As the 2018 Winter Olympics approach, countries have begun naming their respective rosters for the men’s hockey teams. Although no current NHL players will be on these teams, there are some familiar names for Buffalo Sabres fans.
Multiple alumni of the Sabres, Rochester Americans, or both, will represent their countries in PyeongChang. Though not every team has been named yet, here’s what we know so far. We’ll continue to update this post as rosters are announced.
Canada’s team for the Olympics is basically a laundry list of former NHL players who have found homes overseas. Two of the notable names: Marc-Andre Gragnani and Derek Roy.
Gragnani, 30, played for the Sabres and their AHL affiliates in Rochester and Portland, between 2007 and 2012. Since leaving, he’s played for Vancouver, Carolina, and New Jersey in the NHL; Charlotte and Albany in the AHL, and has also skated in the KHL and the Swiss-A league. This season, he’s registered 29 points (5-24) in 49 games with Minsk ( of the KHL.
Roy, 34, played for the Sabres organization between 2003 and 2012, spending most of that time in Buffalo. Following that, he saw NHL stints in Dallas, Vancouver, St. Louis, Nashville and Edmonton before heading overseas in 2015. He’s since played in the Swiss-A league, the KHL and, this season, with Linkopings HC of the Swedish Hockey League. He’s registered 27 points (9-18) in 31 games.
There are a handful of familiar names on the American Olympic team, including former Sabres captain Brian Gionta; current Sabres prospect Will Borgen; and former Amerks David Leggio and Bobby Sanguinetti.
Gionta, 38, will be the captain of the US team. He spent three seasons with the Sabres between 2014 and 2017, and has spent this season preparing for the Olympics. As part of that preparation, he’s been skating with the Amerks over the course of this year.
Borgen, 21, isn’t a Sabres alumni, but rather a prospect, and certainly one to watch in the Olympics. Drafted by Buffalo in 2015, Borgen is in the midst of his third season at St. Cloud State. The defenseman has 12 points (2-10) in 33 games.
Leggio, 33, played for the Pirates & Amerks between 2010 and 2013 and became the team’s top netminder during that time. Since then, he’s spent time with various AHL teams (Hershey, Bridgeport, Portland... again), before heading overseas. Leggio has played the last few seasons with Munich EHC. This season, he’s appeared in 20 games and gone 13-7-0.
Sanguinetti, 29, played only briefly with the Amerks, spending 40 games with Rochester in the 2015-16 season. Following that season, he moved to the Swiss-A league. After a year with Kloten HC, he joined Lugano this year. The defenseman has 22 points (7-15) in 37 games.
Germany’s Olympic squad features two former members of the Sabres organization: Christian Ehrhoff and Felix Schutz.
Ehrhoff, 35, played for the Sabres between 2011 and 2014. He then spent time with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks before heading overseas to Germany. He’s spent the last two seasons with the Cologne Sharks and has 28 points (8-20) in 42 games this season.
Schutz, 30, was a 2006 draft pick of the Sabres. He played two seasons with the Pirates from 2008 until 2010 before heading back to Europe, where he’s played ever since. After several years in the DEL and KHL, he spent two seasons in the Swedish Elite League. This year, he’s played alongside Ehrhoff on the Cologne Sharks, putting up 39 points (15-24) in 41 games.
Finally, there are two former Sabres on the Swedish Olympic roster: Jhonas Enroth and Linus Omark.
Enroth, 29, played for the Sabres and Pirates between 2008 and 2015. He kept going in the NHL with Dallas, Los Angeles and Toronto and also saw playing time in the AHL with Toronto and San Diego through the end of the last season. This year, he’s played with Minsk Dynamo in the KHL (alongside Gragnani!) and has gone 18-25-5 with a .924 save percentage and 2.02 GAA.
Omark, 30, played just 13 games with the Sabres in the 2013-14 season. He’s played overseas ever since, including the last few seasons in the KHL with Ufa Salavat Yulayev. This season, he’s averaged nearly a point-per-game with 48 points (12-36) in 49 games.
Olympic Athletes from Russia
There are several familiar names on the Olympic team of Athletes from Russia, but only one that relates to the Buffalo Sabres: our old friend Mikhail Grigorenko.
Grigorenko, 23, has been playing with CSKA Moscow in the KHL this season, where he’s put up 23 points (10-13) in 45 games. He, of course, was with the Sabres organization from 2012 - 2015. In that time, he played some 59 games with the AHL’s Rochester Americans. The center also played 68 games with the Sabres.
There are no Sabres alumni on the Czech Olympic roster.
We’re still waiting on Olympic rosters from Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland, Finland, Norway and the Olympic athletes from Russia.