Dylan Cozens needed stitches today. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Prospect Dylan Cozens still with Sabres, but for how long?

BUFFALO – If Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens returns to the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the coming days, he can show his junior teammates a souvenir from the NHL.

“He took a little bit of a stick today in the lips, so he’s got a first badge of honor here coming up,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said this afternoon. “But he took it well, bounced right back into practice and got a little stitched up after practice.”... Read the full article

C.J. Smith is an AHL star. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres reassign 15 players, including Arttu Ruotsalainen, C.J. Smith

BUFFALO – The Sabres made their first significant roster cuts of training camp this morning, reassigning 15 players, most notably center Arttu Ruotsalainen and winger C.J. Smith.

The Sabres sent Ruotsalainen, 21, back to Ilves, a Finnish team in Liiga. Meanwhile, Smith, 24, must clear waivers before he can go to the Rochester Americans.

The Sabres also sent the following players to the Amerks, their AHL affiliate: forwards Eric Cornel, Sean Malone, Andrew Oglevie, ... Read the full article

Conor Sheary endured long goal droughts last season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Conor Sheary knows consistency must improve to help Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Conor Sheary certainly showcased flashes of his scoring prowess last season.

On Nov. 18, Sheary scored in his third straight game, his sixth goal in just his 16th outing with the Sabres.

Then suddenly, Sheary, 27, went cold.

The speedy UMass product endured a 16-game goal drought. After scoring an empty-netter Dec. 22, he experienced an 11-game dry spell.

On. Jan 29, Sheary finally scored past a goalie again.... Read the full article

Matej Pekar loves to be an agitater. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Matej Pekar thrilled to earn spot in NHL exhibition game

BUFFALO – Matej Pekar acknowledged he had been thinking about this opportunity. Sure, it’s just an NHL preseason game. But for the Sabres prospect, tonight’s exhibition represents another small milestone.

“It’s happening,” Pekar said after he prepared for the Sabres’ road contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets, his preseason NHL debut. “I just have to be ready for it.”

While Pekar, 19, is probably a longshot to crack the Sabres, his mix of skill and ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen enjoyed a breakout season in 2018-19. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres prospect Arttu Ruotsalainen battling to stick in NHL

BUFFALO – The Sabres started calling Arttu Ruotsalainen late last year.

Sometimes assistant general manager Steve Greeley would phone the undrafted center. Other times European scout Teemu Numminen would check in.

“What we liked is were on a player probably before he totally popped,” Greeley said Saturday between sessions of training camp inside KeyBank Center. “I think we might’ve been a little bit ahead of the game, hopefully, in getting him in our organization.”

Over ... Read the full article

Matej Pekar broke his collarbone in January. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres prospect Matej Pekar tenacious presence in return to ice

BUFFALO – Matej Pekar couldn’t stop smiling. After eight months anxiously waiting on the sideline, the Sabres prospect was just hours away from playing a game again.

“It definitely feels like forever,” Pekar said prior to Friday’s 6-4 win over the New Jersey Devils in the Prospects Challenge opener. “I haven’t played a game since January.”

On Jan. 10, the affable Pekar, 19, broke his collarbone with the Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts, ending his ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens underwent thumb surgery in July. ©2019, Erica Perreaux, Lethbridge Hurricanes

Top Sabres pick Dylan Cozens could miss Prospects Challenge

BUFFALO – Top Sabres draft pick Dylan Cozens, who underwent surgery on his left thumb in early July, isn’t listed on the 25-man roster for the Prospects Challenge rookie tournament the Sabres are hosting next week at Harborcenter.

The center prospect injured his thumb in development camp, just days after the Sabres selected him seventh overall June 21.

After Cozens, 18, had surgery, the Sabres said he would need two to three months to ... Read the full article

Oskari Laaksonen won a gold medal in January. ©2019, Hickling Images

Oskari Laaksonen quietly one of Sabres’ best prospects

BUFFALO – Barely two years ago, unless you had spent time scouring the Finnish junior leagues for draft talent, the name Oskari Laaksonen wasn’t familiar to you.

NHL Central Scouting and other notable services didn’t even rank the Finnish defenseman. Googling his name would return some stats, that’s about it.

So when the Sabres grabbed Laaksonen 89th overall at the NHL Draft in 2017, going way off the board in the third round, the selection ... Read the full article

Sean Malone played only 38 games last season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres notes: Sean Malone signs AHL contract with Amerks

BUFFALO – Center Sean Malone’s 2018-19 season started ominously. After some impressive performances early in his second NHL training camp, the West Seneca native injured his knee in the Sabres’ preseason opener.

So instead of competing for a spot on the big club, Malone, 24, didn’t play his first game until Nov. 7 with the Rochester Americans.

Injuries limited Malone to only 38 appearances during a frustrating campaign. The Harvard product never seemed to ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen led Ilves in points in 2018-19. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres sign Finnish standout Arttu Ruotsalainen to entry-level contract

For the third straight spring, the Buffalo Sabres have signed a standout European player to fill a need.

This morning, the Sabres officially announced Finnish center Arttu Ruotsalainen has inked a three-year, entry-level contract.

The 5-foot-8, 179-pound Ruotsalainen, 21, spent the last four seasons playing at home in SM-liiga. In 2018-19, he scored 21 goals and a team-high 42 points in 59 games for Ilves. His goal total ranked ninth in the league.

The Sabres, ... Read the full article