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The Buffalo Sabres held their second and final day of their 2023-24 end-of-season media availabilities on Thursday.

Goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, forwards Dylan Cozens, JJ Peterka, Zach Benson, Peyton Krebs and Jack Quinn, and defensemen Bowen Byram, Owen Power, and Mattias Samuelsson were among the young players who spoke.

Several Sabres veterans – including Alex Tuch, Rasmus Dahlin, and Tage Thompson – met with the media for Day 1 on Wednesday. Find those interviews and takeaways here.

See below for the full interviews, top quotes, and takeaways from the Sabres' final day of locker cleanout.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen addresses the media

Luukkonen started the season as one of three goaltenders on the NHL roster and did not play in the team’s first six games. He earned the No. 1 job by season’s end, starting 36 of the final 42 games beginning on Jan. 6 and posting a .919 save percentage and four shutouts in that span.

The 25-year-old is scheduled to become a restricted free agent and said he is open to signing a long-term contract in Buffalo.

“I like it here,” he said. “I think we have a really, really good group of guys here who … signed for a longer contract. In the end, I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I for sure would not be against it.”

Dylan Cozens

Dylan Cozens addresses the media

Cozens finished this season with 18 goals and 47 points after setting career highs in both categories in 2022-23. While his offensive production dipped, he took strides in his role on the penalty kill and finished second among Sabres forwards in shorthanded ice time.

The 23-year-old said he’s the most motivated he’s ever been entering the offseason.

“There’s not too many positives I’m going to take from this year for myself,” he said. “I know I disappointed a lot of people. I disappointed myself. But I just have to try and look at some positives, and that’s kind of my penalty-kill, defensive game. I think that’s something I want to take a big step with to kind of mold into that two-way player that I want to be is to develop that defensive side of my game.

“Now it’s time to put both those together, the offensive game I had before and my defensive game now. I want to be that two-way, complete player, and I think I can do that.”

Cozens said he will play for Canada at the IIHF World Championship, which begins May 10 in Czechia. Cozens won a silver medal and had 13 points (7+6) when he last played in the tournament in 2022.

Rasmus Dahlin previously confirmed he will play in the tournament for Sweden.

Peyton Krebs

Krebs addresses the media

Krebs said adding physical strength and improving his shot will be his focuses this summer. The 23-year-old had 17 points (4+13) in 80 games this season.

“I definitely didn’t have the year I wanted offensively and just overall,” he said. “I know I need to be better. I know I’m going in every day and giving 110 percent and I know it’s gonna come eventually if I do that.”

Krebs ended his press conference expressing optimism regarding the Sabres’ future.

“I love coming to the rink every day,” he said. “I love Buffalo as a city. I’m gonna have my first kid here and everything like that. Buffalo is home. It’s exciting. We’re going to win a Stanley Cup, I know it.”

Bowen Byram

Bo Byram addresses the media

Byram played in 18 games for the Sabres after being acquired from Colorado in exchange for Casey Mittelstadt on March 6. He totaled nine points (3+6) in those contests, including a point in each of the last three games of the season, while appearing on both the power-play and penalty-kill units.

The 22-year-old talked about his transition and expressed his excitement to have a full training camp with the team ahead of next season.

“It’s tough. I feel like when I first got here I kind of just went out and played, and I thought I played some of my best hockey,” he said. “But as time goes on, you’re trying to learn how the coaches want you to play, trying to learn new systems, and it can kind of make things difficult. I felt like for a stretch I was thinking too much on the ice, not just going out and playing.

“When I go out and play and trust my instincts is when I play my best. I need to be accountable with myself. I wasn’t good enough for some parts, but it’s not easy as well. So, it’s going to be very nice coming into training camp, everything, to kind of get my feet under me again and get going in the right direction.”

Byram also confirmed that he will be playing for Canada at the IIHF World Championship, alongside Cozens and Power.

JJ Peterka

JJ Peterka addresses the media

Peterka put together a career year, recording his first 50-point season with 28 goals and 22 assists in 82 games. His performance earned him an opportunity to play on Buffalo’s top line with Thompson and Tuch in the final 12 games of the season.

Peterka attributed his success to focusing on the details in his game, including defensive responsibilities and time management.

“I think that was my goal in the offseason, obviously, to get better, and I think the main thing is just the details,” he said. “... Just being more of a pro, being in better position. I think that helped me, then, on the other end, on offense, to score more goals.”

The 22-year-old will also be participating in the World Championship this upcoming May before he looks ahead to showing his teammates around Germany when the Sabres close out their 2024-25 training camp in Munich, Germany.

“… Playing back home is always special and doing that with the group we got in here is even better, showing them around Munich and all that stuff,” he said. “So, I’m really excited.”

Owen Power

Owen Power addresses the media

Power will represent Canada in the World Championship, joining both Cozens and Byram.

Power recorded 33 points (6+27) and a plus-8 rating in 76 games in 2023-24 after signing a seven-year contract on Oct. 11. The defenseman said he felt he played at his best during the second half of the season as he gained more confidence.

Power will focus on adding more strength and explosiveness to his game during the offseason.

“I think for myself, I’ve still got a lot of kind of room to grow into my body and get stronger,” he said. “I think that's going to be a big point this summer, is kind of just becoming stronger and more explosive.”

Zach Benson

Zach Benson addresses the media

Benson ended his rookie campaign with 30 points (11+19) in 71 games, including seven points (2+5) in the last seven games of the season.

The 18-year-old said his spike in production in the second half of the season was due to him being more comfortable with the pace of the NHL.

“I think I just kind of got used to the pace a bit,” he said. “Obviously, it's a jump from junior. So yeah, I'd say the biggest thing was just getting used to the pace and kind of getting more and more adapted to the league.

“It was definitely a hectic year, and one I'll never forget. It was pretty awesome to play with this group of guys. It was a dream come true to play my first year in the NHL."

Benson also shared that his focus this offseason will be to get stronger.

“I felt pretty good in battles, but I want to win more,” he said. “I think like strength's my biggest key this offseason. Obviously, you want to improve your all-around game, but my biggest focus is definitely the strength part."

Mattias Samuelsson

Mattias Samuelsson addresses the media

Samuelsson met with the media for the first time Thursday since undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery during the All-Star break. The defenseman has been cleared to skate and is focused on his recovery ahead of next season.

“I’m good. I’m just recovering,” he said. “I’m just restrengthening my shoulder right now. Just a couple more weeks of that probably and I’ll be fine.”

Samuelsson appeared in 41 games prior to the injury, averaging 20:30 of ice time and 2:47 of shorthanded ice time per game. He said the season was mentally challenging while missing time due to his injury but is looking forward to being back on the ice with his teammates.

“When you’re not around the group that long and miss out on everything, it’s hard, it’s really hard,” he said. “I definitely struggled with it this year, but I think going into the summer, getting my body right and training a little different and just come back healthy and ready to play. I’m already excited for next year. I miss being on the ice every day.”

Jack Quinn

Jack Quinn addresses the media

Quinn missed the first 32 games of the season due to offseason surgery to repair an injured Achilles tendon before making his season debut on Dec. 19. The forward tallied 12 points (5+7) in 17 games in his return but was once again sidelined after undergoing successful lower-body surgery to repair an injury he sustained during Buffalo’s game against the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 27.

Quinn bounced back for the second time in 2023-24, recording four goals and three assists in 10 games following his return on March 27.

“When you’re injured, you just keep thinking about getting back and getting back to where you want to be with your game,” he said. “So, I was, I guess, happy with myself in the fact that I got to get there pretty quickly.

“… You’re always working on your game and trying to get better. But for me, you know, just really disappointed in the games I missed this year with injury. So, just doing everything I can for my body to be able to play in every game next year.”