BUFFALO – Just 41 games into his NHL career, center Dylan Cozens has already become one of the faces of the rebuilding Sabres.
Cozens, 20, ranks among the Sabres’ most popular players and is considered a franchise cornerstone. When the NHL recently held its annually preseason media tour, the Sabres sent him to Chicago to talk to national outlets and film on-ice promos.
The Yukon native, the seventh overall pick in 2019, understands expectations are ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After the Washington Capitals demoted Axel Jonsson-Fjallby earlier this week, he began preparing for his fourth season with the Hershey Bears.
Jonsson-Fjallby, who had to clear waivers to join the AHL team, traveled to Pennsylvania and found an apartment Monday. He and his girlfriend were driving to pick up furniture when he learned the Sabres had claimed him off waivers.
“At first, I couldn’t really believe it,” an excited Jonsson-Fjallby said Tuesday in ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – On the surface, goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s preseason looks disappointing. Instead of forcing the Sabres to keep him, they demoted the Finn to the minors 10 days before opening night.
Luukkonen, 22, compiled a 0-2-0 record in two starts, allowing five goals in each game.
Still, coach Don Granato said Luukkonen, one of seven players the Sabres sent to the Rochester Americans on Tuesday, enjoyed “a great camp.”
“In a progressive way,” Granato ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Tonight’s lineup resembles one the Sabres could use during the regular season. At least 16 of the 20 players will likely be on the opening night roster.
But among all the established talent the Sabres will dress, three rookies – goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and wingers J-J Peterka and Linus Weissbach – earned a spot.
Sabres coach Don Granato said Luukkonen, 22, will start tonight and play the entire preseason game against the Columbus ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sometimes, Mark Pysyk said, it seems like he only left the Sabres a week ago. Other times, however, he acknowledged it feels like it has been a long time.
The Sabres, who signed a one-year, $900,000 contract to return, left in 2016. Only one teammate from the affable defenseman’s first run here, center Zemgus Girgensons, is still with the team.
“I see him walking around, the way he plays, his body takes a ... Read the full article
Buffalo Sabres prospect J-J Peterka couldn’t stop smiling.
Yes, he had only experienced a preseason victory. And his late goal in Tuesday’s come-from-behind, 5-4 shootout triumph doesn’t officially count in the record books.
Still, for Peterka, linemate Jack Quinn and the other youngsters who buoyed the Sabres to an unlikely win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, the exhibition opener likely holds a lot of meaning.
The Sabres roared back in the third period, erasing a ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – In a year or two, after wingers J-J Peterka and Jack Quinn acclimate to pro hockey, they could flank center Dylan Cozens on the Sabres’ No. 1 trio.
But right now, the intriguing line is simply an experiment for tonight’s preseason opener in Columbus against the Blue Jackets. Instead of putting the talented youngsters beside veterans, Sabres coach Don Granato wants them to learn on their own.
While Cozens, 20, played 41 NHL ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Three years into his NHL career, Sabres winger Victor Olofsson is already sporting his third number.
The Swede recently switched to No. 71 after having No. 68 for two seasons. He also briefly wore No. 41 for his first six NHL games late in the 2018-19 season.
Why did Olofsson pick new digits? When he broke into the NHL, No. 71, one of his favorite numbers, was worn by Evan Rodrigues, a forward ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – When center Casey Mittelstadt returned home in the spring following the Sabres’ last-place finish, he forced himself to tune into the Stanley Cup playoffs every night.
Mittelstadt, of course, enjoys watching hockey. But some nights, he acknowledged, it “can be painful,” especially in the early rounds when lower seeds upset heavy favorites.
The Montreal Canadiens earned just 59 points last season, the lowest of any playoff team. So as Mittelstadt watched them stun ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin sees something special in the Sabres’ latest rebuild. The roster upheaval created an opportunity for their young core players to transform the team.
Jake McCabe, Sam Reinhart, Rasmus Ristolainen and Linus Ullmark – four pieces of the old nucleus – are gone. Jack Eichel will likely be the next to leave.
So Dahlin, Dylan Cozens, Casey Mittelstadt and some other Sabres in their early 20s now form the ... Read the full article