BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Sabres supporter in his youth, Alex Tuch has forged a familial bond with the team’s fanbase since coming to Buffalo in a November 2021 trade involving the former face of the franchise Jack Eichel.

Tuch’s favored status in Sabreland was spotlighted prior to Thursday night’s home finale at KeyBank Center when he was presented with the Rick Martin Memorial Award. The top-line winger is the third recipient of the award voted on by fans to recognize the Sabres player who “best demonstrates on-ice excellence, resiliency, and dedication to the community.”

“The Rico” trophy was presented in a brief pregame ceremony to Tuch by Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams, COO John Roth, and the Sabres’ Fan of the Year winner, original season ticket-holder William Ziter.

The 26-year-old Tuch has had a career year in his first full season with the Sabres, with 35 goals and 78 points through his first 73 games. The Baldwinsville native also has made an impact in the community, visiting with and donating tickets to various organizations such as Carly’s Club, Best Buddies, GiGi’s Playhouse, and the Make Lemonaide Foundation for CP.

“He embodies Buffalo,” said Chris Polisoto in a video tribute. Polisoto is a member of the Buffalo Sabres Thunder hockey team for athletes with developmental disabilities to which Tuch presented jerseys earlier this season.

A video montage of fans representing the causes Tuch has supported was shown during the second intermission.

Tuch was one of three finalists for “The Rico,” along with last year’s winner, captain Kyle Okposo, and All-Star defenseman Rasmus Dahlin. The first recipient of the award was Sam Reinhart.


Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.