Jerry Forton ran his first NHL Draft as Buffalo’s director of amateur scouting. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Why did Sabres suddenly focus on Russians during NHL Draft?

BUFFALO – You had to go back five years and 34 picks to find the last time the Sabres drafted a Russian.

Before they selected winger Prokhor Poltapov 33rd overall Saturday, they hadn’t drafted a Russian since winger Vasily Glotov in the seventh round in 2016.

Poltapov’s selection was harbinger. The Sabres used three straight picks on Russians and took four overall Saturday.

Later in the second round, the Sabres drafted winger Aleksandr Kisakov with ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel hasn’t played since March 7. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Kevyn Adams would have ‘no problem’ if Jack Eichel starts season on Sabres

BUFFALO – As expected, general manager Kevyn Adams began overhauling the Sabres around the NHL Draft, trading center Sam Reinhart and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. For now, disgruntled captain Jack Eichel is still on the team.

Eichel, of course, is expected to be dealt this summer. But what if a trade doesn’t materialize? Dealing him is extremely complicated. The ultra-talented center has a herniated disc in his neck, five years left on his contract and ... Read the full article

The Sabres have nine picks today. ©2021, NHL

2021 Sabres NHL Draft tracker: Buffalo selects Prokhor Poltapov

BUFFALO – The Sabres drafted Russian winger Prokhor Poltapov with the first pick of the second round, 33rd overall, this morning at the NHL Draft.

The 5-foot-11, 174-pound Poltapov, 18, recorded 25 goals and 52 points in 61 games last season with Krasnaya Armiya Moskva, a junior team in the MHL. Poltapov also registered two goals and seven points in seven contests for Team Russia at the World Under-18 Hockey Championship.

He also played one ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart was the second overall pick in 2014. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Kevyn Adams won’t confirm reports Sabres traded Sam Reinhart

BUFFALO – After trading Rasmus Ristolainen and making the first and 14th overall selections at the NHL Draft on Friday, general manager Kevyn Adams apparently wasn’t done overhauling the Sabres.

Late Friday, shortly after the first round ended, the Sabres dealt center Sam Reinhart to the Florida Panthers, pending a trade call, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun also reported Reinhart was being moved. The return was unclear.

But when Adams walked ... Read the full article

Owen Power talks to the media Friday. ©2021

Owen Power thrilled to be drafted by Sabres: ‘I was kind of hoping’

BUFFALO – On Friday night, 60 family members and friends gathered in the backyard at Owen Power’s aunt’s house in Burlington, Ontario, to celebrate and support the 18-year-old.

Since the Sabres won the draft lottery seven weeks ago, it was assumed they would select Power first overall at Friday’s NHL Draft.

Still, Power, a Michigan defenseman, said he did not know the Sabres would take him until general manager Kevyn Adams announced the pick from ... Read the full article

Ramsus Ristolainen has never played an NHL playoff game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Ex-Sabre Rasmus Ristolainen welcomes fresh start after trade to Flyers

BUFFALO – In defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen’s first eight seasons, the Sabres morphed into the NHL’s laughingstock, finishing dead last four times and winning barely one-third of their games.

The constant losing and turmoil – Ristolainen played for a whopping six coaches and four general mangers, stunning numbers that illustrate the Sabres’ futility – wore on him. The straight-shooting Finn often voiced his frustration.

On Friday afternoon, hours before the Sabres picked Michigan defenseman Owen Power... Read the full article

Isak Rosen played pro and junior hockey last season. ©2021, NHL

Sabres select Swedish winger Isak Rosen 14th overall at NHL Draft

BUFFALO – The Sabres selected Swedish winger Isak Rosen 14th overall tonight at the NHL Draft.

The 5-foot-11, 156-pound Rosen, 18, ranked eighth on NHL Central Scouting’s final list of 2021 European skaters.

Rosen spent the 2020-21 season with Leksands IF in the Swedish Hockey League and their junior team, registering zero goals and one assist in 22 games with the big club and seven goals and 12 points in 12 contests in junior.... Read the full article

Owen Power might return to Michigan for another year. ©2021, Michigan Photography, TNS

Sabres select Michigan’s Owen Power first overall at NHL Draft

BUFFALO – As expected, the Sabres selected Michigan defenseman Owen Power first overall tonight at the NHL Draft.

Power, 18, ranked first on NHL Central Scouting’s final list of 2021 North American skaters.

The 6-foot-6, 213-pound Power, who has drawn comparisons to Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, has said he is leaning toward returning to Michigan for his sophomore year.

Stay tuned for more updates. Power will be addressing the media via Zoom. The ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen played eight years in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres trade Rasmus Ristolainen, get huge return from Flyers

Rasmus Ristolainen’s eight-year career with the Buffalo Sabres is over.

The Sabres this afternoon traded the Finnish defenseman to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for the 14th overall pick in tonight’s NHL Draft, a 2023 second-round selection and defenseman Robert Hagg.

Ristolainen, 26, has just one year left on his contract. He often voiced his frustration with the constant losing he has endured over his NHL career. Following last season, he said he was open ... Read the full article

Buffalo general manager Kevyn Adams (center) talks to reporters Thursday beside associate GM Jason Karmanos in KeyBank Center. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

As offseason ramps up for NHL Draft, Sabres could start making trades

BUFFALO – Just after 8 tonight, the Sabres will add a potentially franchise-changing talent in defenseman Owen Power, winger William Eklund or one of the other special NHL Draft prospects available to be picked first overall.

But right now, the draft, a virtual event that starts with the first round tonight, almost feels secondary. The Sabres have hit a critical juncture during an offseason in which they could trade captain Jack Eichel, their ... Read the full article