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

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

Matej Pekar loves to be an agitater. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Matej Pekar thrilled to earn spot in NHL exhibition game

BUFFALO – Matej Pekar acknowledged he had been thinking about this opportunity. Sure, it’s just an NHL preseason game. But for the Sabres prospect, tonight’s exhibition represents another small milestone.

“It’s happening,” Pekar said after he prepared for the Sabres’ road contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets, his preseason NHL debut. “I just have to be ready for it.”

While Pekar, 19, is probably a longshot to crack the Sabres, his mix of skill and ... Read the full article

The Sabres drafted Dylan Cozens on June 21. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres sign top pick Dylan Cozens to entry-level contract

BUFFALO – The Sabres have signed top draft pick Dylan Cozens to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced today.

Cozens could miss rookie camp or training camp in September after undergoing successful surgery on his left thumb earlier this month.

The center, according to the Sabres, needs two to three months to recover.

The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Cozens hurt his thumb when defenseman Brandon Hickey hip-checked him during a development camp tournament.... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens was hurt Saturday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Dylan Cozens undergoes thumb surgery, could miss training camp

BUFFALO – Top Sabres draft pick Dylan Cozens underwent successful surgery on his left thumb earlier this week and needs two to three months to recover, the team announced this afternoon.

That means Cozens, the seventh overall pick last month, could miss rookie camp or training camp in September.

Cozens hurt his thumb when defenseman Brandon Hickey hip-checked him during Saturday’s development camp three-on-three tournament inside Harborcenter.... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens was drafted seventh overall last month. ©2019, Erica Perreaux, Lethbridge Hurricanes

Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens to have procedure on thumb

BUFFALO – Top Sabres draft pick Dylan Cozens will undergo a procedure Wednesday on the thumb he injured during development camp, the team announced today.

The Sabres will provide an estimated recovery time later this week.

Cozens, the seventh overall selection last month, hurt his left thumb when defenseman Brandon Hickey hip-checked him during Saturday’s three-on-three tournament inside Harborcenter.

After Cozens, 18, got up from the ice, he removed his glove and examined his thumb, ... Read the full article

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

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

Kurt Gosselin has earned regular duty since arriving. ©2019, Hickling Images

College free agent Kurt Gosselin impressing Amerks

ROCHESTER – Since the Americans’ defense corps goes 11 deep, coach Chris Taylor has plenty of options at his disposal.

So among his five defense scratches for Sunday afternoon’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Toronto Marlies were NHL veteran Nathan Paetsch, a two-time Calder Cup champion; prospect Jack Dougherty, who compiled a plus-15 rating this season; and prospect Brandon Hickey, who earned a coveted spot on Team Canada’s 2016 World Junior Championship squad.

Meanwhile, rookie ... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian has a lower-body injury. ©2018, Hickling Images

Zach Bogosian, Johan Larsson still possibility for Sabres’ season opener

BUFFALO – This morning, three days before the Sabres open the season, 23 healthy players practiced inside KeyBank Center.

So, could that be their 23-man roster for Thursday’s opener here against the Boston Bruins? The roster must be finalized by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“It’s too early to tell,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said. “There’s a lot of moving parts right now.”... Read the full article