Zach Benson skates his “rookie lap” Thursday prior to his NHL debut. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

‘Mature game’ helping Sabres rookie Zach Benson make fast impact

BUFFALO – Some top prospects carry what Sabres captain Kyle Okposo called “a naivety” into pro hockey. They’ve grown up as the best player on their team, so graduating to the sport’s highest levels doesn’t intimidate them.

“There’s no learning curve of the (AHL) where it’s like, ‘This is pro hockey,’” Okposo said following Monday’s practice in KeyBank Center. “It’s like, ‘No, I’ve always been the best player and this is what I do.’ And ... Read the full article

Brandon Biro spent all of last season in Rochester. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu, Rochester Americans

Three players clear waivers; Amerks have roster Sabres envisioned

With very few spots available in Buffalo, the Sabres waived some intriguing players during training camp. Considering the dearth of talent on a few NHL teams, it felt like one or two might be claimed.

But on Sunday, defensemen Riley Stillman and Kale Clague and forward Brandon Biro cleared and joined the Rochester Americans.

Every player Buffalo waived during the preseason made it the AHL, giving the Amerks, fresh off a run to the Eastern ... Read the full article

Riley Stillman played 18 games for Buffalo last season. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres waive three more players, close to finalizing 23-man roster

The Buffalo Sabres on Saturday moved closer to finalizing their regular-season roster, waiving defensemen Riley Stillman and Kale Clague and forward Brandon Biro for the purpose of assigning them to the Rochester Americans.

The Sabres also sent defenseman Ryan Johnson, 22, and winger Lukas Rousek, 24, to Rochester.

They have 25 players – 15 forwards, seven defensemen and three goalies – left on their training camp roster. They must finalize their 23-man regular-season roster by ... Read the full article

Matt Savoie was injured Sept. 18. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect Matt Savoie thrilled to return to practice following injury

BUFFALO – As training camp approached, Sabres prospect Matt Savoie looked like a top candidate to fill the open forward spot created by Jack Quinn’s Achilles tendon injury.

Savoie, 19, stood out early in the Prospects Challenge last month, only strengthening the belief he could jump from junior hockey to the NHL.

Then in his first shift of the tournament finale Sept. 18, he injured his right elbow and shoulder trying to break up a ... Read the full article

Zach Benson has scored three goals during the preseason. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Prospect Zach Benson’s performance gives Sabres intriguing roster option

BUFFALO – As Sabres prospect Zach Benson quickly became the talk of training camp and began pushing for a roster spot, his exploits hardly surprised center Peyton Krebs.

Krebs, after all, has watched him do it before. Three seasons ago, the Winnipeg Ice expected Benson, then a 15-year-old rookie, would mostly practice when he joined the junior team for its truncated bubble schedule in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Instead, the diminutive winger impressed the Ice so ... Read the full article

Zach Benson celebrates his game-winning power-play goal Saturday afternoon. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres’ Zach Benson scores late winner, making push to stay in Buffalo

BUFFALO – Barely a week ago, it felt like Zach Benson might receive a long look during training camp before the Sabres returned him to junior hockey. But four games, two goals and four points later, the prospect is fighting to earn an NHL roster spot.

Benson, 18, enjoyed another terrific outing in Saturday afternoon’s entertaining 4-3 preseason victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in KeyBank Center, scoring the late power-play winner after the Sabres ... Read the full article

Zach Benson played in Buffalo’s first two preseason games. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres prospect Zach Benson could earn more preseason action; Matt Savoie close to returning

BUFFALO – In the beginning of training camp, coach Don Granato said the Sabres penciled prospect Zach Benson in for three preseason games, a number he will hit tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

But Benson, the 13th overall pick this year, has looked so impressive in his early action he might earn more games. The Sabres have three more after tonight’s in Pittsburgh.

“Now, based on how he’s playing, there’s intrigue that he may get ... Read the full article

Victor Olofsson scored 28 goals last season. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

No trade, no problem: Victor Olofsson excited to be back with Sabres

BUFFALO – In the same spot five months earlier, as winger Victor Olofsson talked about his late-season benching, it felt like he had played his last game for the Sabres.

But a trade never materialized, and as he sat at his locker in the dressing room following Monday’s session of training camp, Olofsson, 28, spoke optimistically of the upcoming season.

“I’m super happy to be back,” said Olofsson, whose Sabres host the Boston Bruins tonight ... Read the full article

Matt Savoie was injured Monday. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Injured Sabres prospect Matt Savoie week to week

BUFFALO – Sabres center Matt Savoie is week to week after suffering an upper-body injury in Monday’s Prospects Challenge finale, general manager Kevyn Adams said.

“We’re also going to be really patient and make sure that he’s full go before we let him out there,” Adams said this morning in KeyBank Center, where training camp opens today. “But good news overall.”

Savoie, the ninth overall pick in 2022, is expected to compete for an NHL ... Read the full article

(From left) Devon Levi, Lukas Rousek and Victor Olofsson are three intriguing participants in training camp. ©2023, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres begin training camp with Devon Levi, prospects and Victor Olofsson in spotlight

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