Photo: Melissa Kania
The Buffalo Sabres made several roster moves on December 17 prior to the team’s game against the Winnipeg Jets. The team sent three players down to the AHL’s Rochester Americans, recalling two others. So – what does this mean for the Amerks?
First thing of note: the Amerks are getting their leading goal-scorer back.
Despite only having played 15 games in Rochester this season, Luke Adam still leads the team in goals (13). He also has five assists and is fourth on the team overall in points scoring, behind only Phil Varone, Jamie Tardif and Mike Zigomanis.
Adam simply seems to be thriving this year in the AHL, so it should be good for both him and the Amerks squad to have him back in Rochester. One area where he’s particularly useful in Rochester is on the power play – seven of his 17 goals have come with the man advantage, so he’ll be a welcome addition back to the Amerks squad.
The Amerks are also getting their lead defensive scorer back, in the form of blueliner Brayden McNabb.
Despite multiple call-ups to the Buffalo Sabres, McNabb remains fifth on the Amerks in points scoring. He is also second on the team in assists, with 12 this season – only center Phil Varone has more. McNabb has three goals and 12 assists for 15 points in 16 games this season and should bring something good to the Amerks squad for however long he remains with this team this time around.
The final addition to the Rochester Americans squad is a new one for this season.
Defenseman Mark Pysyk returns to Rochester for the first time since the Calder Cup Playoffs. His last game in an Amerks uniform was May 1 against the Toronto Marlies, when Rochester was eliminated from the playoffs.
Pysyk played 57 regular season games with Rochester last year, scoring four goals and 14 assists. He had 67 shots on goals and 20 penalty minutes in the regular season. Pysyk was a plus-2 and had three shots on goal in the three playoff games against the Toronto Marlies last season.
Assuming he’ll get his AHL re-start tomorrow night, Pysyk will return to the American Hockey League to face the same team he ended last season against, as the Marlies visit Rochester on Wednesday evening. It’ll be interesting to see what his NHL experience can once again bring to the AHL squad – I think he’ll be a welcome addition and will fit in nicely until he gets called back up to the NHL.
While the Amerks are gaining three players, they’re also losing a pair. One of those players is McNabb’s oft-partner on defense, Chad Ruhwedel. Ruhwedel has appeared in 26 games with Rochester this season and has largely been paired with McNabb. They’ve both contributed offensively, with Ruhwedel just one point shy of McNabb in the stats category.
The team is also losing forward Kevin Porter, who was already called up to the Sabres earlier in the season. Porter’s played 13 games with Rochester, scoring 10 points (6-4) in that stretch. He’s made a little bit of a splash on the scoresheet, but with others such as Phil Varone, Jamie Tardif and Mike Zigomanis producing at the rate they are, the team should be fine without him for now.
The Rochester Americans host the Toronto Marlies on December 18. They’ll then face a home-and-home with the Lake Erie Monsters before departing for Davos, Switzerland to participate in the Spengler Cup.