BUFFALO – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is likely years away from cracking the Sabres.
The goalie prospect is just beginning his North American junior career with the Sudbury Wolves. After that, Luukkonen will probably need years of apprenticeship in the minors.
But Sabres got a glimpse of Luukkonen, a youngster many have tabbed as their goalie of the future, in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in the Prospects Challenge rookie tournament.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – On the ice, Sabres defense prospect Will Borgen often looks like a beast, throwing his 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame around and rattling opponents.
Borgen showcased his physicality throughout Friday’s 6-4 win inside noisy HarborCenter, throttling some New Jersey Devils and drawing their ire in the Prospects Challenge opener.
“He really enjoyed it,” coach Chris Taylor said. “Obviously, the fans brought that out for him. They were cheering for him, the big hit.”... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The roar lasted until defenseman Rasmus Dahlin reached the bench to celebrate the first of his two goals with his Sabres teammates.
Fans packed HarborCenter on Friday looking for a show from the first overall pick in his rookie camp exhibition debut.
So when Dahlin rewarded them, scoring his first goal 11:18 into the second period, the capacity crowd kept cheering for the young star.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In a matter of minutes, coach Chris Taylor noticed a different, more mature Alexander Nylander. Instead of taking a backseat, the slick Sabres prospect started his third pro season acting like a leader.
During the first session of rookie camp Thursday, Nylander, 20, showcased his newfound confidence, leading practice drills.
“He’s leading, he’s going to the front of the lines now,” Taylor said inside HarborCenter. “Before he’d go second, third, maybe last ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Chris Taylor understands the excitement surrounding defenseman Rasmus Dahlin’s first appearance in Blue and Gold. Tonight, more than four months after the Sabres won the right to draft the ultra-talented Swede first overall, he will finally play a game.
“So do you guys want me to play Rasmus for 30 or 40 minutes tomorrow?” Taylor joked Thursday after rookie camp opened inside HarborCenter.
There are, you know, 26 other youngsters on the roster ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – Barely two years ago, Hudson Fasching stood out as one of the Buffalo Sabres’ top prospects. Just days after leaving college, the power forward scored minutes into his NHL debut. Months later, he cracked the big club out of training camp.
Fast forward to today, and Fasching, having just sat out two AHL playoff games as a healthy scratch, might have an iffy future with the Sabres.... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – Linus Ullmark struggled to answer the question. The goalie paused for a moment and fought back tears following what could be his last AHL appearance.
Talk to any member of the upstart Americans, and they’ll likely tell you how a great group of guys helped buoy them to their first playoff appearance since 2014.
So when Ullmark, 24, tried talking about what made the team so special following Wednesday’s season-ending 6-3 loss, he ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – With the Americans about to suffer a devastating loss that would drop them into fourth place, coach Chris Taylor tabbed center Colin Blackwell for a crucial offensive zone faceoff.
Blackwell, 25, has been the Amerks’ unsung hero for more than a month, quietly piling up points and morphing into the AHL club’s late-season MVP.
In critical times, Taylor enjoys utilizing Blackwell, a Harvard graduate who had trouble finding work this season.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In three seasons between his stints in the Sabres organization, forward Kevin Porter played 43 NHL games. One year, the former Hobey Baker Award winner stayed in the minors all season. In another one, he played just two contests.
But two years ago, Porter, 32, earned regular duty with the Pittsburgh Penguins, playing 41 contests before an ankle injury ended his season.
While Porter missed the playoffs, he experienced the Stanley Cup run ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For a chunk of the season, Sabres defensemen Brendan Guhle and Casey Nelson formed a strong AHL tandem, showcasing their speed and slick puck-moving skills together.
Then the Sabres recalled Guhle, 20, in early January for two games. A week later, they summoned Nelson, 25, and he quickly earned a regular spot.
So the two hadn’t played together for about two months until Sabres coach Phil Housley reunited them for Monday’s 5-3 win ... Read the full article