The lack of a general manager hasn’t stopped the Sabres from signing a prospect.
Buffalo and defenseman Devante Stephens have agreed to a three-year, entry-level contract. The Sabres selected the 20-year-old in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Draft.
Stephens blossomed this season, his third with Kelowna of the Western Hockey League. After totaling six goals and 22 points in his first 136 games, Stephens recorded 13 goals and 35 points in 67 games this year. He added seven assists in 14 playoff games.
The Sabres have until June 1 to sign the junior players drafted in 2015. The only prospect remaining is sixth-round pick Giorgio Estephan, who totaled 45 goals and 111 points in 83 games for Lethbridge of the WHL. The other unsigned draft picks were college players, who have a longer negotiating window.
The Sabres fired GM Tim Murray last week, but Assistant General Manager Mark Jakubowski is still employed by the team. He is Buffalo’s salary cap expert and has been negotiating contracts since 2008.