After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is examining where each team stands in preparation for the 2022-23 regular season, which starts Oct. 7. Today, the Buffalo Sabres:
2021-22 season: 32-39-11, fifth in Atlantic Division; missed Stanley Cup Playoffs
Eric ComrieG: The 27-year-old signed a two-year contract July 13 and will battle veteran Craig Anderson for playing time. Comrie was 10-5-1 with a 2.58 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and one shutout in 19 games (16 starts) for the Winnipeg Jets last season. … Ilya LyubushkinF: The 28-year-old signed a two-year contract July 13 and brings a veteran presence to a defense corps featuring Rasmus Dahlin22, and Owen Power19. Lyubushkin had 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in 77 games and one assist in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season.
Video: PHI@WPG: Eric Comrie stopped all 35 shots in 4-0 win
Dustin TokarskiG: Signed a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 13 after going 10-12-5 with a 3.27 GAA, .899 save percentage and one shutout in 29 games (28 starts) last season… Will Butcher, D: He’s an unrestricted free agent after he had eight points (two goals, six assists) in 37 games last season … Aaron Dell, G: Signed a one-year contract with the San Jose Sharks on July 13. He was 1-8-1 with a 4.03 GAA and .893 save percentage in 12 games (nine starts) last season. … Mark Jankowski, F: Signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Nashville Predators on July 14. He had five points (two goals, three assists) in 19 games last season … Cody Eakin, F: He’s a UFA after getting 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 69 games last season… Colin MillerD: Signed a two-year contract with the Dallas Stars on July 13. He had 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) in 38 games last season and finished second among Sabres defensemen in average power play time per game (1:27) … Mark PysykD: Signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings on July 14. Pysyk had 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 68 games last season … Drake CaggiulaF: Signed a one-year contract with the Penguins on July 13. He had five points (two goals, three assists) in 18 games last season.
On the cusp
Owen Power, D: The 19-year-old was the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and had three points (two goals, one assist) in eight games after joining the Sabres from the University of Michigan late last season. Power signed a three-year entry level contract with Buffalo on April 8. … Jack QuinnF: The 20-year-old was the No. 8 pick in the 2020 Draft and appears poised to take the next step after he had 61 points (26 goals, 35 assists) in 44 regular-season games for Rochester in the American Hockey League, fourth among league rookies. Quinn made his NHL debut last season and had two points (one goal, one assist) in two games. … JJ PeterkaF: The 20-year-old led AHL rookies with 68 points (28 goals, 40 assists) in 70 regular-season games. He was named to the All-Rookie Team after leading all first-year players in goals.
What they still need
A veteran presence at defenseman where the oldest projected starter is Lyubushkin. Buffalo has three players at least 30 years old: Anderson, 41, and forwards Jeff Skinner30, and Kyle Okposo33. General manager Kevyn Adams said he’s taking a big-picture approach of developing young players and that’s the path the Sabres are following.
They said it
“You have to have patience because things don’t happen overnight. Patience covers a lot. Patience can be with the team and the situation they’re in. Patience can be when during a contract negotiation. Patience can come with trade talks. Look at the Jack Eichel situation for example. There was a lot of patience needed there.” — general manager Kevyn Adams on Buffalo’s rebuild and youth movement
Power is a top 30 fantasy option at the position for this season and top 20 overall player in keeper and dynasty leagues. He was nearly a point-per-game player at the University of Michigan (32 points in 33 games) last season before joining Buffalo. Power and Dahlin (NHL career-high 53 points last season), are building blocks for the Sabers defense and leads their promising group of fantasy rookies, which also features Quinn, Peterka and goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. — Anna Dua
Video: BUF@NJD: Power nets a slick pass from Skinner for 1st
Jeff Skinner — Tage Thompson — Victor Olofsson
Peyton Krebs — Casey Mittelstadt — Alex Tuch
Rasmus Asplund — Dylan Cozens — Jack Quinn
JJ Peterka — Zemgus Girgensons — Kyle Okposo
Mattias Samuelsson — Rasmus Dahlin
Owen Power — Ilya Lyubushkin
Jacob Bryson — Henri Jokiharju