Buffalo Sabres goaltending prospects Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Devon Levi both put up stellar performances in their respective games on Friday night with the AHL’s Rochester Americans and Northeastern’s Huskies.
Luukkonen was named first star after the Amerks’ 2-1 overtime victory over the Syracuse Crunch. He made an outstanding 54 saves on 55 shots faced in 63:04, setting a career high for saves in a game. His previous high, 43, was set in a game against Cleveland in February 2021.
UPL looked really fresh last night. Quick and in sync with the game. All parts of his body moving as one. The polish he's applied to his game since turning pro is really noticeable.— Kris Baker (@SabresProspects) February 26, 2022
UPL has appeared in 17 AHL games this season, with a 3.08 GAA and 0.901 save percentage.
Elsewhere, Levi made a whopping 60 saves in Northeastern’s 3-1 win over Connecticut on Friday night. He tied a school record - and nearly recorded a shutout - in his first game back after returning from Beijing.
He also notched an assist, his second of the season, on this play:
As a friendly reminder, Levi didn’t see any ice time at the Olympics. Team Canada used only their other goalies, leaving the 20-year-old on the bench or in the press box instead. Canada failed to medal and was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Levi is in his sophomore season with Northeastern. He didn’t play during his freshman year due to injury. This season, he’s put up a 1.52 GAA and .951 save percentage - and recorded nine shutouts - while accruing a 17-7-1 record.
While neither UPL nor Levi appear poised for a full-time NHL position just yet, they certainly look like bright spots in the Sabres’ future. For fans of a Buffalo team that’s infinitely struggled with goaltending this season, it provides a bit of a sigh of relief to watch these two young men excel in their current positions, and hope that it bodes well in the future.