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2023 Player Report Card: Devon Levi

Total Season Stats: 5-2-0 in seven games played

Age: 21

Contract Status: Signed through 2024-25, $1.567 million AAV starting 2022-23

Ever since Buffalo traded Ryan Miller to the St. Louis Blues in 2014 and some fans would argue, ever since the Blue and Gold dealt Dominik Hasek to the Detroit Red Wings in 2001, the Sabres have struggled to find a goalie who can keep opponents’ pucks out of their net on a consistent basis.

This past season, GM Kevyn Adams gambled on the trio of Craig Anderson, Eric Comrie and Ukko-Pekka Lukkonen. Anderson finished the season with an excellent .908 SV%, but an injury he suffered during a game against the Nashville Predators on March 21 took him out of most of the remaining matchups, just when Buffalo was making a playoff push. The veteran goalie retired after his last game on April 13.

Comrie ended the season with an .886 SV% and 3.67 GAA, while UPL, with an .892 SV% and 3.61 GAA, fared only slightly better or worse, depending on the stat.

Enter Devon Levi. The college prospect, who played his last two seasons at Northeastern University with a .933 SV% and 2.24 GAA, made his NHL debut with Buffalo on March 31, helping the team beat the New York Rangers at home 3-2 in overtime. The new goalie kept the score tied at 2 at the end of regulation, allowing Jeff Skinner to get the game winner in OT.

A week later, the Sabres played the Detroit Red Wings. This time, the contest went to a shootout tied 6-6. Tage Thompson failed to score first, while Lucas Raymond beat Levi to make it 1-0 Wings. Jack Quinn made a quick left-sided move to answer back, while Levi stymied David Perron in Detroit’s second scoring attempt.

Aex Tuch then backhanded the puck past Ville Husso to put Buffalo up 2-1. Levi kept Dylan Larkin from tying it up and the Sabres won 7-6.

Just four days later, Buffalo faced the Rangers again. Once again, the game went past regulation and this time, like the Detroit matchup, it ended in a shootout. Unlike the SO vs. the Red Wings, nobody could score in a best of three, so whoever couldn’t answer goal for goal would end it.

Owen Power got a wrister on Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin, but Vladimir Tarasenko put one past Levi to tie it up. Casey Mittelstadt beat Shesterkin with a backhander and Kaapo Kaako skated down to Buffalo’s end, trying to keep the shootout going. Levi followed Kaako across the front of the net and the forward tripped on Levi’s stick. It was all over and the rookie won his second SO.

While he only played seven games at the end of 2022-23, No. 27 completed his first NHL stretch with an impressive .905 SV% and 2.94 GAA. While it’s too soon to anoint Levi as Buffalo’s goaltending answer, he’s played well enough so far to get very high accolades.

Season Grade: A