BUFFALO – The Sabres did not tender a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Victor Antipin by Monday’s deadline, making the Russian defenseman a free agent.
Antipin, 25, signed a one-year contract last year following a strong season in the KHL. In 47 games as a rookie in 2017-18, Antipin compiled 10 assists.
“We were really impressed with him,” Sabres general manager Jason Botterill said Monday inside KeyBank Center. “I know things didn’t go maybe as well as he wanted on the ice, but off the ice, he fit in with our locker room really well. He was a player that came over that struggled with the English language, did all the lessons.”
Botterill said Antipin is looking for other opportunities in North America.
The Sabres also did not tender an offer to winger Scott Wilson, although Botterill said that’s related to arbitration. He said the Sabres want to re-sign Wilson when free agency opens Sunday.
Wilson compiled six goals and 14 points in 48 games last season.
Botterill also said Friday the Sabres wouldn’t tender a new contract to goalie Robin Lehner.
The 2018 development camp roster the Sabres released Monday is filled with the team’s top prospects.
Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, the first overall pick Friday, and the Sabres’ other five 2018 draft picks are scheduled to attend.
The Sabres also invited defenseman Griffin Luce, who’s going to be a junior at the University of Michigan. Luce’s grandfather, Don, is a Sabres Hall of Famer.
Camp begins Wednesday at HarborCenter and runs through Saturday.
Botterill said winger Matt Moulson, who was waived last season and sent to the Ontario Reign, the Los Angeles Kings’ AHL affiliate, won’t return next season.
The Sabres, however, don’t plan to exercise a buyout on the final season of Moulson’s five-year, $25 million contract.
Botterill said he communicated with Moulson on Sunday.
“We’ll work with him just like we did to try to find the best opportunity,” he said.
Botterill said he expects Lawrence Pilut, a defenseman the Sabres signed after a strong season in the Swedish Hockey League, to start his North American career with the Rochester Americans.