Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is in his first pro season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres’ Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen named ECHL goalie of month

Buffalo Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been named ECHL Goaltender of the Month for November after compiling a 6-2-1-0 record with a 1.88 goals-against average, a .925 save percentage and two shutouts with the Cincinnati Cyclones.

After undergoing hip surgery in late April, the Sabres sent Luukkonen, 20, to the Cyclones last month to begin his pro career.

The Sabres drafted the Finn, the Ontario Hockey League’s MVP and top goalie last season, in the ... Read the full article

Devante Stephens played seven games with Rochester. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres trade Devante Stephens to Lightning for Matthew Spencer

The Buffalo Sabres traded Devante Stephens to the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in exchange for Matthew Spencer, a swap of ECHL defensemen.

The Sabres have assigned Spencer, 22, to the Cincinnati Cyclones.

The Lightning drafted the 6-foot-2, 206-pound Spencer in the second round in 2015, 44th overall. He has split his three pro seasons between the AHL Syracuse Crunch and ECHL, compiling five goals and 25 points in 106 total games.

Spencer played two games ... Read the full article

John Gilmour has played four games this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: John Gilmour moves up to forward as injury replacement

BUFFALO – In the end, instead of recalling a forward or trading for one, the Sabres simply utilized defenseman John Gilmour as a winger for Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild.

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger, who has five injured forwards, said Monday the Sabres could dress seven defensemen and 11 forwards.

The other option likely would’ve been recalling someone from the Rochester Americans. The AHL club, however, only has two healthy forwards on NHL ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has started strongly in the ECHL. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen named ECHL goalie of week

Posting two shutouts in two games for the Cincinnati Cyclones helped Buffalo Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen earn ECHL Goaltender of the Week honors, the league announced today.

Luukkonen made 22 saves in a 1-0 win over the Allen Americans on Thursday and stopped 23 shots in a 5-0 victory against the Fort Wayne Komets on Saturday.

Overall, the Finn, 20, has compiled a 3-2-0 record with a 1.79 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has played one pro game. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Top Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen sent to ECHL

The Rochester Americans assigned Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, the Buffalo Sabres’ top goalie prospect, to the Cincinnati Cyclones today.

Luukkonen, who hasn’t played since undergoing hip surgery in late April, will likely start one game for the Sabres’ ECHL affiliate this weekend.

The Cyclones play the Brampton Beast on the road Saturday and Sunday.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Luukkonen is expected to become the Amerks’ No. 1 goalie. Veteran Andrew Hammond and youngster Jonas Johansson have split ... Read the full article

John Gilmour made his season debut Friday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: John Gilmour seizes early chance after waiting 11 games

BUFFALO – John Gilmour had never waited so long to play a game. After appearing in the Sabres’ preseason finale Sept. 27, the defenseman sat out 11 contests before making his season debut Friday.

So Gilmour, the Sabres’ spare defender, patiently waited 28 days for his opportunity to materialize as the blue line remained healthy.

Gilmour, of course, acknowledged being a healthy scratch can be difficult. But he still reveled in the Sabres’ early-season success.... Read the full article

Frank Hora spent last season in the ECHL. ©2019, Hickling Images

Amerks sign Cheektowaga’s Frank Hora to AHL contract

The Rochester Americans have signed defenseman Frank Hora and forward Shaw Boomhower to one-year AHL contracts, the Buffalo Sabres’ affiliate announced today.

Hora, a Cheektowaga native, spent last season with the ECHL’s Reading Royals, compiling two goals, 17 points and 36 penalty minutes in 70 games.

The 6-foot-2, 209-pound Hora, who attended Buffalo’s development camp in 2016, also made one AHL appearance with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.... Read the full article

Scott Wedgewood quietly enjoyed a terrific season in Rochester. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Former Sabres, Amerks have landed new contracts all over

On a Rochester Americans team loaded with scorers and high-end AHL talent, goalie Scott Wedgewood’s exploits often got overshadowed.

But for much of the 2018-19 campaign, Wedgewood was the Amerks’ backbone, tending some of the league’s best goal.

After Christmas, Wedgewood won 16 of his first 21 appearances. Overall, he enjoyed a career season, compiling 28 victories and five shutouts in 48 games.

Still, it was evident Wedgewood, 26, would be moving on. The seven-year ... Read the full article

Kurt Gosselin has earned regular duty since arriving. ©2019, Hickling Images

College free agent Kurt Gosselin impressing Amerks

ROCHESTER – Since the Americans’ defense corps goes 11 deep, coach Chris Taylor has plenty of options at his disposal.

So among his five defense scratches for Sunday afternoon’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Toronto Marlies were NHL veteran Nathan Paetsch, a two-time Calder Cup champion; prospect Jack Dougherty, who compiled a plus-15 rating this season; and prospect Brandon Hickey, who earned a coveted spot on Team Canada’s 2016 World Junior Championship squad.

Meanwhile, rookie ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian sat out practice earlier this week. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Zach Bogosian being eased along after hip surgery

BUFFALO – The Sabres have a plan for Zach Bogosian. Instead of throwing the oft-injured defenseman right into the fray, they’re easing him into training camp.

Bogosian, 28, underwent hip surgery last winter and hasn’t played a game Jan. 9. So the Sabres held him out of practice earlier this week before letting him skate on his own.

Bogosian practiced with his teammates again Thursday inside HarborCenter.... Read the full article