SABRES ROUND OUT DRAFT CLASS WITH FOUR-PICK DAY

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (June 22, 2019) — The Buffalo Sabres selected four players on the second day of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia. These four selections join Buffalo’s first-round picks, forward Dylan Cozens and defenseman Ryan Johnson, to complete the team’s 2019 draft class, which includes four forwards, one defenseman and one goaltender.

The Sabres began the day by selecting goaltender Erik Portillo (6’6”, 209 lbs., 9/3/2000) in the third round (67th overall). Portillo spent the 2018-19 season with Frölunda in Sweden’s SuperElit (U20) league, where he led all goaltenders in both save percentage (.931) and goals-against average (1.99) while also tying for the league lead with 21 wins in 26 appearances. He added a 2-1 record in the 2019 SuperElit postseason, logging a .933 save percentage in those three games.

A native of Gothenburg, Sweden, Portillo has spent the last four seasons playing junior hockey for Frölunda at the under-16, under-18 and under-20 levels. He was selected fifth overall by the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the 2019 USHL Entry Draft and is committed to the University of Michigan.

In the fourth round, the Sabres traded one of the team’s three sixth-round picks to move up from 122nd to 102nd overall to select forward Aaron Huglen (5’11, 166 lbs., 3/6/2001). The Roseau, Minnesota native split the 2018-19 season between the USHL and high school hockey. He recorded 14 points (4+10) in 28 USHL games with the Fargo Force and posted 52 points (17+35) in 24 games as team captain in his senior season at Roseau High School, earning a nomination as a 2019 Minnesota Mr. Hockey finalist. The forward rounded out the season by representing the United States at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, where he scored two goals in five games.

The Sabres traded up once again in the fifth round, sending one of the their remaining sixth-round picks and the team’s seventh-round pick to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for the 143rd overall pick. With the 143rd pick, the team selected forward Filip Cederqvist.

A Skara, Sweden native, Cederqvist (6’1”, 187 lbs., 8/23/2000) made his SHL debut with the Växjö Lakers last season, recording eight points (4+4) in 33 regular-season games in Sweden’s top professional league. He added one goal in six playoff contests as rookie. In his second season as part of the Växjö organization, Cederqvist also played in 26 SuperElit games, totaling 32 points (14+18) in his third partial season at the under-20 level.

With their final remaining pick, the Sabres selected Czech forward Lukas Rousek (5’11, 165 lbs., 4/20/1999). Rousek totaled 11 points (4+7) in 60 games during the last two seasons for Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga, the Czech Republic’s top professional league. In 2018-19, he also appeared in 16 games in the Czech second division, recording 15 points (7+8) in 16 games for Stadion Litomerice.

SABRES MAKE TWO SELECTIONS IN FIRST ROUND OF 2019 NHL DRAFT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (June 22, 2019) — The Buffalo Sabres selected forward Dylan Cozens and defenseman Ryan Johnson in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft.

Taken with the No. 7 overall pick, Cozens (6’3”, 183 lbs., 2/9/2001) finished tied for 10th in WHL scoring with 84 points (34+50) in 68 games for the Lethbridge Hurricanes in 2018-19. In his second full WHL season, Cozens finished among the league’s leaders in even-strength assists (10th, 34) and even-strength points (T-8th, 59) before adding eight points (4+4) in seven playoff contests.

As a rookie in 2017-18, Cozens won the Jim Piggott Trophy as the WHL’s rookie of the year after he led all first-year skaters in goals (22) and finished second among rookies with 53 points. The forward has recorded 138 points (57+81) and a plus-26 rating in 128 career WHL games, adding 29 points (14+15) in 35 playoff games.

A native of Whitehorse, Yukon, Cozens represented his country twice during the 2018-19 season. He was a member of the Canadian team that captured the gold medal at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and later served as an alternate captain for Team Canada at the 2019 IIHF World U18 Championship, where he finished the tournament tied for seventh in scoring with nine points (4+5) in seven games.

The first player born in the Yukon to be selected in the first round of the NHL Draft, Cozens also suited up for Team Canada Red at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and won a silver medal after tying for fifth in tournament scoring with seven points (1+6) in six games.

With the team’s second pick of the night, Buffalo selected Johnson (6’0”, 170 lbs., 7/24/2001) at No. 31 overall. In 54 games for the Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) in 2018-19, he recorded 25 points (6+19) and a plus-24 rating, both of which were good for second among rookie defensemen.

Johnson followed his regular-season performance with eight points (2+6) in 12 playoff games to help lead the Stampede to a Clark Cup victory as the USHL’s champions. The defenseman was named to the USHL All-Rookie First Team following the 2018-19 campaign.

The Irvine, California native made his first international appearance last season, serving as a member of the United States team that won the 2018 World Jr. A Challenge in December.

SABRES ANNOUNCE 2019 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

BUFFALO, N.Y. (June 18, 2019) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team’s 2019 preseason schedule. The team will play six games, including two home games at KeyBank Center. Ticket information and pricing will be announced at a later date.

Among their other five games, the Sabres will play three road games and a neutral-site contest at Pegula Ice Arena at Pennsylvania State University on Monday, Sept. 16 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Sabres and Penguins will face off in a rematch of the last NHL contest at Pegula Ice Arena in 2017. The game will be the third-ever game contested between NHL teams at Pegula Ice Arena since the arena opened on Oct. 11, 2013 as home of Penn State’s NCAA Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey teams. In addition to the 2017 preseason meeting between Buffalo and Pittsburgh, the Sabres previously opened their 2016 preseason schedule at Penn State against the Minnesota Wild.

The 5,782-seat arena, which was funded as part of a $102 million donation by Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula, was planned in 2010 with the amenities required to host professional exhibition games.

Below is the complete 2018 Buffalo Sabres preseason schedule (all times ET):

Date Matchup Time (ET) Location
Sept. 16 Buffalo vs. Pittsburgh 7 p.m. Pegula Ice Arena (Penn State University)
Sept. 17 Buffalo at Columbus 7 p.m. Nationwide Arena
Sept. 20 Buffalo at Toronto 7 p.m. Scotiabank Arena
Sept. 21 Toronto at Buffalo 7 p.m. KeyBank Center
Sept. 25 Columbus at Buffalo 7 p.m. KeyBank Center
Sept. 28 Buffalo at Pittsburgh 3 p.m. PPG Paints Arena

 

SABRES ANNOUNCE 2019 DEVELOPMENT CAMP SCHEDULE

BUFFALO, N.Y. (June 17, 2019) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team’s schedule for its annual summer development camp, presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York from June 26 to 29.

The camp will feature current Sabres prospects, including players selected at the 2019 NHL Draft. Attendees will take part in both on-ice and off-ice workouts. All on-ice sessions will be held at Harborcenter.

On-ice sessions from June 26 to 28 are free and open to the public. Admittance will be on a first-come, first-served basis and not guaranteed. The French Connection Tournament, an intra-squad 3-on-3 tournament, will highlight the final day of camp on Saturday, June 29, beginning at 10:45 a.m. The tournament will be a ticketed event. Tickets will be made available exclusively for 2019-20 season ticket holders. Tickets will be free and limited to two per account. Season ticket holders for the 2019-20 season will receive an email on Monday, June 24 to claim their tickets. Tickets will be limited and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The goals of the camp are to introduce prospective players to professional work habits and organizational standards. The players will have an opportunity to become familiar with the team and the resources available to them through the Sabres development staff and performance team.

The full schedule of on-ice workouts open to the public at Harborcenter is below. All times are subject to change and any updates will be posted at Sabres.com.

Wed., June 26 1 to 2 p.m.

2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Thu., June 27 10:15 to 11:15 a.m.

11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Fri., June 28 10:15 to 11:15 a.m.

12 to 1 p.m.

Sat., June 29 French Connection Tournament: 10:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

SABRES ANNOUNCE ADDITIONS TO COACHING STAFF

BUFFALO, N.Y. (June 14, 2019) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has hired Don Granato and Mike Bales as assistant coaches. The pair joins assistant coach Steve Smith as members of Head Coach Ralph Krueger’s staff for the 2019-20 season.

Granato spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach for the Chicago Blackhawks after serving as the associate head coach for the University of Wisconsin during the 2016-17 season.

During his coaching career, Granato spent eight total seasons in the St. Louis Blues’ organization, including one season as an assistant coach for the Blues (2005-06). He also served as the team’s AHL head coach for seven seasons, first with the Worcester IceCats (2000-01 to 2004-05) and later with the Chicago Wolves (2008-09 to 2009-10). In his first season with the IceCats, Granato was the recipient of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award, awarded annually to the AHL’s most outstanding coach.

Granato began his coaching career in the USHL during the 1993-94 season as the interim head coach of the Wisconsin Capitols. He became head coach of the Green Bay Gamblers the following campaign and led the team to the best record in the USHL in 1995-96 and 1996-97. The following season, Granato moved to the ECHL, where he spent two seasons as head coach of the Columbus Chill before winning the Kelly Cup in his only season as head coach of the Peoria Rivermen in 1999-00.

A native of Downers Grove, Illinois, Granato also has extensive experience as a coach at the national level for the United States. From 2011-12 to 2015-16, Granato served as a head coach at the USNTDP, where he led his teams to victories at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2015 IIHF World U18 Championship. He was also an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship and at the 2014 and 2018 IIHF World Championships.

As a player, he captured an NCAA Championship with the University of Wisconsin in 1990. He spent two seasons in the ECHL with Columbus, posting 90 points (26+64) in 103 career contests.

Bales joins the Sabres with six seasons of experience as a goaltending coach in the National Hockey League. The Prince Albert, Saskatchewan native spent the last two seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes, during which the team recorded an 82-64-18 regular-season record.

Prior to joining the Hurricanes, Bales spent six seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins (2011-12 to 2016-17), winning the Stanley Cup in each of his final two seasons as a member of the Penguins’ staff. Originally hired by Pittsburgh in 2011 as a goaltender development coach, his first two seasons with the team were highlighted by helping to scout, draft and develop Penguins goaltender Matt Murray.

Bales was promoted to serve as the Penguins’ goaltending coach prior to the 2013-14 season. While serving on the team’s coaching staff, he oversaw a four-year span during which the team’s goaltenders posted the seventh-best save percentage in the league.

Bales played 18 seasons of professional hockey as a goaltender. He was selected by the Boston Bruins in the fifth round of the 1990 NHL Draft and appeared in 23 NHL games with the Bruins and Ottawa Senators.