Dylan Cozens made a positive impression on the Sabres. ©2019, Erica Perreaux, Lethbridge Hurricanes

Sabres expect prospect Dylan Cozens to compete for NHL spot next year

BUFFALO – During the first week of training camp, top draft pick Dylan Cozens looked tentative on the ice, according to Sabres coach Ralph Krueger.

“He was watching,” Krueger said this afternoon.

Then Cozens, who was sent back to the Lethbridge Hurricanes today, “really grew up” in the second week, Krueger said.

In addition to his skills, Cozens showcased poise few 18-year-olds possess. In Friday’s 3-0 preseason loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, he was ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens was a star last season in Lethbridge. ©2019, Erica Perreaux, Lethbridge Hurricanes

Sabres send Dylan Cozens back to junior after strong training camp

BUFFALO – Following a strong showing in his first NHL training camp, the Sabres sent top draft pick Dylan Cozens back to the Lethbridge Hurricanes this morning.

Cozens, 18, impressed coach Ralph Krueger enough to earn three preseason appearances and last two weeks in camp, longer any junior-age player.

Based on Krueger’s words and the short minutes he played Saturday, it appeared the Yukon native would be returning to the Western Hockey League soon.

After ... Read the full article

Evan Rodrigues (71) battles Boston's Zdeno Chara last season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues confident after showcasing versatility last season

BUFFALO – When Sabres forward Evan Rodrigues began examining some information before his arbitration hearing in late July, he learned something interesting.

“Last year, I started in every single position but first-line left wing,” Rodrigues said Monday inside KeyBank Center. “So that kind of shows that I can play in every position. That just speaks to the belief that I have in myself and the belief that I’m a very valuable NHL player.”

Rodrigues’ versatility ... Read the full article

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

Dylan Cozens has shown some rapid growth during training camp. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Prospect Dylan Cozens earns another look from Sabres

BUFFALO – Before Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens’ impressive effort in Friday’s preseason loss, the coaching staff marked him down as a possibility to play again in tonight’s rematch against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“There was a good chance he was going to play, but he confirmed it yesterday with what he showed us, and we need one more look here,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said this morning inside KeyBank Center.

Cozens, 18, was one ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson joined Rochester late last season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

‘Full-time job’ eating helped Sabres’ Tage Thompson pack on muscle

TORONTO – In the offseason, Buffalo Sabres winger Tage Thompson started what he called a “full-time job.”

“I was eating a lot,” Thompson said prior to Friday’s 3-0 exhibition loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Yes, Thompson, 21, spent much of the spring and summer devouring food.

“I was probably eating five square meals a day with snacks in between,” Thompson said in Buffalo before the Sabres traveled to Scotiabank Arena.

Sound like fun? Well, ... 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

Dylan Cozens could be assigned to junior soon. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens ready for NHL preseason debut

BUFFALO – Coach Ralph Krueger wants center Dylan Cozens to relax during tonight’s preseason opener. Throughout the recent Prospects Challenge rookie tournament, the Sabres’ top pick often tried to do to much.

“He was trying to be a different-maker every time on the ice,” Krueger said after the Sabres prepared for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The seventh overall pick knows he must calm down a little.

“I can’t be out there trying to dangle everyone and ... Read the full article

C.J. Smith played 11 NHL games last season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

AHL star C.J. Smith intent on sticking with Sabres this season

BUFFALO – Only about 10 Sabres forwards have roster spots locked up, meaning in a training camp filled with competition, the best battles might be taking place up front.

Among the players fighting for the four or so remaining slots are journeymen (Jean-Sebastien Dea, for example), NHL veterans (Vladimir Sobotka) and prized prospects (Victor Olofsson).

Then there’s C.J. Smith, an older (he turns 25 on Dec. 1) and often overlooked ... Read the full article