Author Archives: Ian Ott

SABRES SIGN OSKARI LAAKSONEN

The Buffalo Sabres have signed defenseman Oskari Laaksonen to a three-year, entry-level contract.“The work Oskari has put in to improve his game has paid off during his last two seasons. His success on the international stage and what he’s done as a 19- and 20-year-old playing in a professional league is impressive.”

– Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill


Highlights:

  • Among all-time Liiga defensemen before their age 21 seasons, Laaksonen ranks fifth in assists (35) and is tied for 18th in points (40).
  • Captured a gold medal with Team Finland at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, where he recorded two points (1+1) and a plus-5 rating in seven tournament games.
  • Recorded career highs in goals (3), assists (21) and points (24) for Ilves during the 2018-19 season before adding one assist and a plus-1 rating in four playoff contests.

2019-20 Season Recap

Top Team Notes:

  • Buffalo’s 2.80 goals per game marked the team’s highest total since 2010-11 (2.93). The team’s 1.88 5-on-5 goals per game was also the highest since their 1.96 mark in 2010-11.
  • At 5-on-5, the Sabres ranked in the top 10 in the NHL in goals against (9th), shot attempts against (9th), scoring chances against (10th) and high-danger scoring chances against (10th).
  • The Sabres’ 20-11-4 record at home this season ranked 11th in the NHL and marked the team’s best home points percentage (.629) since the 2009-10 season (.683).
  • Buffalo went 7-2-2 in afternoon games during the 2019-20 season, including a 6-2-0 record at home and a 1-0-2 mark on the road.

Top Player Notes:
Rasmus Dahlin

  • Dahlin joined Phil Housley as the second defenseman in franchise history to record at least 30 assists in his first two NHL seasons.
  • Dahlin’s .678 points per game in 2019-20 represented the best single-season scoring rate by a Sabres defenseman since Brian Campbell (.683) in 2007-08.
  • Dahlin’s .596 points per game in his career so far rank as the 11th-highest career rate among active NHL defensemen with at least 100 career games played.
    • Only four Sabres defensemen with more than 10 career games with the team earned higher career scoring rates as Sabres: Phil Housley (.918), John Van Boxmeer (.731), Garry Galley (.626) and Doug Bodger (.599)
  • With 84 points (13+71) in his first 141 career games (all as a teenager), Dahlin finished his teen years trailing only Phil Housley (132) for the most points ever recorded by a teenage defenseman in the NHL.
    • Dahlin’s 71 career assists tie Dan Quinn’s total as a teenager for the 12th-most ever recorded by an NHL player before his 20th birthday

Jack Eichel

  • Jack Eichel became the fifth player to lead (or tie to lead) the Sabres in all three major scoring categories (goals, assists and points) twice in his career (2017-18 and 2019-20).
    • He joined Gilbert Perreault (1976-77 and 1977-78), Pierre Turgeon (1988-89 and 1989-90), Miroslav Satan (2001-02 and 2002-03) and Thomas Vanek (2010-11 and 2012-13).
  • Eichel’s et a new career high with 1.15 points per game this season. It marked the highest scoring rate by a Sabre since Daniel Briere (1.17) in 2006-07. His .53 goals per game was the highest rate by a Sabres since Thomas Vanek (.55) in 2008-09.
  • Eichel finished the season as one of three players in franchise history to score 20 or more goals in each of his first five NHL seasons (Rick Martin and Thomas Vanek) and one of five to record at least 50 points in each of his first five NHL seasons (Martin, Gilbert Perreault, Phil Housley and Christian Ruuttu).
  • Eichel finished the season ranked eighth in the league with 1.40 points per game at home (49 points in 35 games). It was the highest home scoring rate by a Sabre with at least five home games played since Pat LaFontaine recorded 19 points in 13 home games (1.46) in 1994-95.
  • With 36 goals and 42 assists in 2019-20, Eichel became the first Sabre to score at least 30 goals and record at least 40 assists in a season since Jason Pominville (30+43) in 2011-12. He became the 16th different player in franchise history to accomplish this feat at least once.
  • Eichel appeared in his third consecutive NHL All-Star Game in 2020, becoming the first Sabres player to do so since Alexander Mogilny (1992, 1993, 1994).
    • Only four Sabres have participated in more NHL All-Star Games (Rick Martin – 7, Gilbert Perreault – 6, Dominik Hasek – 5, Mike Ramsey – 4) and none have topped Eichel’s eight points in those games.
  • Eichel scored four goals vs. Ottawa on Nov. 16 to become the Sabres’ first four-goal scorer since Thomas Vanek (April 10, 2010 at Ottawa).
  • Eichel tied Gilbert Perreault for most consecutive appearances with a point by a Sabre (18), tallying 32 points (16+16) from Nov. 16 to Dec. 21.
  • Eichel became the first Sabre ever to score on a penalty shot in overtime with his game-winner on Jan. 2 vs. Edmonton.
    • The goal was his seventh career overtime goal, breaking the previous franchise record of six, shared by Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek. Eichel finished the season with eight career overtime goals.

Carter Hutton

  • Hutton logged a career-best shutout streak of 134:22 from Oct. 9 to 22.
  • Hutton stopped 25 shots to record his first shutout as a Sabre on Oct. 14 vs. Dallas and then set a franchise record with 47 saves in a shutout in his next appearance on Oct. 17 at Los Angeles. He joined Bob Sauve (1979-80) as the second Sabre to post two shutouts in his first five games of a season and earned NHL Third Star of the Week honors.

Dominik Kahun

  • Kahun scored on his first shot in his Sabres debut on Feb. 28 at Vegas. By scoring just 22 seconds into his Sabres career, he needed less ice time to score his first goal with the team than any other Sabre since 2009-10, when the NHL began tracking the statistic.

Victor Olofsson

  • Olofsson earned NHL Rookie of the Month honors in October and December.
  • Olofsson recorded .78 points per game in 2019-20, marking the highest scoring rate by a Sabres rookie with at least 15 games played since Ray Sheppard (.88) in 1987-88.
    • Olofsson’s .37 goals per game marked the highest rate by a Sabres rookie with at least 15 games since Donald Audette (.49) in 1991-92.
  • Olofsson became the first player in NHL history to score his first seven career goals on the power play, before eventually scoring his first career even-strength goal in his home country as part of the 2019 NHL Global Series in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • With two different six-game point streaks, Olofsson became the second Sabres rookie (joining John Tucker in 1984-85) ever to record two in a season.

Sam Reinhart

  • Reinhart reached the 20-goal mark in his 55th game of the season; it was 14 games quicker than his previous best season (2015-16).
  • Reinhart recorded 13 multi-point games in 2019-20, ranking second on the team behind Jack Eichel.
    • The Sabres were 10-2-1 this season (.808) and are now 41-7-8 (.804) in Reinhart’s career when he records at least two points.

Linus Ullmark

  • Ullmark finished the 2019-20 season with an .840 career save percentage in shootouts, ranking third among active NHL goaltenders (min. 2 shootouts) and first in Sabres history.
    • Ullmark’s four wins through six career shootouts trail only Ryan Miller (49) and Jhonas Enroth (10) for most in franchise history.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings)

  • Eichel: 3 OTG (T-2nd), 9 GWG (T-3rd), 36 G (8th), 27 PPP (T-8th), 78 PTS (T-10th)
  • Ristolainen: 203 hits (8th)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 8-1-1 (17), 38/24, 12/39, 23/30
11-20: 2-6-2 (6), 21/35, 2/26, 21/29
21-30: 3-4-3 (8), 34/34, 4/33, 23/32
31-40: 4-5-1 (9), 24/32, 4/23, 23/30
41-50: 5-5-0 (10), 30/32, 7/29, 21/29
51-60: 5-4-1 (11), 28/33, 5/23, 13/17
61-69: 3-6-0 (6), 20/27, 3/23, 14/18

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 126-134 all-time)
Oct. 7 at CBJ: L, 4-3 (Texier, 2:08)
Oct. 9 vs. MTL: W, 5-4 (Johansson, 1:30)
Oct. 22 vs. SJS: W, 4-3 (Eichel, 3:13)
Nov. 14 vs. CAR: L, 5-4 (Hamilton, 2:28)
Nov. 27 vs. CGY: L, 3-2 (Lindholm, 1:17)
Nov. 30 at TOR: L, 2-1 (Tavares, 1:45)
Dec. 7 at VAN: L, 6-5 (Miller, 3:21)
Dec. 8 at EDM: W, 3-2 (Miller, 1:13)
Dec. 14 at NYI: L, 3-2 (Beauvillier, 3:04)
Jan. 2 vs. EDM: W, 3-2 (Eichel, 1:09)
Feb. 1 vs. CBJ: W, 2-1 (Eichel, 0:36)
Feb. 13 vs. CBJ: W, 4-3 (Olofsson, 2:44)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-2; 77-71 all-time)
Oct. 11 vs. FLA: W, 3-2 (GDG-Eichel)
Oct. 28 vs. ARI: L, 3-2 (GDG-Schmaltz)
Feb. 6 vs. DET: L, 4-3 (GDG-Larkin)
March 9 vs. WSH: W, 3-2 (GDG-Kahun)

Jack Eichel Conference Call

SABRES AGREE TO TERMS WITH MATTIAS SAMUELSSON

The Buffalo Sabres have agreed to terms with defenseman Mattias Samuelsson on a three-year, entry-level contract.

“We are very pleased with Mattias’ growth both at Western Michigan and on the international stage. He possesses a unique combination of size, speed and skill, and we look forward to working with him on his next steps as a pro.”

– Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill


Highlights:

  • Served as an alternate captain for the Western Michigan Broncos as a sophomore in 2019-20.
  • Registered a career-high 14 points and a plus-17 rating in 30 games in 2019-20. Earned an All-NCHC honorable mention and was named a finalist for the NCHC Defensive Defenseman of the Year Award.
  • Has represented the United States at each of the last two IIHF World Junior Championships, captaining the team in 2020 and earning a silver medal at the 2019 tournament.

SABRES AGREE TO TERMS WITH DAWSON DiPIETRO

The Buffalo Sabres have agreed to terms with forward Dawson DiPietro on a one-year, entry-level contract.

“Dawson was excellent at our development camp last summer, where he was able to showcase his speed and skill. His high-energy, up-tempo style was an important asset for Western Michigan, and we’re excited to add his skillset to our group.”

– Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill


Highlights:

  • Ranked second among Western Michigan skaters in both goals and points during his senior season with the Broncos in 2019-20. Ranked third on the team in assists.
  • Earned an NCHC All-Star honorable mention after leading the Broncos with 35 points and setting career-best totals in both goals (13) and assists (22) as a sophomore in 2017-18. Was also selected as the Broncos’ Co-Most Valuable Player that season.
  • Participated in Buffalo’s Development Camp in June 2019.