Buffalo drafted Marcus Davidsson 37th overall. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres don’t give 2017 second-round pick Marcus Davidsson contract

The Buffalo Sabres did not give 2017 second-round pick Marcus Davidsson an entry-level contract by today’s 5 p.m. deadline, making the center a free agent.

The Sabres selected Davidsson 37th overall in ex-general manager Jason Botterill’s first draft, 17 picks before they took goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who played his first four NHL games in April.

Davidsson is the only player from the Sabres’ 2017 draft class they did not sign. Their other selections ... Read the full article

Jacob Bryson believes Buffalo played better than Thursday’s 5-2 loss indicates. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres started winning, showcased rapid improvement in April

A month ago, the Buffalo Sabres were in the midst of an embarrassing 18-game winless skid, so finishing April with a 6-8-2 record illustrates their rapid improvement in barely four weeks.

Remember, the Sabres had trouble scoring a single goal most games in February and March. Now, they’ve morphed into a team capable of beating any of their heavyweight East Division opponents.

Of course, they’re not exactly a playoff-caliber team yet. But they’re clearly getting ... Read the full article

Sam Reinhart scored his team-leading 21st goal Sunday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres settle down after awful start, avert blowout against Rangers

Don Granato likes to joke that he talks about offense much more than defense. But the interim Buffalo Sabres coach, of course, stresses the less glamorous side of hockey.

“Even though I don’t speak of defense a lot, it’s a cornerstone,” Granato said on a Zoom call following Sunday’s 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. “I’ve joked around a little bit I don’t say it, but don’t underestimate how important ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (pictured) will back up Dustin Tokarski again tonight. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to start Friday; Sabres to make lineup change

Top Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will start his first NHL game Friday against the Boston Bruins, coach Don Granato said this morning.

Dustin Tokarski will play tonight versus the Bruins at KeyBank Center, giving Luukkonen, 22, another opportunity to watch a game from the bench as a backup.

The Finn dressed for his first NHL contest Tuesday, a 2-0 loss to the Bruins.

“It’s better for UPL to see one more night,” Granato ... Read the full article

Mattias Samuelsson was recalled Sunday. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect Mattias Samuelsson looks impressive in NHL debut

BUFFALO – A month ago, recalling defenseman Mattias Samuelsson and giving one of their top prospects a taste of the NHL wasn’t an option for the Sabres.

They were in the midst of their marathon 18-game winless skid, and the defense corps, like every aspect of the team, was struggling. They couldn’t expose a rookie to that environment.

But the defense has been thriving under interim coach Don Granato and interim assistant Dan Girardi, ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson made his NHL debut in 2017-18. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Tage Thompson excited brother Tyce will make NHL debut against Sabres

Tyce Thompson said he was speechless. Not only will the New Jersey Devils forward be making his NHL debut tonight, he gets to do it against his brother, Tage, a Buffalo Sabres winger.

“It’s the best way you could draw up a debut,” Tyce Thompson said on a Zoom call prior to tonight’s game. “To be able to play against my brother just makes it that much more special.”

Tyce Thompson, 21, signed his ... Read the full article

Jacob Bryson has quickly established himself as a trusted defenseman. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jacob Bryson becoming trusted defenseman beside Rasmus Ristolainen

BUFFALO – On the left side of the Sabres’ top defense tandem, there’s the diminutive Jacob Bryson, a speedy rookie who has quickly entrenched himself in the lineup.

On the right, there’s 6-foot-4, 221-pound Rasmus Ristolainen, a hulking, physical veteran who’s six inches taller and 32 pounds heavier than his partner.

In Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, Bryson and Ristolainen enjoyed their best night together, each recording two assists and a plus-4 ... Read the full article

Brandon Montour tries to escape Philadelphia’s Michael Raffl in Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Don Granato overworks players; Buffalo plans to add prospects

BUFFALO – Instead of letting the Sabres rest and recover in the midst of their grueling schedule, interim coach Don Granato said he has “overworked” his players.

“We’re trying to push them harder to develop harder,” Granato said on a Zoom call prior to Wednesday’s 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center. “We know we have to get better. The focus has to be on that. And we have to trust that wins ... Read the full article

Jacob Bryson missed Monday’s game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Jacob Bryson set to return; Dylan Cozens’ status uncertain

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Jacob Bryson practiced today and will likely play in Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers, interim coach Don Granato said.

Bryson, 23, missed Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Flyers recovering from an undisclosed injury. The rookie stumbled and fell into Bruins star David Pastrnak’s lower body late in Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 loss to Boston.

“He’s looking toward a go,” Granato said on a Zoom call following this afternoon’s practice inside ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson has often been a healthy scratch this season. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Tage Thompson could thrive under interim coach Don Granato

BUFFALO – After morphing from a first-liner into a healthy scratch earlier this season, Tage Thompson could enjoy regular duty under interim coach Don Granato.

Thompson needs consistent action to buoy his development. The 6-foot-7, 219-pound winger has played only 17 NHL games in a more than two-year stretch.

Monday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Philadelphia Flyers at KeyBank Center was the Sabres’ 18th straight defeat. They have nothing to lose by playing him.

“It’s ... Read the full article