ROCHESTER – Seth Appert’s gut told him rookie Jack Quinn deserved an opportunity to follow C.J. Smith in the shootout.
After starting his pro debut slowly, Quinn, 19, grew comfortable as Thursday’s game progressed. Late in the third period, the Sabres prospect created Steven Fogarty’s tying power-play goal for the Americans.
So when Appert needed a second shooter after Smith scored, he wanted to utilize Quinn, an ultra-talented winger Buffalo drafted eighth overall last year.... Read the full article
On Friday, the Buffalo Sabres will touch the KeyBank Center ice for the first time in 296 days and begin preparing for the most unusual of seasons.
The NHL will be attempting to play during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will likely experience problems – positive tests, postponements or even cancellations – as the schedule unfolds.
But those potential roadblocks can be examined another day. The Sabres’ 10-month break is nearly over. Training camp officially ... Read the full article
Barely an hour after Kevyn Adams acquired center Eric Staal last week, he hadn’t given much thought to having completed his first trade as Buffalo Sabres general manager.
“I’ve been so focused on this process and the work that goes into it,” Adams said Sept. 16 after dishing forward Marcus Johansson to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Staal.
Adams, 45, experienced a whirlwind summer as he began tackling the daunting task of trying to ... Read the full article
The Buffalo Sabres have signed defenseman Oskari Laaksonen to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced this morning.
Laaksonen, 20, spent the last three seasons with Ilves in Liiga in his native Finland, compiling five goals and 40 points in 113 games.
“The work Oskari has put in to improve his game has paid off during his last two seasons,” Sabres general manager Jason Botterill said in a statement. “His success on the international stage ... Read the full article
In what would be the final days of the American Hockey League season, coach Chris Taylor drew confidence from the maturity his Rochester Americans began showcasing.
To Taylor, the Amerks’ response to some rare adversity – they endured losing streaks of seven and four games in the winter – illustrated his players had become equipped to handle the highs and lows of a long, grinding season.
“They weren’t getting as frustrated as you think that ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres started calling Arttu Ruotsalainen late last year.
Sometimes assistant general manager Steve Greeley would phone the undrafted center. Other times European scout Teemu Numminen would check in.
“What we liked is we’re on a player probably before he totally popped,” Greeley said Saturday between sessions of training camp inside KeyBank Center. “I think we might’ve been a little bit ahead of the game, hopefully, in getting him in our organization.”
Over ... Read the full article
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
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
Not much has changed for ex-Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly in St. Louis. The Blues utilize him constantly, relying on him to play big minutes. Just like in Buffalo, the versatile center quickly seized his opportunities, morphing into perhaps his new team’s best player.
And just like in Buffalo, O’Reilly has endured a lot of losing.
The Blues, one of the NHL’s heavyweights for years, just missed the playoffs last season, earning 94 points. When they ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Instead of being relied upon to produce offense, ex-Sabres winger Tyler Ennis is now a fourth-liner.
Sure, Ennis, 29, skates on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ second power-play unit. The former first-round pick even started the season on the No. 1 line beside center Auston Matthews and Patrick Marleau.
But Ennis is no longer the ultra-slick presence from his early days. The concussions he suffered in his final seasons with the Sabres helped stymie ... Read the full article