There had been speculation Buffalo would expose Rasmus Ristolainen to Seattle. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

NHL releases Sabres’ protected list for Expansion Draft

Sorry, Ron Francis, you won’t get a chance to snatch Rasmus Ristolainen for your Seattle Kraken defense corps. The Buffalo Sabres protected the Finn for Wednesday’s NHL Expansion Draft.

But if Francis, Seattle’s general manager, wants to grab a defenseman from the Sabres, he can take Will Borgen or Colin Miller, both of whom were left unprotected.

The Sabres’ 11-man protected list the NHL released Sunday morning features zero surprises. There had been speculation the ... Read the full article

Will Borgen played 10 games for Buffalo last season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres could lose valuable young player to Kraken in NHL Expansion Draft

Since the Buffalo Sabres drafted Will Borgen 92nd overall in 2015, he has morphed from a relatively unknown prospect into a defenseman on the cusp of regular NHL duty.

The Sabres have guided Borgen’s development from his college career at St. Cloud State through his early pro days with the Rochester Americans to the big leagues.

Prior to breaking his forearm last season, Borgen, 24, appeared to be close to securing a spot on Buffalo’s ... Read the full article

Jeff Skinner has struggled over the past two seasons. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jeff Skinner waives no-movement clause for Expansion Draft

Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner has waived his no-movement clause for the upcoming NHL Expansion Draft, his agent, Don Meehan, confirmed to the Times Herald on Wednesday.

Skinner’s decision is significant. The Sabres can use his spot to protect a young forward – perhaps Rasmus Asplund, Anders Bjork or Tage Thompson – who could’ve been exposed to the Seattle Kraken next Wednesday.

Skinner, 29, has struggled since signing an eight-year, $72 million contract ... Read the full article

Anders Bjork has played 13 games with Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Anders Bjork feeling comfortable with Sabres, earns promotion to top line

BUFFALO – In a 14-minute stretch Tuesday, Sabres newcomer Anders Bjork erased the New York Islanders’ lead, scoring two goals.

First, Bjork redirected defenseman Colin Miller’s point shot past Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin late in the second period. Then Bjork scored from the right circle 10:56 into the third period, tying a game the Sabres would win 4-3 in a shootout.

What do both goals have in common? Bjork, 24, created them by tenaciously ... Read the full article

Michael Houser stops a shot in Tuesday’s win. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Michael Houser stands out again, helps Sabres win shootout

BUFFALO – Hours before Michael Houser’s second NHL start, interim Sabres coach Don Granato said he wasn’t concerned about his goalie becoming fatigued.

Coaches, of course, rarely use the same goalie on back-to-back nights. The position is simply too taxing.

But Granato, having lost his other goalies, needed Houser again Tuesday, a night after his big league debut. It was also his first game at any level in nearly 14 months.

Granato was confident ... Read the full article

Drake Caggiulla has started finding a groove in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Drake Caggiula excited for opportunity with Sabres, moving up lineup

Having played for four teams in three seasons, Buffalo Sabres winger Drake Caggiula understands how fleeting opportunities can be in the NHL.

Caggiula, a prized college free agent in 2016, has bounced around since the Edmonton Oilers traded him in December 2018, playing for the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes before the Sabres claimed him off waivers April 9.

The North Dakota product lasted only 27 games with the Coyotes after signing a one-year contract.... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens has two career NHL fights. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens wants to use fights as tool to ignite own game

Over the past couple of games, Buffalo Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens said he has been battling the puck and unable to find any rhythm.

So when an opportunity materialized late in Tuesday’s 3-1 road loss to the New York Rangers to stick up for a teammate and fight Kevin Rooney after he boarded Drake Caggiula, Cozens pounced on it.

“The hit didn’t look too good and I wasn’t too happy with my own play ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen has quickly earned regular duty in Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Arttu Ruotsalainen scoring, earning keep in NHL

When Don Granato arrived in Buffalo as an assistant in 2019, the idea of someday coaching a relatively unknown Sabres prospect named Arttu Ruotsalainen intrigued him.

Granato, now Buffalo’s interim coach, only watched Ruotsalainen, 23, up close for a few weeks in training camp. The Finn’s contract stipulated he had to return to Ilves, his Liiga team, if he did not make the Sabres last season.

Still, Granato’s brief time around the 5-foot-9, 185-pound ... Read the full article

Buffalo’s Victor Olofsson and Boston’s Jeremy Lauzon battle Thursday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ awful power play costs them in loss to Bruins: ‘It’s frustrating’

BUFFALO – At least the Sabres have started drawing penalties. At various times over the past two months, simply getting a man advantage was an accomplishment.

In Thursday’s 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins, the Sabres enjoyed five power plays. In Tuesday’s 2-0 setback to the Bruins, they had six.

The Sabres have consistently moved their feet and played aggressively to force the Bruins into taking infractions.

They just can’t convert their opportunities. They’re zero ... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens has moved back to center, his natural position. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres rookie Dylan Cozens showcasing offense, emerging as special talent

BUFFALO – Sabres rookie center Dylan Cozens has quickly reached another phase of his development, adding slick playmaking to his repertoire.

Since Cozens, 20, returned from an upper-body injury Sunday, he has recorded four assists, two more than he compiled in his first 25 games.

Thursday’s 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals was arguably Cozens’ best NHL outing. The Yukon native registered two primary assists, creating goals for wingers Sam Reinhart and Anders Bjork.... Read the full article