The Buffalo Sabres added two players through free agency on Tuesday, defenseman Matt Donovan and forward Jason Akeson. We also learned that they have been negotiating with Cal O’Reilly also a defenseman, the older brother of recently acquired Ryan O’Reilly.
Akeson just turned 25 last month and played the bulk of last season in the AHL with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms the Philadelphia Flyers farm club. He appeared in 13 games last season with the Flyers. He was an undrafted player back in 2011 but signed a deal with the Trenton Titans of the ECHL before the Flyers snatched him up. Akeson figures to be with the Rochester Americans next season and used in emergency call up situations.
During the 2010-11 season with the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers, Akeson led the team in scoring with 108 points (24G, 84A) and was a plus/minus 20. Gabriel Landeskog, current Colorado Avalanche captain was a teammate along with current Amerks forward and Binghamton native Jerry D’Amigo.
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Donovan appeared in 12 regular season and two playoff games with the New York Islanders last year. He’s appeared in a total of 69 NHL games all with the Islanders. He was their 4th round selection at the 2008 entry draft. He played two seasons with the University of Denver playing in the NCAA. He was also a member of Team USA’s U20 at the WJC in 2009-10 that won Gold. The Edmond, OK native gained notoriety last season filling in for a depleted Islanders defensive corp during their playoff series with the Washington Capitals.
There is a distinct possibility he spends the bulk of the season with the Sabres as a 6th or 7th defenseman. He has a left handed shot.
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