Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has played eight games with Rochester this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen excited for first taste of NHL

If injured Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark keeps progressing, he could play this week, perhaps as soon as tonight. So Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s first taste of the NHL might be brief.

Still, spending just a day or two with the Sabres, even on the taxi squad as their third goalie, should be a significant step for Luukkonen’s development.

“The more time a prospect can get around (the NHL), the easier it becomes for them to associate, ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen spent part of last season in Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to join Amerks

Top Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will be joining the Rochester Americans, his Finnish team announced today.

The Sabres loaned Luukkonen, 21, to HC TPS, a Liiga team, in August and had extended the loan agreement throughout the season.

The Amerks, the Sabres’ AHL affiliate, opened training camp Friday. The AHL season is scheduled to start Feb. 5.

In 13 games with HC TPS, Luukkonen compiled a 6-3-4 record with a 2.52 ... Read the full article

The Sabres began sending prospects to Cincinnati in 2017-18.

Reports: Cincinnati Cyclones, Sabres’ ECHL affiliate, to sit out season

The Cincinnati Cyclones, the Buffalo Sabres’ ECHL affiliate, will not play in the 2020-21 season, according to Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek and The Buffalo News’ Lance Lysowski.

The Kalamazoo Wings and Idaho Steelheads will also sit out the season, according to Marek.

The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated minor league teams, which rely on gate revenue to operate.

On Nov. 18, the ECHL’s six-team North Division – the Adirondack Thunder, Brampton Beast, Maine Mariners, Newfoundland Growlers and ... Read the full article

Dustin Tokarski has played for nine AHL teams, including the Hamilton Bulldogs. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres add goalie depth, sign Dustin Tokarski to two-year contract

The Buffalo Sabres added goaltending depth to the organization today, signing Dustin Tokarski to a two-year contract with an average annual value of $725,000.

The veteran, one of the AHL’s most experienced goalies, is likely ticketed for the Rochester Americans, where he can help mentor goalie prospects Jonas Johansson and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.

Tokarski’s arrival means Luukkonen, Buffalo’s top goalie prospect, could spend part of the upcoming season, assuming it can be played, with the ... Read the full article

Tobias Rieder scored three-short handed goals in the playoffs. ©2020, Dan Hickling, Hickling Images

Joining Sabres, Ralph Krueger ‘no-brainer’ for Tobias Rieder

Two years ago, new Buffalo Sabres winger Tobias Rieder pulled a Ville Leino, scoring zero goals in 67 games over a full season with the Edmonton Oilers.

Not surprisingly, teams showed little interest in Rieder following his miserable season. The German ended up settling for a tryout with the Calgary Flames, and he impressed them enough during training camp he earned a one-year contract.

So Rieder, 27, felt a sense of satisfaction when he ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen played 10 games with Rochester last season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres loan prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to Finnish team

The Buffalo Sabres have loaned top goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to HC TPS, a Finnish Elite League team.

The move gives Luukkonen, 21, an opportunity to practice and play while he waits for the 2020-21 North American season to begin. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the AHL to target Dec. 5 as a possible start date instead of October.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Luukkonen shuttled between the AHL and ECHL as a rookie in 2019-20, playing ... Read the full article

Wayne Simmonds hasn’t experienced a win with the Sabres. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Wayne Simmonds doesn’t regret waiving no-trade clause

BUFFALO – Wayne Simmonds doesn’t regret waiving his no-trade clause to join the Sabres two weeks ago.

The Sabres, having crept within six points of a playoff spot, wanted the respected veteran winger to help their push. Meanwhile, Simmonds, an unrestricted free agent following the season, wanted a fresh opportunity after enduring a rough campaign.

So far, the deal – the Sabres sent the New Jersey Devils a conditional fifth-round pick – hasn’t paid many ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has played 33 games this season. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Linus Ullmark Sabres’ best option this season and likely next one

BUFFALO – Expect Linus Ullmark to morph into a workhorse again over the final four weeks this season. If the goalie can stay healthy, he might start 12 or 13 of the reeling Sabres’ 14 remaining games.

Ullmark, who hasn’t played since suffering a lower-body injury Jan. 28, will likely start tonight against the Washington Capitals at KeyBank Center.

Before Ullmark missed 17 games – he backed up Carter Hutton on Saturday – he seized ... Read the full article

Jonas Johansson just played in the AHL All-Star Classic. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

First recall to Sabres special for goalie Jonas Johansson: ‘Just really pumped’

BUFFALO – On Monday, goalie Jonas Johansson represented the Rochester Americans at the AHL All-Star Classic, an honor he received for his breakout season.

After landing Tuesday night in Rochester following a long travel from Ontario, Calif., Amerks coach Chris Taylor called Johansson to relay some special news.

Johansson, 24, had earned his first recall to the Sabres. Having lost Linus Ullmark to a lower-body injury for three to four weeks in Tuesday’s 5-2 home ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen played two games with Rochester. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Amerks send Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to ECHL

The Rochester Americans sent top Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen back to the ECHL today.

Luukkonen, 20, joined the Amerks on Jan. 12 and started two of their three games over the weekend, his first AHL appearances this season.

Amerks general manager Randy Sexton had said Luukkonen’s recall from the Cincinnati Cyclones would likely last a week.... Read the full article