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Reports: Sabres Sign Zucker, Lafferty in Free Agency

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Jason Zucker Sam Lafferty Buffalo Sabres free agency

The Buffalo Sabres have signed forwards Jason Zucker and Sam Lafferty to short-term deals, per reports. Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff reported that the Sabres agreed to terms with Zucker on a one-year, $5 million contract. Chris Johnston of The Athletic reported the Sabres signed Lafferty to a two-year, $2 million average annual value deal.

Jason Zucker

Zucker played 69 games last season for the Arizona Coyotes and Nashville Predators, scoring 14 goals and 32 points. The 32-year-old winger is a speedy play-driver, who can catch the opposing team flat-footed and draw penalties as a result. He’s a season removed from a 27-goal campaign with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Jason Zucker Buffalo Sabres player comps

Where Zucker slots into the Sabres lineup is uncertain, although he can play a top-six or bottom-six role for the club. This places him in the team’s second or third left-wing spot, alongside either Dylan Cozens or Peyton Krebs. He has a shoot-first mentality that usually evens out his goals and assists totals.

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Sam Lafferty

Lafferty combines with trade acquisition Beck Malenstyn to start the formation of a physical fourth line for the Sabres. Buffalo is looking to form a new identity under head coach Lindy Ruff of being tougher to play against, which justifies the move. Lafferty played 79 games for the Vancouver Canucks last season, recording 13 goals and 24 points.

Sam Lafferty Buffalo Sabres player comps

Aside from Lafferty’s willingness to finish checks, the 6’2″ forward is good at finishing his scoring opportunities. He ranks in the 75th percentile of scoring above expected. His downhill speed also helps draw penalties.

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Other Signings

Darren Dreger of TSN reported that the Sabres signed goaltender Felix Sandstrom to a two-way deal. Sandstrom appeared in five games for the Philadelphia Flyers last season, going 1-2-0 with a 3.87 goals-against average and a .823 save percentage. He will likely serve as Buffalo’s third goalie on the depth chart, spending most of his time in AHL Rochester.

Chad DeDominicis of Expected Buffalo also reported that a one-year deal is in the works for forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel. Aube-Kubel fits a similar mold as Lafferty and Malenstyn, as he’s an aggressive forechecker who is very physical. He had 16 points in 60 games for the Washington Capitals last season.