Jimmy Snuggerud enjoyed a breakout season in 2021-22. ©2022, Rena Laverty, USA Hockey

Jimmy Snuggerud’s shot could make him attractive draft pick for Sabres

MONTREAL – Nick Fohr looked down the ice that day early in the 2020-21 season and had no idea who was shooting pucks at the other end.

“I’m like, ‘What is that down there?’” recalled Fohr, then an assistant coach at the U.S. National Team Development Program.

The mechanics – the compact, quick release – looked familiar, just like Auston Matthews, a phenom he had coached years earlier.

... Read the full article

Rutger McGroarty could be available to Buffalo in the first round. ©2022, Rena Laverty, USA Hockey

Maturity, skill could make Rutger McGroarty fit for Sabres at NHL Draft

BUFFALO – One team, reportedly the Montreal Canadiens, asked NHL Draft prospects it interviewed at the Scouting Combine what kind of animal they would be.

Rutger McGroarty, a high-scoring winger with the U.S. National Team Development Program, put some deep thought into his reply. Instead of simply saying he’d be some sort of ferocious beast, he offered two answers based on his off- and on-ice demeanor.

“I said that I was a father gorilla off ... Read the full article

NHL Draft prospects Matthew Savoie (left) and Conor Geekie talk Friday in LECOM Harborcenter. ©2022

NHL Draft prospect Conor Geekie could be intriguing pick for Sabres

BUFFALO – Center Conor Geekie, an NHL Draft prospect the Sabres could be interested in taking ninth or 16th overall, hails from the tiny prairie town of Strathclair, Manitoba, population 709.

Well, that number from the 2016 Canadian Census is a little misleading. It includes the population of the surrounding area. Strathclair proper is much smaller.

“Um, 137, I think,” Geekie replied Friday when asked how many people live in his hometown. “Just in the ... Read the full article

Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin was a popular interview at the 2018 combine. ©2020, Hickling Images

NHL postpones scouting combine in Buffalo, draft and awards show

The NHL has postponed three events in June – the scouting combine in Buffalo, the draft in Montreal and the awards show in Las Vegas – because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the league announced today.

The rescheduled dates for the three events and the NHL Draft Lottery will be announced later.

The combine, which has been held at LECOM Harborcenter and KeyBank Center since 2015, was scheduled to take place June 1 to 6.... Read the full article

Dylan Cozens grew up in Whitehorse. ©2019, Hickling Images

Yukon’s Dylan Cozens could be terrific choice for Sabres at NHL Draft

BUFFALO – NHL Draft prospect Dylan Cozens always finds himself dispelling myths about his hometown of Whitehorse, Yukon.

“Lots of people don’t know what it’s like up there,” Cozens said June 1 at the NHL Scouting Combine inside Harborcenter. “They think it’s some little, like, community of igloos and stuff. It’s just a normal place, a normal little town – working electricity, houses. It’s just a normal place.”

Whitehorse, the only city in the Yukon, ... Read the full article

Trevor Zegras is an offensive threat. ©2019, Hickling Images

American prospect Trevor Zegras ‘best playmaker’ in NHL Draft

BUFFALO – Jack Hughes possesses so much talent – “Maybe the most electric skater that I’ve seen in these last couple generations,” said his coach, John Wroblewski – the presumptive first overall pick seemingly creates offense effortlessly.

So when Wroblewski says Trevor Zegras, another slick center with the U.S. National Team Development Program, “is the best playmaker in the draft” and “a more creative and dynamic player than Hughes,” he believes he must validate it.... Read the full article

Cole Caufield enjoyed a monster season in 2018-19. ©2019, Hickling Images

Cole Caufield could be too talented for Sabres to pass up at NHL Draft

BUFFALO – John Wroblewski wouldn’t let Cole Caufield’s disappointing offensive outings shape his opinion of the diminutive winger.

Barely two years ago, fresh off a dynamic high school season in which he compiled 50 goals in 22 games, Caufield suddenly lost his scoring touch at the U.S. National Team Development Program tryout camp.

In five or six games against bigger and better competition, the 5-foot-7 Caufield couldn’t muster one goal.

But Wroblewski, who coaches the ... Read the full article

Alex Turcotte might not last until the seventh pick. ©2019, Hickling Images

Alex Turcotte could be attractive option for Sabres at NHL Draft

BUFFALO – In Alex Turcotte’s formative hockey years, his father, Alfie, decided his son would follow a unique development path.

Instead of jumping to elite teams stocked with top talents, Alfie made Alex, a slick center projected to be an early selection at the NHL Draft, stay put on local clubs around Chicago. His reasoning was simple.

“I cared about my kid playing hard every game,” said Alfie Turcotte, a former center who played 112 ... Read the full article

Jack Drury learned Buffalo has found memories of his uncle, Chris Drury. ©2018, Hickling Images

NHL Draft prospect Jack Drury wants to carve own career path

BUFFALO – In the hockey world, the Drury name holds weight, so having those five letters stitched on the back of your jersey can be a blessing as well as a burden for a youngster like Jack Drury.

Drury’s uncle, Chris, is a legend in these parts. In his three seasons here, the former co-captain nearly led the Sabres to the Stanley Cup final twice, cementing his reputation for clutch play. The center also won ... Read the full article

Ty Deallandrea enjoyed a strong a season in Flint. ©2018, Hickling Images

Flint’s Ty Dellandrea could be available for Sabres with 32nd pick

BUFFALO – A breakout offensive season starring for the lowly Flint Firebirds has helped center Ty Dellandrea emerge as a possible first-round pick in next week’s NHL Draft.

The prospect NHL Central Scouting rated 25th among North American skaters could hear his name called June 22 in Dallas. Or perhaps he will have to wait until the second round begins the next morning. He said he talked to the Sabres, who own the 32nd selection... Read the full article