Aaron Huglen possesses some slick moves. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres believe they selected talented prospects at NHL Draft

VANCOUVER – Among the highlights of new Buffalo Sabres prospect Aaron Huglen on YouTube is a clip of what general manager Jason Botterill called “the Mike Legg goal.”

Last year at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, an under-18 tournament, Huglen pulled off one of hockey’s toughest moves, scoring a goal by quickly lifting the puck and wrapping it into the net.

Legg, Botterill’s teammate at Michigan, made the lacrosse-style goal famous in 1996.

“There’s a wow factor ... Read the full article

Jason Botterill thinks Rasmus Ristolainen can keep developing. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres GM Jason Botterill knows teams will ask about Rasmus Ristolainen

VANCOUVER – Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill knows plenty of teams would like to pry away a 6-foot-4 defenseman capable of gobbling up minutes and producing points like Rasmus Ristolainen.

“We understand there’s going to be inquiries about him,” Botterill said Friday morning, hours before the NHL Draft inside Rogers Arena. “We’re open as an organization to continuing to try to find ways to improve our team. But we realize and we’re very ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner will be 34 when his contract ends. ©2019, Hickling Images

Rewards of Jeff Skinner’s long-term contract outweigh risks for Sabres

Jason Botterill sensed he would be asked a question about 40-goal scorer Jeff Skinner’s new long-term contract, so the Buffalo Sabres general manager decided to answer it himself.

“Probably one of the next questions is going to be about giving an eight-year contract to a 27-year-old,” Botterill said of Skinner’s $72 million deal on a conference call Saturday, a day after awarding the hefty contract. “But there’s always going to be risk sometimes in doing ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart (23) battles in front of Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard on Thursday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres’ youngsters stand out in overtime loss to Red Wings

BUFFALO – Rookie Victor Olofsson heard Jack Eichel calling for the puck, so he quickly spun around along the right boards and adroitly fed the Sabres captain as a zoomed down the slot.

A second later, an uncovered Eichel beat Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, tying the game 15:42 into the third period Thursday.

“I was just trying to get it in there in the middle,” Olofsson said following his NHL debut, a 5-4 ... Read the full article

Goalie Carter Hutton readies for a shot Wednesday. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres goalie Carter Hutton nearly steals show in loss to Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – For two periods, as the Toronto Maple Leafs kept pummeling the Sabres, it was reminiscent of tank-era games from several years back.

The Leafs pumped 11 shots on goal before the 10-minute mark Wednesday. At one point in the opening period, they held a 17-2 shot advantage.

Goalie Carter Hutton, meanwhile, turned away shot after shot, keeping the Sabres in a game they had no business being in.

Heck, thanks to center ... Read the full article

Jason Pominville has scored 15 goals this season. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Jason Pominville odd man out again

BUFFALO – Jason Pominville understands why he is sitting out. Having played 1,052 NHL games, the Sabres know what the veteran winger offers them.

Nine contests remain in a miserable season. The Sabres, who have fallen from first overall to sixth in the Atlantic Division, want to evaluate other players.

So the Sabres scratched Pominville, 36, for the second straight game Wednesday.

“It’s just the situation we’re at,” Pominville said prior to the 4-2 loss ... Read the full article

Casey Nelson has played 26 games this season. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres notes: Casey Nelson returns after one-game benching

BUFFALO – The night after Nikita Zadorov drilled Sabres captain Jack Eichel high after the whistle, Casey Nelson said he couldn’t sleep.

The defenseman said he was looking through three players Saturday afternoon in Colorado and didn’t see Zadorov hit Eichel into the boards and rip off his helmet.

That’s why Nelson glided up to Zadorov and never went after the Avalanche defenseman.

On Thursday morning, Nelson’s tepid reaction was still bothering him.... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner hasn't scored since Feb. 15. ©2019, Janet Schultz

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner battling first slump of season

BUFFALO – Forget about Jeff Skinner scoring 50 times. Thanks to a four-week slump, the Sabres winger might fall short of the 40-goal mark.

Skinner, 26, showcased dynamic consistency over his first 57 outings, never going more than four games without a goal.

After scoring twice on Feb. 15, Skinner was producing at a 52-goal pace over a full season.

But Skinner been stuck on 36 goals for 27 days. The NHL All-Star has a ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner and Edmonton's Connor McDavid (97) battle Monday. ©2019, Hickling Images

Second-period outburst helps Oilers down Sabres

BUFFALO – Late in the second period Monday, barely two minutes after Zack Kassian’s goal ignited the Edmonton Oilers, Sabres winger Jason Pominville committed a rare defensive-zone gaffe.

Pominville sensed a battled coming along the left boards, so he zeroed in on the puck. As he followed the play, he lost track of his man, allowing Darnell Nurse to slip past him from the point into the left circle.

A second later, the Oilers defenseman ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson possesses a lethal shot. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Tage Thompson understands development takes time

TORONTO – Tage Thompson said he views his development as a marathon, not a sprint. Having played only 97 NHL games, the Buffalo Sabres winger understands he’s raw.

“Everyone’s got their own path,” Thompson said prior to Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Maple Leafs. “It’s going to take a little bit of time. You never want to rush into things.”

So Thompson, 21, has embraced the Sabres’ plan for him. While they’ve kept him in ... Read the full article