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
BUFFALO – The deepest and most talented Sabres team since the rollicking post-lockout days of the mid-2000s will hit the ice today shouldering the expectation it can end the franchise’s embarrassing 12-year playoff drought.
Coming off a season in which they fell one win short of the postseason, the Sabres begin training camp with three sessions at KeyBank Center.
They have a whopping 64 players on their camp roster: seven goalies, 21 defensemen and 36 ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – The Sabres’ leading scorer in the Prospects Challenge wasn’t Zach Benson, Jiri Kulich, Isak Rosen, Matt Savoie or another talented young forward.
No, try defenseman Nikita Novikov, who registered five assists, including three in Friday’s 6-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens in LECOM Harborcenter.
The Russian, 20, compiled three assists and five points in 62 games with the Kontinental Hockey League’s Moscow Dynamo all of last season.
The 6-foot-4, ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – For Monday’s Prospects Challenge finale, the Sabres gave some of their more established young players a well-deserved afternoon off.
However, center Matt Savoie, arguably the Sabres’ biggest prospect, dressed for his third consecutive game. Twenty-seven seconds after taking the opening faceoff, he skated into a Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jagger Joshua and left the game.
Savoie, who’s competing for an NHL job this season, suffered an upper-body injury and is expected to miss ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Right away, Seth Appert noticed a difference in Tyson Kozak. The Sabres center prospect looks more confident and assertive this season.
“He’s not a loud person,” said Appert, Kozak’s coach with the Rochester Americans. “He lets his action speak more than his words. But I hear him on the ice more right now.”
If Kozak’s recent exploits offer any indication, Appert will also be seeing more of him on the ice. He ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres winger Viktor Neuchev scored in front early, converting center Tyson Kozak’s nifty backhand pass from behind the net. Winger Zach Benson followed minutes later, releasing a wicked shot from the left circle.
After the New Jersey Devils scored in the second period, winger Isak Rosen zoomed to the net unfettered, recording his second goal in as many nights.
The early goals in Saturday’s 4-2 win at the Prospects Challenge in LECOM Harborcenter ... Read the full article
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
BUFFALO – Isak Rosen said he needed to experience a season like last year, his first in North America. The Sabres prospect showcased durability, playing a whopping 99 total games over a dizzying 10-month stretch.
A year earlier in his native Sweden, he suffered a season-ending hand injury, and he played just 39 times. Staying healthy in 2022-23 allowed him to display consistent development throughout a campaign in which he played in two World Junior ... Read the full article
BUFFALO – Sabres prospect Matt Savoie paused for a moment and collected his thoughts before he answered the question.
Savoie, 19, has established himself as a dominant junior star over the past two seasons, scoring 92 goals and a whopping 226 points in 156 total games, including the playoffs.
Clearly, the center’s ready for pro hockey. But the Canadian Hockey League’s agreement with the NHL prohibits him from playing in the AHL this season. He ... Read the full article
Five first-round picks, including forwards Jiri Kulich and Matt Savoie, are among the 25 youngsters listed on the Buffalo Sabres’ roster for the upcoming Prospects Challenge rookie tournament.
Kulich and Savoie, two of the Sabres’ three first-round selections in 2022, are expected to compete for NHL spots during training camp.
The roster, released Tuesday, also features three other first-round picks: wingers Zach Benson and Isak Rosen and defenseman Ryan Johnson.... Read the full article