Jiri Kulich warms up before Friday’s Prospects Challenge game. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

In Vaclav Prospal, Jiri Kulich has special mentor as he fights to make Sabres

BUFFALO – When Vaclav “Vinny” Prospal learned Sabres prospect Jiri Kulich trains in his hometown in Czechia during the summer, he headed to the local rink in Ceske Budejovice to introduce himself.

Prospal, one of the Rochester Americans’ new assistant coaches, ran into some of his former teammates, so he invited Kulich to his house for lunch to chat.

Having coached against Kulich and followed hockey closely, Prospal knew about the youngster’s lethal shot – ... Read the full article

Matt Savoie played two games with Rochester during the Calder Cup Playoffs. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect Matt Savoie poised to stick in Buffalo: ‘That’s my goal’

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Matt Savoie paused for a moment and collected his thoughts before he answered the question.

Savoie, 19, has established himself as a dominant junior star over the past two seasons, scoring 92 goals and a whopping 226 points in 156 total games, including the playoffs.

Clearly, the center’s ready for pro hockey. But the Canadian Hockey League’s agreement with the NHL prohibits him from playing in the AHL this season. He ... Read the full article

Jiri Kulich spent all of last season in Rochester. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres’ 2023 Prospects Challenge roster features five first-round picks

Five first-round picks, including forwards Jiri Kulich and Matt Savoie, are among the 25 youngsters listed on the Buffalo Sabres’ roster for the upcoming Prospects Challenge rookie tournament.

Kulich and Savoie, two of the Sabres’ three first-round selections in 2022, are expected to compete for NHL spots during training camp.

The roster, released Tuesday, also features three other first-round picks: wingers Zach Benson and Isak Rosen and defenseman Ryan Johnson.... Read the full article

Zach Benson has enjoyed a terrific preseason. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Watch: Sabres prospect Zach Benson scores hat trick

A day ago, we showed you Zach Benson’s sizzling preseason goal for the Wenatchee Wild.

What did the slick Buffalo Sabres prospect do for an encore Sunday? Well, he scored three times, including the overtime winner, in Wenatchee’s 4-3 exhibition victory over the Everett Silvertips.

Check out the winger’s hat trick below.

... Read the full article

Zach Benson will be front and center at the Prospects Challenge. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Watch: Sabres prospect Zach Benson scores highlight-reel goal

Later this week, all eyes will be on Buffalo Sabres prospect Zach Benson at the Prospects Challenge at LECOM Harborcenter.

Benson, 18, will likely earn first- or second-line duty during the rookie tournament games and a long look from the Sabres during training camp.

On Saturday, the winger showcased the dynamic skills that made him the 13th overall pick this year. Check out the electrifying goal he scored in the Wenatchee Wild’s first home preseason ... Read the full article

Zach Benson skates during development camp earlier this month. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres sign prospect Zach Benson to entry-level contract

The Buffalo Sabres on Friday signed winger Zach Benson, the 13th overall pick this year, to a three-year, entry-level contract.

He’s the second prospect from the Sabres’ 2023 draft class to ink his deal, joining forward Anton Wahlberg, the 39th selection.

The contract has a $950,000 average salary cap hit – an $855,000 base salary and a $95,000 signing bonus – according to capfriendly.com.

Benson, 18, enjoyed a dynamic junior campaign with the ... Read the full article

Buffalo drafted Zach Benson 13th overall Wednesday. ©2023

Zach Benson, Sabres’ other NHL Draft picks to attend development camp

First-round pick Zach Benson and the Buffalo Sabres’ seven other selections at the NHL Draft this week will be attending the team’s development camp that starts Sunday at LECOM Harborcenter.

The roster released today features 19 forwards, 11 defensemen and five goalies.

Winger Victor Neuchev and defenseman Nikita Novikov, Russian prospects who recently signed their entry-level contracts, will be participating. It’s the first time they’ve attended a camp in Buffalo.... Read the full article

A smiling Zach Benson talks to the media Wednesday. ©2023

NHL Draft: In Zach Benson, Sabres add aggressive, dynamic junior star

NASHVILLE – Winger Zach Benson had been a Buffalo Sabres prospect for about 20 minutes, but as a sat there smiling wearing a No. 23 blue jersey in Bridgestone Arena, he already seemed comfortable in his new organization.

Benson, the 13th overall pick at Wednesday’s NHL Draft, formed half of a lethal duo with Sabres center prospect Matt Savoie last season, combining for a whopping 74 goals goals and 193 points. As a 15-year-old Western ... Read the full article

Zach Benson played with Buffalo prospect Matt Savoie in Winnipeg. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

NHL Draft: Sabres select Zach Benson 13th overall

NASHVILLE – The Buffalo Sabres tonight selected Winnipeg Ice winger Zach Benson at the NHL Draft.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Benson scored 36 goals and 98 points in 60 games last season while forming a dynamic duo with Sabres center prospect Matt Savoie. Benson added seven goals and 17 points in 15 Western Hockey League playoff outings.

Benson, 18, has compiled 71 goals and 181 points in 142 career WHL outings over three seasons.... Read the full article