Gabe Perreault has packed on weight over the past two years. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Team USA star Gabe Perreault could be intriguing NHL Draft choice for Sabres

NASHVILLE – The genesis of NHL Draft prospect Gabe Perreault’s recording-breaking season for Team USA’s Under-18 squad began a year earlier.

In 2021, Perreault arrived in Plymouth, Michigan, a skinny 16-year-old. Dan Muse, his former coach at the National Team Development Program, said the high-scoring winger weighed just 130 or 140 pounds.

So Perreault took advantage of the resources the program offers and reshaped his body.... Read the full article

Gavin McCarthy (left) and Quentin Musty go through fitness testing June 10 at the NHL Scouting Combine. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Buffalo-area prospects Gavin McCarthy, Quentin Musty grew up with Jr. Sabres, ready for NHL Draft

NASHVILLE – The last time Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams saw NHL Draft prospect Gavin McCarthy, he ran into him, of all places, on the bike path behind his house in Clarence.

Adams, having run the Jr. Sabres and Academy of Hockey at LECOM Harborcenter before being named GM, knows a lot of high-end local prospects like McCarthy and Hamburg native Quentin Musty, who could be a first-round pick Wednesday at Bridgestone Arena.

His ... Read the full article

Zach Benson goes through fitness testing June 10 at the NHL Scouting Combine. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

NHL Draft: Zach Benson, Matt Savoie’s center, could be strong pick for Sabres

BUFFALO – When the Winnipeg Ice reconvened to begin an abbreviated season in 2021, James Patrick figured Zach Benson would mostly practice with the junior team. If things went well, the coach hoped the diminutive 15-year-old might play about five games.

In the Western Hockey League, the 5-foot-5, 140-pound rookie winger would be facing opponents four or five years older and nearly a foot taller and 50 or 60 pounds heavier.

Patrick still laughs recalling ... Read the full article

Matthew Wood goes through fitness testing last Saturday at the NHL Scouting Combine. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

For NHL Draft prospect Matthew Wood, Sabres’ Tage Thompson a role model

BUFFALO – At first, Jamie Wood didn’t want his son, Matthew, to play college hockey at such a young age. Having played and coached in the NCAA, he understood the physicality and speed could overwhelm a 17-year-old fresh out of junior.

Besides a chance to attend UConn, Matthew Wood had other intriguing options to consider for the 2022-23 season.

The 6-foot-4, 193-pound forward could return to the Vernon Vipers and defend his British Columbia Hockey ... Read the full article

David Reinbacher goes through fitness testing Saturday at the NHL Scouting Combine. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Austrian D David Reinbacher could be terrific NHL Draft choice for Sabres

BUFFALO – In the bedroom of his childhood home in Hohenems, Austria, NHL Draft prospect David Reinbacher still has a jersey of former Sabres star Thomas Vanek he proudly wore growing up.

Vanek, who scored 373 goals over 14 NHL seasons, has long been the face of Austrian hockey. But his popularity transcends the sport. He’s an icon in the country.

“I would say (he’s) like Arnold Schwarzenegger there,” Reinbacher said, comparing the high-scoring ... Read the full article

Connor Bedard talks to the media Friday at the NHL Scouting Combine. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

In Connor Bedard, NHL might have the next Connor McDavid

BUFFALO – Connor Bedard prefers to live in the moment. With all the outside noise and hype surrounding him, the ultra-talented center, a lock to be the first overall pick at the upcoming NHL Draft, said it allows him to enjoy things “kind of be where your feet are.”

“That’s good advice I’ve got from a few guys,” Bedard said Friday in LECOM Harborcenter, where the NHL Scouting Combine is taking place this week.

That’s ... Read the full article

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