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Sabres sign Schaller, Lieuwen and Leduc to qualifying offers

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Buffalo brings back three players who will all likely start in Rochester.

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Sabres have locked up three more restricted free agents, signing Tim Schaller, Jerome Leduc and Nathan Lieuwen to qualifying offers.

Schaller has spent the most time with the Sabres of the three, scoring one goal and one assist in 18 games this year in his rookie campaign. He most likely will start back in Rochester, but does have potential to be a solid fourth line player going forward.

Lieuwen will play in Rochester alongside Andrej Makarov before the team is forced to made a decision when Linus Ullmark heals from hip surgery. He's spent the last three seasons in Rochester, but a career of injuries have hindered his true NHL potential.

Leduc is a player Tim Murray mentioned he was not certain he would bring back and even discussed giving him an AHL deal. The Sabres third-round pick in 2010, Leduc set career highs with six goals and 19 assists in 76 AHL games.

Here's the official release:

The Buffalo Sabres today announced forward Tim Schaller, defenseman Jerome Leduc and goaltender Nathan Lieuwen have signed their qualifying offers for the 2015-16 season.

Schaller (6'2", 206 lbs., 11/16/1990) made his NHL debut in 2014-15, recording two points (1+1) in 18 games with the Sabres. The Merrimack, New Hampshire native also posted a career-high 43 points (15+28) in 65 games with the Rochester Americans during his second AHL season, ranking second among all Rochester skaters in goals, assists and points.

Leduc (6'1", 192 lbs., 7/30/1992) posted career-highs in games played (76), goals (6), assists (19) and points (25) during the 2014-15 season for the Americans. Selected by the Sabres in the third round (68th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft, Leduc has 42 points (12+30) in 175 games for the Amerks in the last three seasons.

Lieuwen (6'5" 186 lbs., 8/8/1991) made his NHL debut with the Sabres in 2013-14 and posted a 1-4-0 record with a .906 save percentage and a 2.98 goals-against average in seven games. Buffalo's sixth-round (167th overall) selection in the 2011 NHL Draft, Lieuwen is 22-22-0 with a .911 save percentage and a 2.64 goals-against average in 52 games for Rochester throughout the last three seasons.