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Sabres sign college free agent Brandon Biro to entry-level contract

The coronavirus pandemic has not stopped General Manager Jason Botterill and the rest of the Buffalo Sabres' hockey operations from trying to add depth to the organization.

The Sabres announced Wednesday the team agreed to terms on a two-year, entry-level contract with college free agent forward Brandon Biro, a 22-year-old who scored 41 goals over four seasons at Penn State University.

Biro, a left wing, was a four-year starter with the Nittany Lions and served as the team's captain this past season. He finished his NCAA career ranked in Penn State's all-time top 10 in goals (tied-8th), assists (third) and points (fourth).

"Brandon will bring a combination of skill, hockey sense and character to our organization," said Botterill in a statement released by the team. "We're confident that his four years at Penn State with coach (Guy) Gadowsky have prepared him well for the next phase of his development."

Biro attended the Sabres' development camp as an invitee in June 2018 and led Penn State to a 20-win season in 2019-20, though it ended abruptly with the NCAA canceling its winter championships in response to the ongoing global health crisis.

Biro had 10 goals with 15 assists in 25 games during his senior season. His third year of college eligibility in 2018-19 included career highs in goals (16), assists (24) and points (40).

It's likely Biro will begin his professional career in Rochester or Cincinnati, and he will help address the organization's need for more talented forwards.

Botterill is expected to be in the market for additional college and international free agents. Finnish journalist Miika Arponen reported Monday the Sabres are interested in signing Ilves winger Eemeli Suomi, a 24-year-old who ranked third in Finland's top professional league in goals (26) and second in points (57) in 57 games this season.

Suomi has served as Ilves' captain for the past three seasons, scoring 61 goals during that span. He is teammates with Sabres prospects Arttu Ruotsalainen and defenseman Oskari Laaksonen. Ruotsalainen competed in Buffalo's training camp this season after he signed an entry-level deal last May. He's expected to join the Sabres or Rochester Americans next season.

The Sabres have six pending unrestricted free agent forwards: Wayne Simmonds, Johan Larsson, Zemgus Girgensons, Michael Frolik, Jimmy Vesey and Vladimir Sobotka.

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