Mike Leone played for four current or former NHL coaches. ©2024, Dan Hickling, USHL

Jon Cooper, other NHL coaches helped Rochester Amerks’ Mike Leone grow: ‘People I lean on’

Mike Leone said he considers himself to be probably the luckiest guy in hockey.

The new Rochester Americans coach retired from playing at 28, never rising above the ECHL. But at each level of hockey during his days as a forward – junior, college and pro – he learned from someone who had been an NHL coach or would become one.

As a teenager with the Texarkana and St. Louis Bandits, Leone played for future ... Read the full article

Michael Leone replaces Seth Appert as Rochester’s coach. ©2024, Dan Hickling, USHL

Sabres hire Michael Leone as Rochester Amerks’ new coach

The Buffalo Sabres have hired another coach from junior hockey to be the Rochester Americans’ bench boss.

The Sabres on Thursday named Michael Leone, who spent the last two seasons as the general manager and coach of the United States Hockey League’s Green Bay Gamblers, as head coach of their AHL affiliate.

The 36-year-old replaces Seth Appert, who earned a promotion to Lindy Ruff’s staff in Buffalo last month following four seasons with the Amerks.... Read the full article

Noah Ostlund played five total games with Rochester late in the season. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Sabres prospect Noah Ostlund’s hockey sense stands out with Rochester: ‘Basically blows your mind’

ROCHESTER – The Calder Cup Playoffs can be unforgiving to a 5-foot-11, 163-pound neophyte like Buffalo Sabres center prospect Noah Ostlund.

Forget about the talent and supreme hockey sense the Swede, 20, possesses. He was the lightest player on either roster during the Americans’ North Division semifinal series. No one had played fewer games in North America.

So after playing the first three playoff games, Ostlund, the 16th overall pick in 2022, took a ... Read the full article

Vsevolod Komarov has developed into one of Buffalo’s best prospects. ©2024, Ghyslain Bergeron, Voltigeurs Drummondville

Sabres prospects Matt Savoie, Vsevolod Komarov to play for Memorial Cup

In the Canadian Hockey League, contenders often mortgage their futures before the trade deadline by dealing loads of draft picks and other assets to acquire elite talent at the end of their junior careers.

For example, on Jan. 4, the Moose Jaw Warriors dished seven picks, including two first-round selections, to pry slick Buffalo Sabres center prospect Matt Savoie away from the Wenatchee Wild.

On Dec. 4, the Drummondville Voltigeurs traded four picks and three ... Read the full article

Matt Savoie has a three-month point streak. ©2024, Nick Pettigrew, Moose Jaw Warriors

Sabres prospect Matt Savoie finishing junior career on tear with Moose Jaw

On Feb. 2, the Prince Albert Raiders held Buffalo Sabres prospect Matt Savoie pointless in their 3-1 loss to the Moose Jaw Warriors.

What’s so significant about that? Well, it marks the last time Savoie, 20, did not record a point in a game.

The ultra-talented center has registered at least one point in his last 29 outings, including 13 contests in the Western Hockey League playoffs.

He continued his torrid point streak in Friday’s ... Read the full article

Nikita Novikov has acclimated to the AHL well. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Rochester rookie Nikita Novikov looks like special Sabres defense prospect

ROCHESTER – Buffalo Sabres defense prospect Nikita Novikov displayed special offensive instincts throughout his first regular season in North America.

“Borderline high-end,” said coach Seth Appert, whose Americans open the Calder Cup Playoffs tonight at Blue Cross Arena in a best-of-five series against the Syracuse Crunch.

Without the benefit of power-play time, the 6-foot-4, 209-pound Novikov compiled 20 assists, a high total for a rookie acclimating to a different brand of hockey.... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt and Bowen Byram switched teams Wednesday. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres sad, surprised Casey Mittelstadt traded, excited for Bowen Byram

TORONTO – Sooner or later, it was going to happen. Over the past few years, as the Sabres grew into a tight-knit group, their young core remained intact. But as the team evolved and needs materialized and the salary cap became a factor again, someone would have to leave Buffalo.

On Wednesday, two days before the trade deadline, it happened. The Sabres dealt center Casey Mittelstadt, a beloved teammate and their leading scorer, to the ... Read the full article

Casey Mittelstadt skates this morning in Scotiabank Arena. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Stunner: Sabres trade top scorer Casey Mittelstadt to Avs for Bowen Byram

TORONTO – Sooner or later, it was going to happen. Over the past few years, as the Sabres grew into a tight-knit group, their young core remained intact. But as the team evolved and needs materialized and the salary cap became a factor again, someone would have to leave Buffalo.

This afternoon, two days before the trade deadline, it happened. The Sabres dealt center Casey Mittelstadt, a beloved teammate and their leading scorer, to the ... Read the full article

Owen Power was injured Feb. 12. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Owen Power returns from injury; Jacob Bryson playing regularly

BUFFALO – On Sunday morning, Sabres defenseman Owen Power did not take his usual spot on the second power-play unit, a sign he possibly needed more time to recover from his upper-body injury.

But following the pregame skate, coach Don Granato said the youngster could be ready for the Sabres’ contest against the Carolina Hurricanes at KeyBank Center.

Sure enough, Power, 21, returned their 3-2 shootout win, scoring the late tying goal and skating 23 ... Read the full article

Matt Savoie has played for five teams this season. ©2024, Micheline Veluvolu (Rochester/Buffalo), Nick Pettigrew (Moose Jaw)

Following trade, Sabres prospect Matt Savoie on tear in Moose Jaw

BUFFALO – Six months, five teams and three leagues later, Sabres prospect Matt Savoie has settled into one place and can enjoy the final months of his junior hockey career.

A season that Savoie, 20, began injured in Buffalo has taken him to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, after stops in Rochester, Wenatchee (Washington) and Sweden.

Along the way, he showed he’s ready for the pros, made his NHL debut, represented Team Canada at the World Junior ... Read the full article