Nathan Paetsch began his career in Rochester. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Former Sabre Nathan Paetsch at home with Amerks

ROCHESTER – The second phase of former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Nathan Paetsch’s career has been rewarding, even a bit unlikely.

Five years ago, Paetsch transitioned into a veteran role helping develop Detroit Red Wings prospects. He won two Calder Cups with the Grand Rapids Griffins, playing a vital role well into his 30s, an advanced age for the AHL.

Now, Paetsch has come full circle. Fourteen years after starting his career in Rochester as a ... Read the full article

C.J. Smith has 27 points in his first 26 AHL games. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect C.J. Smith piling up points with Amerks

ROCHESTER – It’s early, just 26 tilts into a 76-game season. Still, Buffalo Sabres prospect C.J. Smith hasn’t let up yet, compiling nine goals and a gaudy 27 points to start his AHL career.

So keep an eye on Smith, an undrafted winger the Sabres signed out of UMass Lowell late last season. The Americans’ leading scorer is on a 25-goal, 79-point pace over a full season.

How rare is a campaign like that?... Read the full article

Hudson Fasching rebounded in Rochester after a weak training camp. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Hudson Fasching wants to showcase heavy style

PITTSBURGH – Instead of battling for an NHL roster spot during training camp, Sabres prospect Hudson Fasching started slowly before Buffalo demoted him early.

As a rookie last season, Fasching’s strong camp forced the Sabres to keep him. This year, however, the winger never really contended for a spot.

“It wasn’t the camp that I wanted,” Fasching said Saturday prior to his NHL season debut, a 5-1 loss to the Penguins inside PPG Paints Arena. ... Read the full article

The Sabres hired Jason Botterill in May. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Despite struggles, GM Jason Botterill confident Sabres on right path

BUFFALO – Barely one-quarter into Jason Botterill’s first season as general manager, the Sabres are a mess, tied for the NHL’s lowest point total with a measly 16.

A team expected to improve and showcase an exciting style under new coach Phil Housley has regressed and averaged a league-low 2.2 goals through its first 25 games. Slick center Jack Eichel, who signed an $80 million contract extension in October, has struggled along with many ... Read the full article

The Sabres are in no rush to promote Brendan Guhle. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres prospect Brendan Guhle paying dues with Amerks

ROCHESTER – The Buffalo Sabres have a plan for Brendan Guhle.

That’s why one-quarter into another miserable season, their top prospect is still developing in the AHL. That’s why after a stunning rash of injuries – the Sabres, incredibly, are 12 defensemen down the depth chart – the slick Guhle is playing big minutes in Rochester, not Buffalo.

The Sabres’ new regime wants Guhle, 20, to pay his dues with the Americans.... Read the full article

Kyle Criscuolo signed a two-year contract July 1. ©2017, Michline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres look to Kyle Criscuolo for spark

BUFFALO – Center Kyle Criscuolo left a pretty good gig to join the Sabres.

The undrafted Harvard product enjoyed a terrific rookie season in 2016-17, scoring 17 goals in the AHL and winning a Calder Cup with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Leaving the Detroit Red Wings organization to sign a two-year, two-way contract with the Sabres on July 1 “was really tough,” he said.... Read the full article

Casey Nelson (34) skates away from Pittsburgh's Patric Hornqvist on March 21. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres notes: Casey Nelson recalled with Taylor Fedun injured

BUFFALO – After suffering a lower-body injury, Sabres defenseman Taylor Fedun stayed on the bench for the rest of Tuesday’s 5-4 overtime loss in Pittsburgh.

“He was trying to work through it,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said Thursday. “He wanted to be a part of the team. It’s good to see him try to gut it out for a little bit.”

Fedun’s injury is so bad it will sideline him six to eight weeks, Housley ... Read the full article

Kyle Criscuolo went undrafted. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres’ Kyle Criscuolo thrilled to earn first NHL recall

BUFFALO – Center Kyle Criscuolo left a pretty good gig to join the Sabres.

The undrafted Harvard product enjoyed a terrific rookie season in 2016-17, scoring 17 goals in the AHL and winning a Calder Cup with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Leaving the Detroit Red Wings organization to sign a two-year contract with the Sabres on July 1 “was really tough,” he said.... Read the full article

Nick Baptiste played his first 14 NHL games last season. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Confident Nick Baptiste ready to crack Sabres for good

BUFFALO – Nick Baptiste sounds different this year, more confident in his abilities. The high-scoring winger talks openly about making the Sabres out of training camp.

A breakout AHL season can do that. So can earning your first 14 NHL games.... Read the full article

The Sabres invited Colin Blackwell to rookie camp. ©2017, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Harvard graduate Colin Blackwell impressing Sabres

BUFFALO – As a Harvard graduate, Sabres prospect Colin Blackwell hears it all the time.

“Especially when you don’t have a job come Sept. 1,” the center said Saturday prior to registering an assist in the Sabres’ entertaining 7-4 win against the Boston Bruins in the Prospects Challenge.

Blackwell, 24, is often encouraged to look for work outside of hockey. He studied government and physiology at the prestigious university.... Read the full article