Marcus Johansson has impressed coach Ralph Krueger. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Marcus Johansson honored by earning letter

PITTSBURGH – Marcus Johansson rarely displays much emotion. In good times and bad, the Buffalo Sabres center usually keeps an even keel.

Still, Ralph Krueger could tell being named one of the Sabres’ two alternate captains earlier this week had special meaning to Johansson.

“His Swedish persona (was) able to kind of tuck it away in the talk with me, but I thought he was extremely honored,” Krueger said prior to Thursday’s 3-1, season-opening win ... Read the full article

Casey Fitzgerald turned pro late last season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Casey Fitzgerald showcases speed, fighting skills

BUFFALO – After watching his son, Casey, unleash some wild haymakers Monday afternoon, Tom Fitzgerald congratulated the Sabres prospect on his first pro fight.

“He just said, ‘Good scrap, you didn’t get that from me, you got that from your mother,’” Casey Fitzgerald said of his father, who played 1,097 NHL games. “I got a good laugh from that. It was good to see him after, have him here.”

Tom Fitzgerald fought just seven times ... Read the full article

The Sabres drafted Brett Murray in the fourth round in 2016. ©2019, Hickling Images

Prospect Brett Murray’s commitment to conditioning impresses Sabres

BUFFALO – Not long ago, the Sabres made a deal with Brett Murray, a prospect whose commitment to conditioning wasn’t up to pro standards.

“What we told him was, ‘Look, you have to make the commitment. If you make a commitment and we see it in development camp, we’ll bring you to the rookie tournament,’” Sabres assistant general manager Randy Sexton said prior to Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins inside Harborcenter.

The ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens underwent thumb surgery in July. ©2019, Erica Perreaux, Lethbridge Hurricanes

Top Sabres pick Dylan Cozens could miss Prospects Challenge

BUFFALO – Top Sabres draft pick Dylan Cozens, who underwent surgery on his left thumb in early July, isn’t listed on the 25-man roster for the Prospects Challenge rookie tournament the Sabres are hosting next week at Harborcenter.

The center prospect injured his thumb in development camp, just days after the Sabres selected him seventh overall June 21.

After Cozens, 18, had surgery, the Sabres said he would need two to three months to ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander spent three seasons in the Sabres organization. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Trading Alexander Nylander was inevitable for Sabres

BUFFALO – Following another underwhelming season, it felt like only a matter of time before the Sabres cut their losses and traded winger Alexander Nylander.

Through three years as a pro, Nylander, the eighth overall pick by the Sabres’ old regime in 2016, has mostly been a bust.

Sure, the Swede has occasionally showcased his slick skills. Still, he hasn’t consistently displayed the tenacity to match them.

Nylander, 21, couldn’t develop into a dominant ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson was a seventh-round pick in 2014. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Victor Olofsson earns spot beside Jack Eichel

BUFFALO – By late October, as Sabres prospect Victor Olofsson closed a stellar month in which he scored five goals and 15 points, a recall to the NHL felt inevitable.

But instead of summoning Olofsson, 23, from the Rochester Americans right away, the Sabres left the slick Swedish winger in the AHL for almost six months.

The 5-foot-11, 181-pound Olofsson, meanwhile, kept scoring and acclimating to North American hockey, cementing his spot among the Sabres’ ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander recently caught fire in Rochester. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander ready to seize chance in NHL

BUFFALO – On Feb. 27, Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander played his 13th straight game without scoring a goal. At that point, nearly five months into his third AHL campaign, the chances of the slick winger earning a recall looked slim.

Nylander, 21, enjoyed a strong training camp this season, nearly forcing the Sabres to keep him. The Swede parlayed that into a terrific start with the Rochester Americans, scoring six goals and 17 points ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart will be a restricted free agent again in two years. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres’ Sam Reinhart ends holdout, signs team-friendly bridge deal

BUFFALO – Given the premium paid for scoring, the two-year, $7.3 million contract winger Sam Reinhart signed Wednesday, ending his short holdout, could be a bargain for the Sabres.

Reinhart’s torrid second half last season – following an awful start, he recorded 18 goals and 37 points in the final 38 contests – signaled he might be ready to crack the 30-goal or 70-point marks.

If Reinhart, 22, hits or even approaches those numbers, his ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart scored a career-high 25 goals last season. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres re-sign Sam Reinhart to two-year, $7.3 million contract

BUFFALO – Sam Reinhart’s holdout is over. The Sabres have re-signed the winger to a two-year, $7.3 million contract, the team announced late this morning.

Reinhart, 22, was the team’s last unsigned restricted free agent and missed the first five days of training camp.

Reinhart will receive $3.55 million this season and $3.75 million in 2019-20, according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun. He will be an RFA again after the contract expires.

A bridge deal ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander received a late-season recall from the Sabres. ©2018, Hickling Images

Summer ‘critical’ for Sabres prospect Alexander Nylander

BUFFALO – Shortly after the Sabres introduced first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin to the local media Monday, prospect Alexander Nylander emerged from the locker room clad in workout pants and a hoody and hopped on an escalator inside KeyBank Center.

Nylander, 20, was bound for HarborCenter, where he has been skating during a summer so significant it could decide his future.

“Probably the most important offseason of training in his young life, really,” Sabres assistant ... Read the full article