Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sabres ink Varone

When Phil Varone was brought in as a d-camp invite last summer, pundits thought it was a way to replace the skating and distribution skills that exited the system when Paul Byron was shipped to Calgary.

After accumulating 43 points in his first 63 professional games on an AHL deal, the Sabres decided to further their investment Monday by announcing that they've come to terms on a three-year entry-level deal with the talented pivot.

From the Sabres:

Varone (5’10”, 186 lbs., 12/4/90) currently leads the Rochester Americans (AHL) with 43 points (8+35) and two shorthanded goals in 63 games this season. His 35 assists rank him fourth among all AHL rookies and tie for 15th-most among all skaters. Varone is ranked 12th among AHL rookies in total scoring.

The Vaughan, Ont. native joined the Americans after recording a career-high 82 points (34 goals, 48 assists) in just 59 games last season with London and Erie of the Ontario Hockey League. In five OHL seasons with Kitchener, London and Erie, Varone finished his junior career with 230 points (78+152) in 228 games. He also totaled 34 points (14+20) in 26 career OHL playoff contests.

Varone had four points (2+2) for the Sabres in the 2011 Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament, helping the Sabres prospects to a tournament championship win. He signed a one-year AHL contract with the Americans in September after attending training camp with the Sabres.