The season of Sabres AHL goaltender Dustin Tokarski

Dustin Tokorski has had an interesting season and could a veteran backup option next year.
Rochester goaltender Dustin Tokarski watches as his save goes high up over the glass during warm ups
Rochester goaltender Dustin Tokarski watches as his save goes high up over the glass during warm ups / Shawn Dowd/Rochester Democrat and

Dustin Tokarski has had an interesting season. After signing with the Buffalo Sabres this offseason, he has been playing with the Rochester Americans throughout the year. He was called up with the Sabres during the season but was not utilized. His experience could prove invaluable and he could be a key backup for the Sabres and their starting goalie next season.

Tokarski returned to Buffalo after playing two years for the Sabres from 2020-2022. During that span, he went 12-20, with a save percentage of .899. He spent last year with the Penguins winning one game in three starts. 

This season for Rochester, he is 8-9-3 with a save percentage of .887. Dustin was recalled to the Sabres on February 15th due to Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen getting injured. He did not play in the game and was recalled back to the Amerks a few days later. 

Since his time back in Rochester, he’s made over 80 saves and won a game on March 20th. During the game he stopped five shots in the final 2:16 against the Hartford Wolf Pack, leading Rochester to a 6-5 victory. 

During the offseason, he signed a one-year contract worth $775,000. Bringing him back may be important for not only the Amerks, but the Sabres as well. Eric Comrie is under contract through this season, while Luukkonen will be restricted free agent after this year. If Buffalo chooses to move on from Luukkonen and go to second-year goalie Devon Levi, it may be important for the organization to have a veteran backup in Tokarski. 

He also could easily be the third option behind both Luukkonen and Levi if the Sabres choose to have all three. Tokarski’s tutelage could be important for Levi. Devon will be a restricted free agent after next season. The second-year goaltender is currently with Buffalo while Tokarski is in Rochester. 

While we don't know how long Levi will be with the Sabres, having a veteran like Tokarski in the AHL helps.