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

The Sabres acquired Brandon Montour last season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres believe they possess depth to handle Brandon Montour’s injury

BUFFALO – The good news for the Sabres is defenseman Brandon Montour’s hand injury probably won’t sideline him too long.

While Montour will miss the rest of the preseason, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said he should be ready “pretty soon” after the season opener Oct. 3.

The Sabres, who began training camp down three defensemen, could ill afford to lose another one, especially a point-producer capable of eating up minutes.

Then Montour, 25, left Tuesday’s ... 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

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

Rasmus Ristolainen sounds like a guy who wants a change of scenery. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen back in Buffalo, but for how long?

BUFFALO – Rasmus Ristolainen rarely says much. On a good day, if you see the Sabres defenseman, he might answer a question by offering a couple vanilla sentences.

So if Ristolainen talks to the media today after training camp opens, we probably won’t learn much about his conversations with the Sabres over the summer or how he spent the last five months.

Does Ristolainen, 24, feel like he needs a change of scenery? Did he ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens underwent thumb surgery in July. ©2019, Erica Perreaux, Lethbridge Hurricanes

Top Sabres pick Dylan Cozens could miss Prospects Challenge

BUFFALO – Top Sabres draft pick Dylan Cozens, who underwent surgery on his left thumb in early July, isn’t listed on the 25-man roster for the Prospects Challenge rookie tournament the Sabres are hosting next week at Harborcenter.

The center prospect injured his thumb in development camp, just days after the Sabres selected him seventh overall June 21.

After Cozens, 18, had surgery, the Sabres said he would need two to three months to ... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju won two gold medals last season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Henri Jokiharju impressed Sabres GM Jason Botterill before up-close look

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Jason Botterill knew of Henri Jokiharju’s talents before he watched the defenseman up close during Team Finland’s run to a gold medal at the World Championship in the spring.

So even if Botterill hadn’t run Team Canada’s entry in Slovakia, the Sabres still might’ve dished winger Alexander Nylander to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Jokiharju on July 9.

“It certainly helps things out to see a player play on ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen compiled an NHL-worst minus-41 rating last season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres want to put Rasmus Ristolainen in ‘positions to have success’

BUFFALO – General manager Jason Botterill said he wasn’t surprised or disappointed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen indicated in a Finnish interview last week he has asked the Sabres to be traded.

“There’s always stories coming out when players go back and … there’s stories from other organizations coming out of Finland and stuff, too,” Botterill said during Saturday’s Sabres Fan Fest inside KeyBank Center, an event that celebrated the team’s 50th anniversary season. “So those are ... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju spent 2017-18 with the Portland Winterhawks. ©2019, Hickling Images

Henri Jokiharju believes joining Sabres ‘a great opportunity’

BUFFALO – In January, defenseman Henri Jokiharju earned a gold medal at the World Junior Championship on a Finnish squad that featured Sabres prospects Oskari Laaksonen and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.

Jokiharju grew up with Laaksonen, another defenseman, in Tampere, and is one of his best friends. Jokiharju and Luukkonen, a youngster tabbed as Buffalo’s goalie of the future, played together with Team Finland at tournaments as teenagers.

After World Juniors, Jokiharju, 20, probably figured he ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander spent three seasons in the Sabres organization. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Trading Alexander Nylander was inevitable for Sabres

BUFFALO – Following another underwhelming season, it felt like only a matter of time before the Sabres cut their losses and traded winger Alexander Nylander.

Through three years as a pro, Nylander, the eighth overall pick by the Sabres’ old regime in 2016, has mostly been a bust.

Sure, the Swede has occasionally showcased his slick skills. Still, he hasn’t consistently displayed the tenacity to match them.

Nylander, 21, couldn’t develop into a dominant ... Read the full article