Matej Pekar made a positive impression with the Sabres this month. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres send prospect Matej Pekar back to junior team

BUFFALO – After awarding Matej Pekar an opportunity to play his first NHL exhibition game, the Sabres sent one of their top forward prospects back to the junior Barrie Colts today.

In Tuesday’s 4-1 road loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Pekar registered a team-high four hits, three shots on goal, three blocked shots and a minus-1 rating.

Pekar, 19, recently stood out during the Prospects Challenge rookie tournament, showcasing his mix of skill and ... Read the full article

Matej Pekar loves to be an agitater. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Matej Pekar thrilled to earn spot in NHL exhibition game

BUFFALO – Matej Pekar acknowledged he had been thinking about this opportunity. Sure, it’s just an NHL preseason game. But for the Sabres prospect, tonight’s exhibition represents another small milestone.

“It’s happening,” Pekar said after he prepared for the Sabres’ road contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets, his preseason NHL debut. “I just have to be ready for it.”

While Pekar, 19, is probably a longshot to crack the Sabres, his mix of skill and ... Read the full article

Anaheim drafted Kyle Olson in 2017. ©2019, Hickling Images

Invite Kyle Olson impressing Sabres at Prospects Challenge

BUFFALO – Sabres forward Kyle Olson started turning heads on his first shift, scoring just 30 seconds into Friday’s Prospects Challenge opener.

The quick goal turned out to be a harbinger for the rookie camp invite.

Olson, 20, has looked impressive throughout the Sabres’ two wins, showcasing his speed, tenacity and versatility.

“He’s smart, he’s skilled, he thinks the game very well, so he’s able to play with skilled players,” Sabres assistant general manager Randy ... 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

Matej Pekar broke his collarbone in January. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres prospect Matej Pekar tenacious presence in return to ice

BUFFALO – Matej Pekar couldn’t stop smiling. After eight months anxiously waiting on the sideline, the Sabres prospect was just hours away from playing a game again.

“It definitely feels like forever,” Pekar said prior to Friday’s 6-4 win over the New Jersey Devils in the Prospects Challenge opener. “I haven’t played a game since January.”

On Jan. 10, the affable Pekar, 19, broke his collarbone with the Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts, ending his ... Read the full article

The Sabres drafted Dylan Cozens seventh overall. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens looks sharp, scores in debut

BUFFALO – Once the puck dropped Friday, Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens never thought about the left thumb he had surgically repaired in July.

“I forgot about it and just went out and played hockey like I always play,” Cozens said after scoring a goal in Friday’s 6-4 win over the New Jersey Devils. “I just put that behind me.”

Cozens, who hurt his thumb during a development camp scrimmage June 29, wasn’t cleared to play ... Read the full article

Matej Pekar always seems to be smiling. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres prospect Matej Pekar ready for first game action in eight months

BUFFALO – Matej Pekar couldn’t stop smiling. After eight months anxiously waiting on the sideline, the Sabres prospect will finally play a game again tonight.

“It definitely feels like forever,” Pekar said this morning after the Sabres prepared for their Prospects Challenge opener against the New Jersey Devils inside Harborcenter. “I haven’t played a game since January.”

On Jan. 10, the affable Pekar, 19, broke his collarbone with the Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts, ending ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens injured his thumb in development camp. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens close to playing: ‘I’m feeling good right now’

BUFFALO – Instead of wearing a red jersey this afternoon, Sabres prospect Dylan Cozens dressed more appropriately for the first rookie camp practice.

Cozens, who underwent surgery on his left thumb in early July, ditched the non-contact threads and sported a yellow jersey, meaning the seventh overall pick could do everything on the ice.

“I think it’s feeling normal right now, just being with the guys again, going out, practicing, being treated like another normal ... Read the full article

Erik Portillo has some gaudy equipment. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres goalie prospect Erik Portillo stands out on ice

BUFFALO – You can’t miss Erik Portillo on the ice. In addition to being one of three Sabres prospects listed at 6-foot-6 on the roster, the Swede sports the gaudiest equipment of any of the six goalies in development camp.

European teams love plastering advertising everywhere, and Portillo’s Frölunda gear features plenty. Even the back of his pants have two McDonald’s logos.

But fans attending this morning’s three-on-three tournament, the conclusion of the four-day camp ... Read the full article

Alexander Nylander has played four NHL games this season. ©2019, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres’ Alexander Nylander believes he can stick in NHL: ‘I’m ready for this’

BUFFALO – Sabres winger Alexander Nylander mentioned it few times during his short chat with the media this afternoon.

“I’m ready for this,” the rookie said following practice inside KeyBank Center.

So far, through four outings, it would be tough to argue with Nylander. The former eighth overall pick has been showcasing his slick skill and looking more comfortable each game beside center Evan Rodrigues and Conor Sheary.... Read the full article