Rasmus Dahlin is the surefire top selection. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres have chance at No. 1 overall pick in NHL Draft Lottery

TORONTO – The Buffalo Sabres will have one of the top three picks in the upcoming NHL Draft.

Thanks to their last-place finish, the Sabres have the highest odds – just 18.5 percent – for the first overall pick in tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery.

When the league announced the 15th through fourth picks before the San Jose Sharks/Vegas Golden Knights second-round playoff tilt, the Sabres weren’t among them. They couldn’t have fallen past the fourth ... Read the full article

The Sabres might get an opportunity to draft Brady Tkachuk. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Odds are Sabres won’t get top pick in NHL Draft Lottery

TORONTO – If the Sabres lose tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery – given they have just an 18.5 percent chance at the No. 1 pick, defenseman Rasmus Dahlin likely won’t be coming to Buffalo – the consolation prize won’t be a talent as special as center Jack Eichel.

Three years ago, after a season of not-so-subtle tanking garnered the Sabres the highest odds at the top selection, they dropped to second in the lottery.... Read the full article

Zach Bogosian played only 18 games last season. ©2018, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Zach Bogosian on injuries: ‘I’ve had a tough go’

BUFFALO – Since Zach Bogosian joined the Sabres on Feb. 11, 2015, the defenseman has missed a whopping 114 games – 42 percent of his team’s outings – to injuries.

This season, Bogosian’s 10th in the NHL, was supposed to be his breakout campaign. If anyone could unlock his potential, it would be new Sabres coach Phil Housley, right?

Well, Housley, a Hall of Fame defenseman, never really had an opportunity. Bogosian played only ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel spoke like a leader last week. ©2018, Hickling Images

Youngster Jack Eichel could be Sabres’ captain next season

BUFFALO – When the Sabres chose to rotate four alternates this season instead of awarding the prestigious ‘C’ to a single player, they likely started center Jack Eichel’s ascension to the captaincy.

The Sabres, of course, couldn’t name Eichel their captain last October. He was entering just his third NHL season and still prone to bouts of immaturity. He had never worn a letter, either.

So they let him sport an ‘A’ with veterans Zach ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark stops a wraparound attempt by Arizona's Brad Richardson on Wednesday. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres showcase little effort in loss to Coyotes, draw ire of Phil Housley

BUFFALO – It will be three years ago next week – March 26, 2015, the 74th game in the second tank season – hometown fans did the unthinkable and cheered against the Sabres.

It could be argued that night, a 4-3 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes, ranks as the nadir of Buffalo sports.

Back then, Sabres fans believed losing would eventually lead to winning. That loss to the 29th-ranked Coyotes, another team fielding ... Read the full article

Scott Wilson has been skating on a scoring line. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Scott Wilson wants to showcase offense

BUFFALO – A year ago, Sabres winger Scott Wilson compiled eight goals and 26 points in 78 games often skating short minutes on one of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ bottom lines.

The numbers, of course, don’t exactly wow you. But in a low-scoring era, most fourth-liners don’t push 10 goals or 30 points.

So what could the speedy Wilson do if, say, he earned more ice time on a scoring line?

In recent weeks, Sabres coach ... Read the full article

Rasmus Ristolainen missed nine games. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen ready to play against Oilers

BUFFALO – Expect the Sabres to run defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen ragged tonight during his return from an upper-body injury.

“When he says that he’s ready, he’s ready,” coach Phil Housley said this morning after the Sabres prepared for the Edmonton Oilers. “We’re going to play him in all situations like we have in the past. I don’t see anything wrong moving forward.”... Read the full article

Kyle Okposo (21) pushes Minnesota's Jared Spurgeon on Wednesday. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Losing streak leaves Sabres searching for answers

BUFFALO – Kyle Okposo looked glum, like a man searching for answers. The Sabres’ struggles have clearly worn on the winger, who hasn’t showcased his normal scoring prowess all season.

“It’s not very much fun to be at the rink right now, and that’s never a good feeling,” Okposo said Thursday. “We just feel like we’re letting a lot of people down and just have to make some changes. As a group, we have to ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel will be with the Sabres at least nine more years. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres, Jack Eichel complete massive contract extension

BUFFALO – The Sabres and center Jack Eichel finalized the largest contract in franchise history Tuesday night, an eight-year extension worth a whopping $80 million.

The average annual value of $10 million puts Eichel, 20, in line with some of the NHL’s other dynamic young stars.

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, the youngster picked first overall in 2015, one spot ahead of Eichel, signed an eight-year extension worth $12.5 million a season earlier this ... Read the full article

Jack Eichel has one year left in his entry-level deal. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Reports: Sabres, Jack Eichel close to finalizing massive extension

BUFFALO – The Sabres and center Jack Eichel are close to finalizing the largest contract in franchise history, an eight-year extension worth around $80 million, according to multiple reports.

Update: The Sabres have officially announced an eight-year, $80 million extension for Eichel.

Eichel, 20, has one year left on his entry-level deal that is set to pay him $925,000.... Read the full article