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VANCOUVER – There were no audible cheers from the Rogers Arena crowd when Buffalo Sabres director of amateur scouting Ryan Jankowski announced his third-round draft choice Saturday. Their selection, goalie Erik Portillo, did not attend the NHL draft. He wasn’t even among the 12 goalies ranked by NHL Central Scouting. Yet, Sabres brass used the third of their six picks o…

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VANCOUVER – Since Rasmus Dahlin was selected first overall in Dallas last June, the Buffalo Sabres' scouts have watched and analyzed games from around the globe. The organization's prospect rankings for this weekend's draft in Vancouver was pieced together and reorganized. Scouts pitched their territory's stars to the rest of the Sabres' staff. Players were interviewed …

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VANCOUVER – The breakthrough season by prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen did not prevent the Buffalo Sabres from selecting another goalie on Day 2 of the NHL draft. With the 67th overall pick, fifth in the third round, the Sabres chose Erik Portillo, a 6-foot-6 18-year-old who spent this past season with the junior program of Swedish Elite League's Frolunda. Portillo pos…

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Here are five things to know about the Sabres’ 31st-overall pick, Ryan Johnson: 1. His father, Craig, played 10 years in the NHL. Johnson’s father, Craig, enjoyed a 10-year career with St. Louis, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Toronto and Washington. He was traded to the Kings from the Blues in 1996 as part of the Wayne Gretzky trade. Craig coached Ryan on the 16U Anaheim Jr.…

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VANCOUVER — Jason Botterill didn't attempt to trade up from the No. 31 pick Friday night in Rogers Arena. Instead, the Buffalo Sabres' general manager sat at the team's table and waited to see which player would be atop his NHL draft board when they were on the clock with the final pick of the first round. His selection: Ryan Johnson, a 17-year-old left-shot defensem…

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VANCOUVER — There is the need and there is the best player available. When they intersect in the Top 10 of the NHL draft, you've done your job. The Buffalo Sabres had to feel super Friday night in Rogers Arena. They need centers in their organization in the worst way. There was a buffet of pivotmen to ponder with the No. 7 pick. Especially once Detroit threw the first r…

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The Buffalo Sabres selected center Dylan Cozens as the No. 7 overall pick of the NHL draft. But don't confuse Dylan Cozens (@Dylan_Cozens on Twitter), the Sabres' NHL draft pick from Yukon, with Dylan Cozens (@dylancozens on Twitter), baseball outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies and Triple A affiliate Lehigh Valley IronPigs. [Comprehensive coverage: the 2019 NHL…

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Here are five things to know about the Sabres’ seventh-overall pick, Dylan Cozens: He’s the first player from the Yukon Territories to go in the first round. Cozens was born in Whitehorse, Yukon, where there were few youth hockey programs. Instead, he played with older players until he moved to Vancouver when he was 14 to play at a hockey academy. He was the 2018 Wes…

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VANCOUVER – The wait felt like several hours to Dylan Cozens. The 6-foot-3 center was unsure when his name would be called in the first round of the NHL draft in Vancouver. All he knew for certain was Friday night was more meaningful than the realization of his lifelong dream. When the Buffalo Sabres drafted Cozens seventh overall, he hugged his family, walked to the…

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VANCOUVER — Jason Botterill did not hide his excitement Friday morning. The Buffalo Sabres' General Manager smiled when speaking to reporters in Trump International Hotel and Tower in downtown Vancouver, and expected to have the same expression on his face when he walked to the stage in Rogers Arena hours later. Botterill, amid his final preparations for his third dr…

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VANCOUVER — As soon as Vasily Podkolzin reached his seat atop the 105-foot, three-level yacht docked in downtown Vancouver, the crowd of reporters behind him converged on Jack Hughes, the likely top pick in the NHL draft. Podkolzin, a 17-year-old Russian winger, sat down and said hello in English to a handful of reporters waiting to speak to him. While Hughes was asked …

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It's a top-10 NHL draft pick for the seventh straight year for the Buffalo Sabres, but this is not a slam dunk year like Jack Eichel (2015) or Rasmus Dahlin (2018). There are numerous choices the team can make with the No. 7 pick Friday night in Vancouver's Rogers Arena. The News' Lance Lysowski and Mike Harrington ponder the possibilities and measure the chances each p…

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The 2019 NHL entry draft begins Friday evening. Here is a look at where the Sabres pick and who some experts believe Buffalo will draft with their picks at Nos. 7 and 31. Round 1: 8 p.m. Friday (NBCSN) Rounds 2-7: 1 p.m. Saturday (NHL Network) Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver Sabres' picks: Round 1: No. 7 and 31 Round 2: No pick Round 3: No. 67 Round 4: No …

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A historic second-half collapse was not enough to land the Buffalo Sabres the first pick in the upcoming NHL draft. Instead, General Manager Jason Botterill's staff must wait until six other teams have chosen players. Yet, Buffalo is positioned to land a dynamic talent in what is regarded as one of the deepest first rounds in recent memory. It will miss out on the top t…

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When Jason Botterill was hired as general manager of the Buffalo Sabres in May 2017, he inherited a roster with elite young talent but little organizational depth. Rather than trying to expedite the rebuild by trading away high draft picks for NHL players, Botterill asked the fan base for patience, a tough sell in a market that has not experienced playoff hockey since 2…