Through their first two games of the 2016-17 season, the Buffalo Sabres have had yet to see goaltender Anders Nilsson take the net over starter Robin Lehner.
He won’t in their next game, either – but after confirming that Lehner will get the nod against Calgary tomorrow, Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma added that Nilsson should be making his debut with the club soon.
Drafted in the third round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders, the 26-year-old Nilsson has bounced around North American hockey quite a bit since New York first selected him. He spent just three seasons in the Islanders’ system before getting dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks, who never saw him take the ice with their club due to a year spent playing in the KHL overseas. He then returned to North America only to play for the Edmonton Oilers, instead – who then dealt him to the St. Louis Blues. Now, he’s in Buffalo for his fifth team in six years.
Last season, Nilsson – who stands at 6 foot 5 and 229 lbs – recorded a .901 save percentage through 26 games for Edmonton and a .909 save percentage through three games with St. Louis, adding a .935 through two games for the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors at one point, as well. Hopefully, he’ll be able to produce much better NHL numbers with Buffalo than he did with either Edmonton or St. Louis.
If he isn’t, though, the Sabres don’t lack a good backup option; prospect Linus Ullmark could easily fill in as number two behind Lehner if things don’t pan out well with the fellow Swede.