Best wishes to RJ

Archive:
Lieuwen

Linus Ullmark will play one more season in his native Sweden. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
2

BUFFALO – It was a low-risk move. In 2012, the Sabres wanted to find a late-round steal in net. The team’s new European scouts scoured Finland and Sweden, two countries known for producing hidden goaltending gems.

Eventually, the Sabres drafted Linus Ullmark, a little-known Swede, in the sixth round, 163rd overall.

Barely two years later, Ullmark has developed into a legitimate NHL prospect. The 20-year-old enjoyed a breakout season in the Swedish Hockey League last year, compiling a gaudy .931 save percentage …

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Sean Malone (gold) has played well since the Sabres drafted him. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – As a sixth-round pick, center Sean Malone faces some long odds to crack the NHL someday. But the West Seneca native has been developing rapidly since the Sabres selected him 159th overall in 2013.

The 19-year-old earned Ivy League Co-Rookie of the Year honors last season. He’ll be participating in Team USA’s world junior camp next month in Lake Placid.

In the Dan Hickling photo above, Malone nearly scores on goalie Nathan Lieuwen in close during Friday’s three-on-three development camp …

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Rasmus Ristolainen (right) battles Brendan Lemieux during Tuesday's scrimmage. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – While other Sabres prospects have packed on weight this summer, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has “lost a couple pounds.”

“Fat, not any muscles,” the 19-year-old Finn said following Tuesday’s development camp scrimmage inside the First Niagara Center.

The 6-foot-4, 207-pound Ristolainen showcased some muscle early in the contest, hitting top prospect Sam Reinhart.

“I don’t watch who I’m hitting,” Ristolainen said. “If I get a chance, I hit. That’s all.”

Later on, Ristolainen and agitating winger Brendan Lemieux jawed at the end of …

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Jordan Samuels-Thomas was drafted by Atlanta. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – As a seventh-round pick, Jordan Samuels-Thomas faced some long odds to earn an NHL contract. But the 6-foot-4, 220-pound winger possesses size, a precious commodity in today’s game.

The Sabres have made it no secret they covet “heavy,” hard-to-play-against talent for their rebuild. So they shipped a 2015 seventh-rounder to the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday for Samuels-Thomas’ rights.

They signed the Connecticut native to a one-year, two-way contract Saturday.

“I was excited about a new opportunity with an organization that’s really …

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Joel Armia hasn't played in a regular-season NHL game yet. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
3

Since most NHL Entry Drafts don’t start paying dividends for a few years, here’s a look at the Buffalo Sabres’ first-round picks from 2006-11 and some notable hits and misses. Fourteen of Buffalo’s 43 draft choices over that time have made the NHL.

The Sabres have eight picks this weekend in Philadelphia, including the No. 2 selection.

2011

First-round pick: center Joel Armia, 16th overall

Armia endured a rough season in 2013-14, his first in North America. The 21-year-old broke his hand during an …

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Tyler Myers missed the last 10 games. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Tyler Myers’ season isn’t over yet. The Sabres defenseman said the broken ribs that sidelined him the final 10 games have mostly healed. The 24-year-old will likely accept an invitation to play for Team Canada at next month’s world championship.

Myers crashed into the net March 25 in Montreal. He didn’t reveal his injury until Monday.

“It’s coming along quite well,” Myers said as the Sabres cleaned out their lockers and held end-of-season meetings inside the First Niagara Center. “I …

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Tyler Myers chats with reporters this morning. ©2014, Margaret Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Here are some quick updates on several of the injured Sabres. With the season finally over, most players will tell you exactly what happened to them.

– Defenseman Tyler Myers said he broke a couple of ribs when he crashed into the net March 25 in Montreal.

“It’s coming along quite well,” Myers said this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “I had a week of hope after it happened. It turned out we found a couple of broken ribs. …

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Connor Knapp made 22 saves Sunday. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
1

BUFFALO – On March 15, more than 4,000 miles from Buffalo, Sabres goalie Connor Knapp stopped 24 shots in the Alaska Aces’ 4-2 win against the Colorado Eagles in Anchorage.

Twenty-nine days later, Knapp, the sixth goalie on the organization’s depth chart, made his first NHL start in the Sabres’ 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Islanders.

Knapp grew up in York, a small town about 30 miles from Rochester.

“It’s crazy,” the 23-year-old told a throng of cameras and reporters after …

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Connor Knapp would become the NHL-record ninth goalie to dress for the Sabres this season. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – With goalie Andrey Makarov sent back to Rochester to help the Americans secure a playoff spot, the Sabres recalled Connor Knapp today.

If Knapp backs up Matt Hackett on Saturday in Boston, the Sabres would set an NHL record by dressing their ninth goalie this season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

They’ve recently lost goalies Jhonas Enroth, Nathan Lieuwen and Michal Neuvirth to injuries and also traded Ryan Miller and Jaroslav Halak. Ryan Vinz, a team employee, also dressed …

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Tim Murray has been talking with NHL officials. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald
Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald
0

BUFFALO – Sabres general manager Tim Murray recently asked coach Ted Nolan to tell him everything that was happening.

Why?

“Because we’re going to complain about it,” Murray told Nolan.

The Sabres are angry the NHL only suspended Flyers agitator Zac Rinaldo four games for elbowing defenseman Chad Ruhwedel in the head late in Sunday’s 5-2 loss in Philadelphia.

Ruhwedel is home recovering from a concussion and out indefinitely. Rinaldo, meanwhile, can play again next week.

Nolan said Murray “has probably made a number of …

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