The Sabres swapped backup netminders on Sunday, announcing the recall of Eric Comrie from AHL Rochester while returning rookie Devon Levi to the minors. As such, the 22-year-old will get a handful of starts in Rochester over the next ten days or more while the Sabres are off for the All-Star break.
Buffalo’s three-goalie experiment to begin the season has ended. 24-year-old Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen now has a firm grasp on the starter’s crease, posting a 12-11-2 record, .909 SV% and 2.61 GAA in 26 games. All of those stats lead the team, as do his 2.4 goals saved above expected, per MoneyPuck.
The 22-year-old Levi hasn’t had the rookie season some had hoped for, but despite his subpar .891 SV%, he’s still been solid relative to the high shot quality he’s faced. Like Luukkonen, he’s performed slightly above average, stopping 1.5 goals saved above expected in his 20 appearances. Levi’s played only three times since the beginning of January, though, and without a clear path to the majority of the starts in Buffalo, the organization is rightfully interested in getting their youngster some more playing time. In three games with Rochester, Levi has a .903 SV% and a 2-1-0 record.
While Comrie has done well in the minors as of late, his NHL track record this season suggests he’ll be returned to Rochester once the Sabres’ schedule resumes next month. Injuries and poor play have limited him to seven appearances this year, in which he’s posted a 1-5-0 record and a .863 SV%. The 28-year-old will not need to clear waivers upon his return to the minors after passing through unclaimed on New Year’s Day unless he stays on the roster for more than 30 days.
Other transactions from the Atlantic Division today:
- The Panthers loaned rookie forward Mackie Samoskevich to AHL Charlotte, per the NHL’s media site. The 21-year-old played in all four games since Florida recalled him one week ago, his first NHL action in nearly three months. The Panthers went a perfect four-for-four with Samoskevich in the lineup, but he didn’t manage to record a point and posted a -1 rating while averaging 11:39 per game. Their 2021 first-round pick is still looking for his first NHL point after making the team out of camp last October. He’s done quite well in the minors, however, ranking second on Charlotte with 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points in 32 games.
- Less than 24 hours after recalling him, the Red Wings returned defenseman Wyatt Newpower to AHL Grand Rapids, per a team announcement. Newpower, 26, was a healthy scratch for last night’s 5-2 win over the Golden Knights. Detroit has routinely brought up a defenseman from Grand Rapids on game days to serve as last-minute injury insurance while Ben Chiarot is sidelined with an undisclosed injury, routinely bringing up the more experienced Brogan Rafferty. They decided to give him a break from the roster turmoil yesterday, however, instead giving Newpower his first NHL summons since signing his entry-level contract three years ago.