Linus Ullmark grew up playing Nintendo. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

The story behind Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark’s Bowser mask

BUFFALO – Despite being born in 1993, Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark grew up playing Nintendo and Super Nintendo, classic video game consoles from an earlier generation.

“I’ve been playing that kind of stuff for a way, way long time, since I was like 5,” Ullmark said last week following a development camp session inside the First Niagara Center.

Ullmark likes the “Super Mario Bros.” games so much he asked his mask designer, David Gunnarsson, ... Read the full article

Zemgus Girgensons spent all last season with the Sabres. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Plenty of intriguing Sabres prospects participating in development camp

BUFFALO – Some experts are already predicting the Sabres, a team three months removed from the worst NHL season in recent memory, will be legitimate Stanley Cup contenders in a few years.

Why? Their prospect pool might be the deepest in hockey.

Seven first-round picks are participating in the team’s development camp this week. Seven of the 41 prospects played in the NHL last season, including center Zemgus Girgensons, who spent the entire campaign ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has worn a white mask at times during his career. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Check out Sabres prospect Linus Ullmark’s Bowser mask

As you can see from the photo above, Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Linus Ullmark sported a vanilla look during the team’s development camp last summer.

At times throughout his career, Ullmark has worn just a plain white mask. The 20-year-old Swede has a creative side, however. Check out the Bowser (from Super Mario Bros.) mask he just commissioned artist David Gunnarsson to paint.

Ullmark’s a big Nintendo fan, according to Gunnarsson. The youngster plans to ... Read the full article

Logan Nelson had 23 goals in 2013-14. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres don’t sign draft pick Logan Nelson

BUFFALO – Unless there’s a late announcement coming, the Sabres didn’t sign forward Logan Nelson before today’s deadline to ink 2012 non-collegiate draft choices.

The Sabres signed all the junior and European players from that class, including goalie Linus Ullmark and defenseman Brady Austin, two prospects picked after they selected Nelson in the fifth round, 133rd overall.

Nelson had 23 goals and 54 points in 59 games with the Western Hockey League’s Victoria ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark enjoyed a terrific season in Sweden. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres sign goalie prospect Linus Ullmark to 3-year, entry-level deal

BUFFALO – The Sabres have signed goalie Linus Ullmark to a three-year, entry-level contract, the club announced today.

Ullmark, the 163rd overall pick in 2012, will play one more season in his native Sweden, according to The contract will begin whenever Ullmark starts his North American career.

The 20-year-old is coming off a season in which he posted a 2.08 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in 35 games for MODO in ... Read the full article

Kevin Devine spends most of his time working on the NHL Entry Draft. ©2012, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

More on Sabres’ final draft picks

PITTSBURGH – More on the Buffalo Sabres’ final five picks Saturday during the 2012 NHL Entry Draft:

Justin Kea, center, Sagina Spirit, Ontario Hockey League, third round, 73rd overall

Despite only three goals and 11 points in 65 games to go with his 76 penalty minutes, amateur scouting director Kevin Devine believes Kea has strong upside.

“If you look at his stats, they’re not very good,” he said. “Halfway through the season they fired ... Read the full article

The Sabres moved up to take Zemgus Girgensons 14th overall. ©2012, Jim Naprstek, Dubuque Fighting Saints

Sabres leave draft excited about early picks

PITTSBURGH – A blockbuster trade for established talent never materialized. Instead, the Buffalo Sabres dished two high choices to Calgary early, grabbed their second coveted center during a wild first round and kept on picking.

They selected six players in the final six rounds Saturday, the NHL Entry Draft’s second and final day – three centers, two defensemen and one goalie – and left the Consol Energy feeling good about their eight total choices.

The ... Read the full article