In past years, a slew of former Buffalo Sabres had difficulty finding work in free agency.
With few suitors on the open market, some settled for training camp tryouts while others went overseas or never played again.
So far this offseason, seven players who spent time in Buffalo last season have quickly landed new NHL contracts. Here’s an update:
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ROCHESTER – JJ Peterka could be one-and-done in the AHL. The Buffalo Sabres prospect just enjoyed the greatest offensive campaign in a teenage season since 1976. Over the weekend, the German winger was the most dynamic player in the Calder Cup Playoffs, recording five points, including a hat trick, in two Americans wins.
After a 28-goal, 68-point regular season, the excitement and pressure that accompanies postseason hockey has helped Peterka transform into a dominant presence.... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – Considering the Americans boast one of the AHL’s deepest forward groups, it’s easy for rookie winger Lukas Rousek to be overshadowed.
In center Peyton Krebs and wingers JJ Peterka, Jack Quinn and Arttu Ruotsalainen, they possess four of the AHL’s top young talents.
Sean Malone and Michael Mersch each cracked the 20-goal mark. Brandon Biro, Mark Jankowski and Brett Murray all spent time with the Buffalo Sabres this season.... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – For three and a half months, Buffalo Sabres prospect Arttu Ruotsalainen has been on a scoring tear, developing into one of the AHL’s most lethal threats.
Ruotsalainen, 24, earned AHL Player of the Month honors for March, compiling eight goals and 18 points in 13 outings for the Rochester Americans.
Overall, the Finnish center has recorded 18 goals and 50 points in 51 games with the Amerks this season, including 18 goals and ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – In the opening minutes of Friday’s third period, Americans center Mark Jankowski fought off a defender behind the net and laid the puck on the doorstep for his linemate, Jack Quinn, to convert.
When goal scorers receive a nifty pass like that in close, they shoot, oh, just about every time. But Quinn, the most dangerous threat the Amerks have had in a long time, displayed poise under pressure, quickly dishing the puck ... Read the full article
ROCHESTER – Sabres prospect JJ Peterka was recently working his way back into the lineup when the Americans wanted him to start killing penalties during practice.
For Peterka, 20, earning the coaches’ trust signaled his development had reached another level three months into his rookie season.
“He was very proud, he was very excited,” Amerks coach Seth Appert told the Times Herald last week.
The German was so excited that whenever he made a nice ... Read the full article
By 7 p.m. Saturday, the chaos the Buffalo Sabres had experienced earlier in the day became an afterthought. They could forget about COVID-19 and finally play their game.
As Sabres goalie Craig Anderson, 40, settled into his crease for the first time in 88 days following the national anthem, the energy he felt inside the rink brought back a special feeling.
“That’s kind of the moment where you’re like, ‘All right, this is still enjoyable, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – If Jack Quinn hadn’t suffered a lower-body injury in Thursday’s 5-4 loss to the Dallas Stars, he likely would’ve kept playing for the Sabres in the coming weeks.
The Sabres, of course, won’t simply award their prospects a spot. But given their rash of injuries and that Quinn, 20, had performed so well – he scored his first NHL goal and assisted on another Thursday – he almost certainly would’ve earned a long ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Over his first 44 games with the Sabres, winger Anders Bjork has struggled to maintain consistency, mostly showcasing flashes of his talent.
Bjork, 25, scored opening night before beginning a 10-game goalless stretch. After scoring in back-to-back contests, he endured a 12-game goal drought in which he was scratched twice.
Sabres coach Don Granato said Bjork must learn to regularly imprint his identity as a player – “His is speed and quickness,” he ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres on Friday assigned forwards Brett Murray and Ryan MacInnis and defenseman Ethan Prow to the Rochester Americans.
The Sabres don’t play again until Tuesday, while the Amerks hosted the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday and play a road game against the Syracuse Crunch tonight.
All three played for the Amerks on Friday.
Murray, 23, had made 15 straight appearances with the Sabres. Overall this season, he has played 16 NHL games, ... Read the full article