TORONTO – On April 14 in Belleville, goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen played his 68th and likely final game this season, stopping 32 shots in the Rochester Americans’ 4-2 win over the Senators.
“It was a big thing for me, builds your confidence up a lot, especially looking to next season when you want to play in the pros,” the Buffalo Sabres’ top goalie prospect said of his pro debut.
Luukkonen, 20, has taken a backseat to ... Read the full article
Todd McLellan won’t be the Buffalo Sabres’ next coach, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
The Sabres identified McLellan as a candidate and talked to him this week but never made an offer, McKenzie tweeted this afternoon. McLellan was in Buffalo to watch his son, Tyson, a junior defenseman with Denver, compete in the Frozen Four.
The Los Angeles Kings could be close to hiring McLellan, according to McKenzie.... Read the full article
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
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
BUFFALO – In past seasons, the line comprised of center Evan Rodrigues and wingers Zemgus Girgensons and Jason Pominville would’ve been the Sabres’ third or even second combination.
But for the first time in years, the Sabres have legitimate NHL depth, so the trio is actually their fourth line.
Well, in terms of ice time, it’s the fourth line.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres have a plan for Zach Bogosian. Instead of throwing the oft-injured defenseman right into the fray, they’re easing him into training camp.
Bogosian, 28, underwent hip surgery last winter and hasn’t played a game Jan. 9. So the Sabres held him out of practice earlier this week before letting him skate on his own.
Bogosian practiced with his teammates again Thursday inside HarborCenter.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is likely years away from cracking the Sabres.
The goalie prospect is just beginning his North American junior career with the Sudbury Wolves. After that, Luukkonen will probably need years of apprenticeship in the minors.
But Sabres got a glimpse of Luukkonen, a youngster many have tabbed as their goalie of the future, in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins in the Prospects Challenge rookie tournament.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin and center Casey Mittelstadt are among 27 Sabres scheduled to participate in this week’s Prospects Challenge rookie tournament the team will be hosting at HarborCenter.
Some other interesting names on the Sabres’ 27-man roster the team released today include:... Read the full article
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, perhaps the Buffalo Sabres’ goalie of the future, will play junior hockey next season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sudbury Wolves, the Finn announced today on Twitter.
The Wolves selected Luukkonen, 19, third overall in the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft on June 28.... Read the full article
BUFFALO – After Matej Pekar hit Casey Mittelstadt in the head during Saturday’s three-on-three development camp tournament, the agitator sensed an opportunity.
“That’s my shot to kind of piss him off, get in his head and try to win the game for the team,” Pekar said after camp ended inside HarborCenter. “I guess it worked out.”
Pekar, the 94th overall pick a week ago, kept going after Mittelstadt, irking the Sabres’ top forward prospect. The ... Read the full article