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Murray headlines noteworthy performances by Sabres prospects

Catch up on how players in the system are performing

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Brett Murray showed off his scoring touch last week, posting three goals in a pair of games for the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL. Murray, a fourth-round pick of the Sabres in 2016, scored twice on five shots Saturday (including the game-winner) in Youngstown's 4-3 win over Muskegon. 

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Samuelsson receiving great support while adjusting to college game

Western Michigan freshman defender has 3 points in 8 games

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

The last time Mattias Samuelsson and his brother Lukas played on a team together, Samuelsson was a freshman at Northwood School in Lake Placid. Now, five years later, they're back together at Western Michigan University, where Samuelsson is in his freshman season with the Broncos. 

The 2018 second-round pick (32nd overall) is learning as much as he can from his older brother and enjoying the time they share both on and off the ice. As a freshman, Samuelsson has to live in the dorms, but it's only a two-minute drive to his brother's apartment. He says he's there "all the time."

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Weissbach becoming a student of the game at Wisconsin

2017 7th-round pick is developing an all-around game as a sophomore

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

It's not uncommon for Tony Granato to show up to work and be asked to go over a play from an NHL game. The University of Wisconsin coach might be asked if he saw a play made by Johnny Gaudreau the night prior, or if he can pull up a clip from the Chicago Blackhawks game. 

The one doing the asking is Linus Weissbach, a sophomore forward for the Badgers and Buffalo's seventh-round pick in 2017. 

"What I've really enjoyed watching is the amount of time he watches hockey when he's away from the rink," Granato said over the phone Tuesday. "He comes in in the morning and he's telling me, 'Hey, did you see last night's game? Did you see Gaudreau's goal?'

"He is one of those kids that it's 24-hours-a-day hockey. That's him."

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Greeley discusses 5 prospects off to strong starts

Pekar, Luukkonen among October standouts

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

It is November yet? Not quite, but the first month of hockey is nearly in the books for Sabres prospects. 

We spoke with assistant general manager Steve Greeley on Wednesday to discuss five young players who have had particularly strong starts to their seasons. 

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Sabres ink Pekar to entry-level contract

Forward was drafted in 4th round of 2018 NHL Draft

by Sabres PR @SabresPR /

The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has signed forward Matej Pekar to a three-year, entry-level contract.

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'Pesky' Pekar enjoying early success in Barrie

2018 4th-round pick signed entry-level contract on Wednesday

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

It hasn't taken long for Matej Pekar to make an impression on both fans and members of the Buffalo Sabres organization. The 2018 fourth-round pick was a standout at his first development camp in June, where he scored two goals in the French Connection Tournament and got under the skin of 2017 top pick Casey Mittelstadt. 

He said he tries to emulate a style similar to that of Boston Bruins pest Brad Marchand and so far, with that mindset, he's had early success with the OHL's Barrie Colts. 

Pekar has 11 points (6+5) through his first 10 games.

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Luukkonen off to scorching start with Sudbury

Goaltender named OHL Player of the Week

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

One lesson Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has learned during his introduction to the Ontario Hockey League: You need to be ready for anything. 

Luukkonen and his Sudbury Wolves were already trailing 2-0 on Sunday when he found himself face-to-face with Kitchener Rangers forward Rickard Hugg, sent in alone on a breakaway. With little time to react, the 6-foot-5 goaltender stayed patient as Hugg flipped the puck to his backhand, then quickly dropped to the butterfly to make the pad save. 

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Sabres cap Prospects Challenge with 10-goal effort vs. Pens

Asplund, Nylander lead with 4 points each

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

If only we could all be as productive to start our weeks as the Buffalo Sabres were on Monday afternoon.

The Sabres dominated their way to a 10-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in their Prospects Challenge finale, an encouraging end to the tournament for a group of young players looking to stake their claims at NHL roster spots when training camp opens on Thursday. 

"I think overall it was a great weekend," Sabres general manage Jason Botterill said. "Just the atmosphere in the building on Friday and Saturday night certainly got our players excited, and I really liked the effort from the entire team.

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Sabres hope to take lessons from Prospects Challenge loss to Bruins

Luukkonen impresses in net; Glotov scores for Buffalo

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Sabres/Bruins Highlights 9/8/18

Prospects Challenge Highlights: BUF vs. BOS

Highlights from Buffalo's 3-1 loss to Boston at the Prospects Challenge

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Following a night in which they put on a show in front of a sellout crowd at Harborcenter, the Buffalo Sabres were unable to generate offense against an experienced Boston Bruins team in their second game of the Prospects Challenge on Saturday. 

While the outcome was unfavorable - a 3-1 loss - the lesson was valuable. Rochester Americans coach Chris Taylor said afterward that the difference between this outing and the one 24 hours prior, when the Sabres put up six goals against New Jersey, came down to his players simply trying to do too much. 

"That was a good team," Taylor said. "It was very valuable. A team like that, you can't turn pucks over at the blue line, they're going to come back at you. Like I said, a lot of individualized play for us. I didn't think we were as physical, especially in front of the net. We couldn't sustain to be there. 

"We had a couple good shots there, a couple rebounds. We've got to fight a little bit harder to get to those areas and get those second and third opportunities."

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Borgen looks to repeat physical performance against Bruins

Pekar explains move to OHL; Guhle to play against Bruins

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Stop us if you've heard this before: The Buffalo Sabres boast a defense prospect who exudes a laid-back, calm demeanor off the ice but transforms into a wrecking ball once he laces up his skates. 

That Jekyll-and-Hyde description has been used on plenty of occasions to describe Rasmus Dahlin, who's as quiet and humble off the ice as he is electric on it. But according to Chris Taylor, the same can be said about Dahlin's defense partner in Friday's opening game of the Prospects Challenge. 

That person is Will Borgen, and he'll be back alongside Dahlin when the Sabres meet the prospects from the Boston Bruins at Harborcenter on Saturday night. 

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