Kevyn Adams acquired an old friend in Eric Staal. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres notes: Eric Staal’s acquisition helps Kevyn Adams establish credibility

Barely an hour after Kevyn Adams acquired center Eric Staal last week, he hadn’t given much thought to having completed his first trade as Buffalo Sabres general manager.

“I’ve been so focused on this process and the work that goes into it,” Adams said Sept. 16 after dishing forward Marcus Johansson to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Staal.

Adams, 45, experienced a whirlwind summer as he began tackling the daunting task of trying to ... Read the full article

The Sabres drafted Oskari Laaksonen in the third round in 2017. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres sign Oskari Laaksonen to entry-level contract

The Buffalo Sabres have signed defenseman Oskari Laaksonen to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced this morning.

Laaksonen, 20, spent the last three seasons with Ilves in Liiga in his native Finland, compiling five goals and 40 points in 113 games.

“The work Oskari has put in to improve his game has paid off during his last two seasons,” Sabres general manager Jason Botterill said in a statement. “His success on the international stage ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt and Rasmus Asplund leave the ice after a game in 2019-20. ©2020, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Cancellation of AHL season means lost opportunities for Amerks

In what would be the final days of the American Hockey League season, coach Chris Taylor drew confidence from the maturity his Rochester Americans began showcasing.

To Taylor, the Amerks’ response to some rare adversity – they endured losing streaks of seven and four games in the winter – illustrated his players had become equipped to handle the highs and lows of a long, grinding season.

“They weren’t getting as frustrated as you think that ... Read the full article

Arttu Ruotsalainen enjoyed a breakout season in 2018-19. ©2019, Hickling Images

Sabres prospect Arttu Ruotsalainen battling to stick in NHL

BUFFALO – The Sabres started calling Arttu Ruotsalainen late last year.

Sometimes assistant general manager Steve Greeley would phone the undrafted center. Other times European scout Teemu Numminen would check in.

“What we liked is were on a player probably before he totally popped,” Greeley said Saturday between sessions of training camp inside KeyBank Center. “I think we might’ve been a little bit ahead of the game, hopefully, in getting him in our organization.”

Over ... Read the full article

Henri Jokiharju spent 2017-18 with the Portland Winterhawks. ©2019, Hickling Images

Henri Jokiharju believes joining Sabres ‘a great opportunity’

BUFFALO – In January, defenseman Henri Jokiharju earned a gold medal at the World Junior Championship on a Finnish squad that featured Sabres prospects Oskari Laaksonen and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.

Jokiharju grew up with Laaksonen, another defenseman, in Tampere, and is one of his best friends. Jokiharju and Luukkonen, a youngster tabbed as Buffalo’s goalie of the future, played together with Team Finland at tournaments as teenagers.

After World Juniors, Jokiharju, 20, probably figured he ... Read the full article

Oskari Laaksonen won a gold medal in January. ©2019, Hickling Images

Oskari Laaksonen quietly one of Sabres’ best prospects

BUFFALO – Barely two years ago, unless you had spent time scouring the Finnish junior leagues for draft talent, the name Oskari Laaksonen wasn’t familiar to you.

NHL Central Scouting and other notable services didn’t even rank the Finnish defenseman. Googling his name would return some stats, that’s about it.

So when the Sabres grabbed Laaksonen 89th overall at the NHL Draft in 2017, going way off the board in the third round, the selection ... Read the full article

Ryan O’Reilly spent three seasons in Buffalo. ©2018, Hickling Images

Former Sabre Ryan O’Reilly producing for Blues amid losing season

Not much has changed for ex-Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly in St. Louis. The Blues utilize him constantly, relying on him to play big minutes. Just like in Buffalo, the versatile center quickly seized his opportunities, morphing into perhaps his new team’s best player.

And just like in Buffalo, O’Reilly has endured a lot of losing.

The Blues, one of the NHL’s heavyweights for years, just missed the playoffs last season, earning 94 points. When they ... Read the full article

Tyler Ennis is in his first season in Toronto. ©2018, Hickling Images

Sabres notes: Tyler Ennis happy in fourth-line role with Maple Leafs

BUFFALO – Instead of being relied upon to produce offense, ex-Sabres winger Tyler Ennis is now a fourth-liner.

Sure, Ennis, 29, skates on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ second power-play unit. The former first-round pick even started the season on the No. 1 line beside center Auston Matthews and Patrick Marleau.

But Ennis is no longer the ultra-slick presence from his early days. The concussions he suffered in his final seasons with the Sabres helped stymie ... Read the full article

Fans came out to see Rasmus Dahlin on Wednesday. ©2018, Hickling Images

First practice memorable for Rasmus Dahlin, Sabres

BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Victor Olofsson had never heard of hockey’s biggest defense prospect until two seasons ago, when Rasmus Dahlin joined Frölunda HC as a 16-year-old.

During their first practice together in the Swedish Hockey League, Dahlin made Olofsson look silly.

“He got the puck on the blue line and I was going out toward him, and he just put it between my legs and scores,” Olofsson said Wednesday after the Sabres opened development ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark has played 21 NHL games. ©2018, Hickling Images, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark to start; Zach Bogosian out 4 to 6 weeks

BUFFALO – Why not try something different, right? The reeling Sabres have lost five straight games and 33 of their 43 outings this season.

Starting goalie Linus Ullmark tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets is worth a try.

Sabres coach Phil Housley, who criticized his goaltending in Tuesday’s 7-4 loss to Winnipeg, said Ullmark will receive his first NHL nod since last season’s finale.

... Read the full article