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

Jason Botterill doesn't want to rush. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres GM Jason Botterill stays patient at NHL Draft

CHICAGO – Forget about the quick fix. The Buffalo Sabres left the NHL Draft festivities with six prospects and nothing else.

As trade activity engulfed the NHL over the past few days, new Sabres general manager Jason Botterill stayed quiet, choosing to take the patient approach.

Botterill, the hockey world learned, will remake the Sabres, a team six years removed from its last playoff appearance, at his own speed. Outside expectations won’t influence the 41-year-old, ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen met with the Sabres at the NHL Scouting Combine. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen sensed interest from Sabres

CHICAGO – When Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen surveys Buffalo’s goaltending depth chart, the 18-year-old Finn sees an opportunity. With Cal Petersen passing on the Sabres, the team wants another strong netminding prospect to fill the void.

So in the second round Saturday, 54th overall, the Sabres selected Luukkonen at the NHL Draft.... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was all smiles this morning. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen excited for opportunity with Sabres

CHICAGO – When Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen surveys Buffalo’s goaltending depth chart, the 18-year-old Finn sees an opportunity. With Cal Petersen passing on the Sabres, the team wants another strong netminding prospect to fill the void.

So in the second round this morning, 54th overall, the Sabres selected Luukkonen at the NHL Draft.... Read the full article

Jason Botterill is running his first draft as Sabres general manager. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Follow along for Sabres NHL Draft updates

CHICAGO – The Sabres drafted Swedish center Marcus Davidsson in the second round, 37th overall, this morning.

The 6-foot, 192-pound Davidsson had five goals and nine points last season with Djurgårdens of the Swedish Hockey League. The 18-year-old also played with Djurgårdens’ under-20 team in 2016-17, scoring six goals and 10 points in nine outings.

Davidsson is NHL Central Scouting’s 12th-ranked European skater.

Update: In the second round, 54th overall, the Sabres have selected Ukko-Pekka ... Read the full article