Jiri Kulich led Rochester in goals again in 2023-24. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Rochester Amerks’ Jiri Kulich named to AHL’s Top Prospects Team again

For the second straight season, Rochester Americans center Jiri Kulich has earned a spot on the AHL’s Top Prospects Team.

Kulich, the 28th overall pick by the Buffalo Sabres in 2022, enjoyed another terrific season in the minors, scoring a team-best 27 goals and 45 points in 57 games. He scored nine times in his final 11 regular-season outings following a long slump. He also represented the Amerks in the AHL All-Star Classic.

The ... Read the full article

Ryan Schmelzer has played six seasons in the AHL. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

New contract with Devils gives extra life to Ryan Schmelzer’s NHL dream

At first, Ryan Schmelzer thought he misheard Dan MacKinnon. Two weeks earlier, when he had asked the New Jersey Devils for an NHL contract, the team seemed intent on offering him another two-year AHL deal to captain the Utica Comets.

So in April, when Schmelzer, 30, sat down for his end-of-season chat with MacKinnon, Utica’s general manager, and Kevin Dineen, his coach, he hardly expected to hear the Devils would award him his first two-way ... Read the full article

Vsevolod Komarov skates during development camp in 2022. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres to hold 2024 development camp for prospects next month

The Buffalo Sabres will hold a summer development camp for prospects from July 1 to 4 at LECOM Harborcenter, the team announced Wednesday.

The on-ice sessions are free and open to the public.

A camp roster will be announced at a later date.... Read the full article

Jerry Forton joined Buffalo in 2013. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres name Jerry Forton to assistant GM, Chris Bergeron scout

The Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday promoted Jerry Forton to assistant general manager and named Chris Bergeron an amateur free agent scout.

Forton spent the last four seasons as Buffalo’s director of amateur scouting, helping the Sabres draft 35 players, including seven in the first round. He joined the organization in 2013 as an assistant coach. After one year in that role, he transitioned into scouting.

He has also served as an amateur scout, assistant director ... Read the full article

Mike Leone played for four current or former NHL coaches. ©2024, Dan Hickling, USHL

Jon Cooper, other NHL coaches helped Rochester Amerks’ Mike Leone grow: ‘People I lean on’

Mike Leone said he considers himself to be probably the luckiest guy in hockey.

The new Rochester Americans coach retired from playing at 28, never rising above the ECHL. But at each level of hockey during his days as a forward – junior, college and pro – he learned from someone who had been an NHL coach or would become one.

As a teenager with the Texarkana and St. Louis Bandits, Leone played for future ... Read the full article

Artyom Levshunov goes through fitness testing Saturday at the NHL Scouting Combine in LECOM Harborcenter. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

NHL Draft: Rochester Amerks coach Michael Leone made impact on prospect Artyom Levshunov

BUFFALO – Two years ago, Artyom Levshunov arrived in the United States speaking little English. Today, the defenseman can comfortably hold court in front of a throng of reporters and cameras, joking and showcasing his personality.

At the NHL Scouting Combine, the affable Levshunov, 18, smoothly fielded questions, explaining his hockey journey from Belarus to the NHL Draft, where he could be selected as high as second overall June 28.

New Rochester Americans coach Mike ... Read the full article

Macklin Celebrini talks Friday at the NHL Scouting Combine in LECOM Harborcenter. ©2024, Micheline Velvuolu

NHL Draft: Macklin Celebrini staying in moment, not thinking about Sharks

BUFFALO – College hockey is a man’s game. Sure, there are plenty of teenagers, but of the 64 NCAA Division 1 teams, just one, Boston College, had an average age under 21, according to College Hockey News.

By any standard, Macklin Celebrini, the presumptive first overall pick by the San Jose Sharks at the NHL Draft on June 28, enjoyed a dynamic freshman season in 2023-24.

The ultra-talented center scored 32 goals and 64 ... Read the full article

Michael Leone replaces Seth Appert as Rochester’s coach. ©2024, Dan Hickling, USHL

Sabres hire Michael Leone as Rochester Amerks’ new coach

The Buffalo Sabres have hired another coach from junior hockey to be the Rochester Americans’ bench boss.

The Sabres on Thursday named Michael Leone, who spent the last two seasons as the general manager and coach of the United States Hockey League’s Green Bay Gamblers, as head coach of their AHL affiliate.

The 36-year-old replaces Seth Appert, who earned a promotion to Lindy Ruff’s staff in Buffalo last month following four seasons with the Amerks.... Read the full article

Buffalo drafted Mats Lindgren in the fourth round in 2022. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres won’t sign Mats Lindgren, two other prospects

The Buffalo Sabres won’t sign three draft picks, including defenseman Mats Lindgren, a fourth-round selection in 2022, to contracts before Saturday’s deadline, the team confirmed.

The Buffalo News first reported the Sabres will relinquish the rights to Lindgren, defenseman Albert Lyckasen and center Jakub Konecny. The Sabres selected Lyckasen and Konecny in the seventh round in 2020, general manager Kevyn Adams’ first draft.... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens scored nine goals for Team Canada. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

After difficult season, Sabres’ Dylan Cozens stars for Team Canada

Nine goals scored in 10 outings, two more than any player in the World Championship. A six-game goal streak. An overtime winner. A gaudy 30 percent shooting percentage.

While Sabres center Dylan Cozens fell short of earning a medal in the tournament – Team Canada finished fourth, losing Sunday’s bronze medal game 4-2 to Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and Team Sweden – he ended his season on a high note.

Cozens struggled with the Sabres ... Read the full article