Linus Ullmark was a sixth-round pick in 2012. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ inability to find steals in NHL Draft contributed to demise

BUFFALO – Nine years ago, the Sabres, whose knack for unearthing mid- and late-round draft gems helped them morph into a Stanley Cup contender earlier in the decade, found another undervalued youngster.

When the Sabres selected Marcus Foligno in the fourth round, 104th overall, he was simply a talented kid with a familiar name.

But the son of former Sabres captain Mike Foligno would quickly develop into one of junior hockey’s top forward prospects.... Read the full article

Jack Drury learned Buffalo has found memories of his uncle, Chris Drury. ©2018, Hickling Images

NHL Draft prospect Jack Drury wants to carve own career path

BUFFALO – In the hockey world, the Drury name holds weight, so having those five letters stitched on the back of your jersey can be a blessing as well as a burden for a youngster like Jack Drury.

Drury’s uncle, Chris, is a legend in these parts. In his three seasons here, the former co-captain nearly led the Sabres to the Stanley Cup final twice, cementing his reputation for clutch play. The center also won ... Read the full article

Ty Deallandrea enjoyed a strong a season in Flint. ©2018, Hickling Images

Flint’s Ty Dellandrea could be available for Sabres with 32nd pick

BUFFALO – A breakout offensive season starring for the lowly Flint Firebirds has helped center Ty Dellandrea emerge as a possible first-round pick in next week’s NHL Draft.

The prospect NHL Central Scouting rated 25th among North American skaters could hear his name called June 22 in Dallas. Or perhaps he will have to wait until the second round begins the next morning. He said he talked to the Sabres, who own the 32nd selection... Read the full article

Liam Kirk drew a crowd at the NHL Scouting Combine. ©2018, Hickling Images

Draft prospect Liam Kirk aiming to become UK’s first NHL player

BUFFALO – Even after Liam Kirk reached the pinnacle of British hockey, earning a spot in his country’s top pro league at just 16 years old, the NHL remained a far-flung dream for the English prodigy.

After all, in the NHL’s long history, zero players who were born and trained in the United Kingdom have played even one game. So while Kirk said he always believed he possessed the talent to make the NHL, he ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill had to run a draft with scouts he barely knows. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill comfortable with scouts for NHL Draft

CHICAGO – When Jason Botterill was named Buffalo Sabres general manager May 11, he entered what he called a “different situation.”

The Sabres also fired amateur scouting director Greg Royce with GM Tim Murray on April 20. Botterill inherited Jeff Crisp, the team’s head amateur scout, and Murray’s old scouts.

So Botterill only had six weeks to prepare for the NHL Draft with Crisp and his new staff, not exactly ideal.... Read the full article

Jason Botterill doesn't want to rush. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill stays patient at NHL Draft

CHICAGO – Forget about the quick fix. The Buffalo Sabres left the NHL Draft festivities with six prospects and nothing else.

As trade activity engulfed the NHL over the past few days, new Sabres general manager Jason Botterill stayed quiet, choosing to take the patient approach.

Botterill, the hockey world learned, will remake the Sabres, a team six years removed from its last playoff appearance, at his own speed. Outside expectations won’t influence the 41-year-old, ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen met with the Sabres at the NHL Scouting Combine. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen sensed interest from Sabres

CHICAGO – When Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen surveys Buffalo’s goaltending depth chart, the 18-year-old Finn sees an opportunity. With Cal Petersen passing on the Sabres, the team wants another strong netminding prospect to fill the void.

So in the second round Saturday, 54th overall, the Sabres selected Luukkonen at the NHL Draft.... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was all smiles this morning. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen excited for opportunity with Sabres

CHICAGO – When Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen surveys Buffalo’s goaltending depth chart, the 18-year-old Finn sees an opportunity. With Cal Petersen passing on the Sabres, the team wants another strong netminding prospect to fill the void.

So in the second round this morning, 54th overall, the Sabres selected Luukkonen at the NHL Draft.... Read the full article

Jason Botterill is running his first draft as Sabres general manager. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Follow along for Sabres NHL Draft updates

CHICAGO – The Sabres drafted Swedish center Marcus Davidsson in the second round, 37th overall, this morning.

The 6-foot, 192-pound Davidsson had five goals and nine points last season with Djurgårdens of the Swedish Hockey League. The 18-year-old also played with Djurgårdens’ under-20 team in 2016-17, scoring six goals and 10 points in nine outings.

Davidsson is NHL Central Scouting’s 12th-ranked European skater.

Update: In the second round, 54th overall, the Sabres have selected Ukko-Pekka ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt smiled a lot Friday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Casey Mittelstadt happy to be Sabres’ top pick

CHICAGO – As the first round of the NHL Draft approached, no one seemed to have any idea how the early portion would play out and where youngsters like new Buffalo Sabres prospect Casey Mittelstadt could be picked.

Sure, it was expected centers Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick would go first and second overall Friday, and they did. But after that, several guys like Mittelstadt were pegged to go anywhere from third or fourth or ... Read the full article