Tyler Ennis is in his first season in Toronto. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Tyler Ennis happy in fourth-line role with Maple Leafs

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

Jason Pominville (29) celebrates his second-period goal with Zemgus Girgensons on Monday. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Jason Pominville’s goal reward for fourth line’s strong play

BUFFALO – In past seasons, the line comprised of center Evan Rodrigues and wingers Zemgus Girgensons and Jason Pominville would’ve been the Sabres’ third or even second combination.

But for the first time in years, the Sabres have legitimate NHL depth, so the trio is actually their fourth line.

Well, in terms of ice time, it’s the fourth line.... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian sat out practice earlier this week. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Zach Bogosian being eased along after hip surgery

BUFFALO – The Sabres have a plan for Zach Bogosian. Instead of throwing the oft-injured defenseman right into the fray, they’re easing him into training camp.

Bogosian, 28, underwent hip surgery last winter and hasn’t played a game Jan. 9. So the Sabres held him out of practice earlier this week before letting him skate on his own.

Bogosian practiced with his teammates again Thursday inside HarborCenter.... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 28 saves Saturday. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen looks sharp in Sabres debut

BUFFALO – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is likely years away from cracking the Sabres.

The goalie prospect is just beginning his North American junior career with the Sudbury Wolves. After that, Luukkonen will probably need years of apprenticeship in the minors.

But Sabres got a glimpse of Luukkonen, a youngster many have tabbed as their goalie of the future, in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in the Prospects Challenge rookie tournament.... Read the full article

Rasmus Dahlin's presence makes the Prospects Challenge an intriguing tournament. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres release Prospects Challenge roster

BUFFALO – Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and center Casey Mittelstadt are among 27 Sabres scheduled to participate in this week’s Prospects Challenge rookie tournament the team will be hosting at HarborCenter.

Some other interesting names on the Sabres’ 27-man roster the team released today include:... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen spent the early part of his career in his native Finland. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to play in OHL next season

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, perhaps the Buffalo Sabres’ goalie of the future, will play junior hockey next season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sudbury Wolves, the Finn announced today on Twitter.

The Wolves selected Luukkonen, 19, third overall in the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft on June 28.... Read the full article

Matej Pekar likes to agitate opponents. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospects Matej Pekar, Casey Mittelstadt battle on ice

BUFFALO – After Matej Pekar hit Casey Mittelstadt in the head during Saturday’s three-on-three development camp tournament, the agitator sensed an opportunity.

“That’s my shot to kind of piss him off, get in his head and try to win the game for the team,” Pekar said after camp ended inside HarborCenter. “I guess it worked out.”

Pekar, the 94th overall pick a week ago, kept going after Mittelstadt, irking the Sabres’ top forward prospect. The ... Read the full article

The Sabres are Brandon Hickey's third NHL organization. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres prospect Brandon Hickey could opt for free agency

BUFFALO – Right away, Brandon Hickey’s former Boston University teammates reached out to him. Jack Eichel, Danny O’Regan and Evan Rodrigues all welcomed the defenseman to the Sabres with text messages.

Hickey, 22, already looks comfortable with the Sabres, who traded winger Hudson Fasching to the Arizona Coyotes for the former third-round pick and forward Mike Sislo on June 14.

“There’s some familiar faces within the locker room there,” Hickey said Thursday. “When I ... Read the full article

Victor Antipin played 47 games with the Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Victor Antipin let go after one season

BUFFALO – The Sabres did not tender a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Victor Antipin by Monday’s deadline, making the Russian defenseman a free agent.

Antipin, 25, signed a one-year contract last year following a strong season in the KHL. In 47 games as a rookie in 2017-18, Antipin compiled 10 assists.

“We were really impressed with him,” Sabres general manager Jason Botterill said Monday inside KeyBank Center. “I know things didn’t go maybe ... Read the full article

The Sabres drafted Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen in the second round in 2017. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres sign goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to entry-level contract

BUFFALO – The Sabres have signed prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, the top-rated European goalie in last year’s NHL Draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced today.

The Sabres picked Luukkonen, 19, in the second round, 54th overall. He spent most of last season at home in Finland playing for Leki, going 11-11-2 with a 2.92 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage for the second-division club.... Read the full article