Dylan Cozens spent last season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. ©2019, Erica Perreaux, Lethbridge Hurricanes

Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens suffers thumb injury

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens left this morning’s development camp three-on-three tournament with a thumb injury after defenseman Brandon Hickey hip-checked him at the blue line.

After Cozens got up from the ice, he removed his left glove and examined his thumb, which was bent awkwardly. He then skated off the ice.

Update: Cozens said he’s “not concerned” about his thumb, which isn’t broken.

“It’s good,” he said. “I saw the videos and stuff. ... Read the full article

Erik Portillo has some gaudy equipment. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres goalie prospect Erik Portillo stands out on ice

BUFFALO – You can’t miss Erik Portillo on the ice. In addition to being one of three Sabres prospects listed at 6-foot-6 on the roster, the Swede sports the gaudiest equipment of any of the six goalies in development camp.

European teams love plastering advertising everywhere, and Portillo’s Frölunda gear features plenty. Even the back of his pants have two McDonald’s logos.

But fans attending this morning’s three-on-three tournament, the conclusion of the four-day camp ... Read the full article

Brandon Hickey received limited action last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Brandon Hickey learned from tough rookie season with Amerks

BUFFALO – Brandon Hickey attended his first development camp way back in 2014, so he knows what to expect this week at the Sabres’ annual summer prospect gathering.

This is the defenseman’s sixth camp with his third team.

“Two conferences, three time zones,” Hickey, 23, said of his travels from Calgary to Arizona to Buffalo.

While six players are older than him, Hickey’s long hair and beard make him look like the camp’s grizzled veteran.... 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

Chris Taylor plans to soak up knowledge from the Sabres' new coaching staff. ©2019, Hickling Images

Chris Taylor happy with Amerks, likes Sabres’ hire of Ralph Krueger

BUFFALO – To many observers, Rochester Americans coach Chris Taylor possesses the talent to run an NHL bench someday.

Not only have the Amerks enjoyed two successful seasons under the affable Taylor, players seem to love playing for him.

Not surprisingly, Taylor’s name came up during the Sabres’ search for Phil Housley’s replacement. Taylor, of course, has close ties to general manager Jason Botterill, his friend and former teammate.... Read the full article

Sabres fans could get a look at defense prospect Oskari Laaksonen later this month. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres to hold development camp June 26 to 29

BUFFALO – The Sabres will hold their annual summer development camp for prospects from June 26 to 29 at Harborcenter, the team announced today.

The on-ice sessions for the first three days of camp are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Camp ends on June 29 with the French Connection Tournament, an intra-squad three-on-three challenge.... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander received a late-season recall from the Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Summer ‘critical’ for Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander

BUFFALO – Shortly after the Sabres introduced first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin to the local media Monday, prospect Alexander Nylander emerged from the locker room clad in workout pants and a hoody and hopped on an escalator inside KeyBank Center.

Nylander, 20, was bound for HarborCenter, where he has been skating during a summer so significant it could decide his future.

“Probably the most important offseason of training in his young life, really,” Sabres assistant ... Read the full article

Victor Antipin played 47 games with the Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Victor Antipin let go after one season

BUFFALO – The Sabres did not tender a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Victor Antipin by Monday’s deadline, making the Russian defenseman a free agent.

Antipin, 25, signed a one-year contract last year following a strong season in the KHL. In 47 games as a rookie in 2017-18, Antipin compiled 10 assists.

“We were really impressed with him,” Sabres general manager Jason Botterill said Monday inside KeyBank Center. “I know things didn’t go maybe ... Read the full article

Constant losing has worn Ryan O'Reilly out. ©2018, Hickling Images

Anything could happen as GM Jason Botterill tries to overhaul Sabres

BUFFALO – Right now, save for young centers Jack Eichel and Casey Mittelstadt, anyone is probably available from the Sabres if you meet their asking price.

So for a puck-moving defenseman and a speedy winger capable of scoring 20 goals, perhaps you can pry center Ryan O’Reilly away at the NHL Draft later this week in Dallas or in the near future.... Read the full article

Rasmus Asplund left junior hockey almost two years ago. ©2016, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Pro experience helped Sabres prospect Rasmus Asplund develop

BUFFALO – Almost two years ago, in the midst of a high-scoring junior season, Rasmus Asplund’s success forced the Sabres prospect to “start from scratch,” he said.

Asplund had already scored 25 points in 19 games when Färjestad BK, a team in the Swedish Hockey League, the country’s highest pro circuit, recalled the center.

That meant Asplund, then just 16 years old, would start competing against men.

“It’s a different type of game when you ... Read the full article