Eight first-round picks, including all three the Buffalo Sabres selected last week – centers Matthew Savoie, Noah Ostlund and Jiri Kulich – are on the 43-man development camp roster the team released Monday.
The most anticipated camp in a long time – the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Sabres to cancel it the last two years – begins Wednesday at LECOM Harborcenter.
The roster is loaded with top prospects. Forwards Peyton Krebs, Jack Quinn, Isak Rosen and defenseman Ryan Johnson and Owen Power will be the other first-rounders attending.
Five youngsters – Krebs, Power, Quinn, winger JJ Peterka and defenseman Mattias Samuelsson – have NHL experience.
Ten of the 11 players the Sabres drafted last week in Montreal will be participating. Only Viktor Neuchev, a Russian winger, isn’t listed on the roster.
Devon Levi, the NCAA’s top goalie last season at Northeastern, will be making his first appearance at an NHL development camp. Goalie Erik Portillo, Michigan’s starter, will be making his second camp appearance.
The Sabres have also invited winger Declan McDonnell, a Lake View native the Tampa Bay Lightning drafted in the seventh round in 2020. McDonnell, who scored 28 goals for the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers last season, is a free agent.
Winger Brock Caufield, the older brother of budding Montreal Canadiens star Cole Caufield, has also been invited. Brock Caufield played his fourth season at Wisconsin in 2021-22.
The Sabres on extended qualifying offers to their four remaining restricted free agents before Monday’s deadline: goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and forwards Brett Murray, Victor Olofsson and Arttu Ruotsalainen.
General manager Kevyn Adams told WGR on Monday the Sabres want to re-sign defenseman Lawrence Pilut if he is released from his contract with Chelyabinsk Traktor.
Pilut, 26, played 46 games with the Sabres over a two-year stretch before bolting to the Kontinental Hockey League following the 2019-20 season.
The Swede starred for the Rochester Americans after arriving in North America in 2018, compiling 10 goals and 49 points in 67 games.
The Sabres must make sure Pilut, a puck-moving defenseman, has an out clause in his contract.
“We definitely would love to have him back,” Adams said. “We’ve just been waiting for the proper documentation to make sure.”