JJ Peterka has scored a team-best 25 goals this season. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: JJ Peterka earning keep on top line; Michael Houser injured with Rochester

BUFFALO – Before JJ Peterka moved up last week, the left wing spot on the Sabres’ top line alongside center Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch had been a revolving door.

Jeff Skinner, who usually occupies that spot, has struggled and moved around the lineup. So coach Don Granato has utilized Jordan Greenway, Zemgus Girgensons and even Eric Robinson there this month.

Peterka, who scored an empty-net goal in Friday’s 5-2 win over the New Jersey ... Read the full article

Scott Ratzlaff tries to stop Aleksandr Kisakov during development camp in 2023. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Rochester signs Sabres goalie prospect Scott Ratzlaff to amateur tryout

The Rochester Americans on Wednesday signed Buffalo Sabres goalie prospect Scott Ratzlaff to an amateur tryout.

Ratzlaff’s junior team, the Seattle Thunderbirds, did not qualify for the Western Hockey League playoffs.

Right now, the Amerks need another goalie. The Sabres recently recalled rookie Devon Levi. Meanwhile, veteran Dustin Tokarski did not play over the weekend after battling through an undisclosed problem in last Wednesday’s 6-5 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Update: Tokarski came off ... Read the full article

Jiri Kulich left Rochester to represent Team Czechia. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester

Sabres prospect Jiri Kulich captaining Team Czechia at World Juniors

Having already played in two World Junior Championships, won a silver medal and scored nine goals, Buffalo Sabres prospect Jiri Kulich was the obvious pick to captain Team Czechia’s entry at this year’s tournament in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The slick forward wanted to represented his country so badly that he asked the Sabres for permission to leave the Rochester Americans.

Kulich, 19, possesses the talent to enjoy a special tournament. His 16 goals this season are ... Read the full article

Matt Savoie played one game for Buffalo earlier this season. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Two Sabres prospects named to Team Canada’s World Juniors roster

Buffalo Sabres prospects Matt Savoie and Scott Ratzlaff have earned spots on Team Canada’s 22-man roster for the 2024 World Junior Championship.

General manager Kevyn Adams recently said Canada showed interest in adding rookie winger Zach Benson, 18, to the roster, but as an NHL regular, the Sabres don’t seem interested in letting him go.

Savoie, 19, played his first NHL game Nov. 10 before the Sabres sent him back to junior. The forward ... Read the full article

Tage Thompson skates during Tuesday’s first period. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Tage Thompson returns from injury; Alex Tuch could play soon

BUFFALO – Sabres center Tage Thompson said he originally expected the left hand injury he suffered on Nov. 14 would sideline him four to six weeks.

“Things progressed a little quicker,” Thompson said prior to recording an assist in Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings in KeyBank Center. “X-rays came back good.”

Thompson’s injury healed so quickly that he returned in just three weeks. Despite the layoff, he played after participating in just ... Read the full article

Connor Clifton plays a rugged style that irritates opponents. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Rasmus Dahlin ‘hated to play against’ new partner Connor Clifton

BUFFALO – Sabres defenseman Connor Clifton heard his new teammate, Rasmus Dahlin, feared him during his days with the Boston Bruins, and couldn’t believe it.

“He said that?” Clifton asked a reporter following Thursday’s opening session of training camp in KeyBank Center.

Dahlin sure did. He detested playing against Clifton, who relishes showcasing an aggressive, physical style that riles opponents.... Read the full article

Jiri Kulich warms up before Friday’s Prospects Challenge game. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

In Vaclav Prospal, Jiri Kulich has special mentor as he fights to make Sabres

BUFFALO – When Vaclav “Vinny” Prospal learned Sabres prospect Jiri Kulich trains in his hometown in Czechia during the summer, he headed to the local rink in Ceske Budejovice to introduce himself.

Prospal, one of the Rochester Americans’ new assistant coaches, ran into some of his former teammates, so he invited Kulich to his house for lunch to chat.

Having coached against Kulich and followed hockey closely, Prospal knew about the youngster’s lethal shot – ... Read the full article

Scott Ratzlaff skates during development camp. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie prospect Scott Ratzlaff draws comparisons to Devon Levi

BUFFALO – Considering he’s a 6-foot Sabres goalie prospect who has represented Team Canada, it was inevitable Scott Ratzlaff would draw comparisons to Devon Levi.

But the similarities go beyond their size, position and team. Ratzlaff, like Levi, who ended last season as the Sabres’ starting goalie, has a cerebral approach to the game, said Jerry Forton, Buffalo’s director of amateur scouting.

Ratzlaff, a fifth-round pick last Thursday, 141st overall, likes to study his ... Read the full article