BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Sabres goalie of the future is now part of the present, after the team announced Friday that Devon Levi has signed an entry-level, three-year contract.
Levi will report to Buffalo rather than Rochester after he clears immigration, Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said prior to Friday night’s game against Philadelphia.
“We just thought for his development, where we are right now, this was a critical time for him to learn and grow with us,” Adams said. “And that’s he’s coming right in.”
The 21-year-old Levi joins the Sabres organization after an outstanding two seasons playing for Northeastern University. Levi is one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award given to the top player in NCAA Division I, and among three finalists for the Mike Richter Award as the nation’s top goaltender, which he won last season. Levi also was named MVP of the Beanpot series, and his career save percentage (.942) ranks second all-time, ahead of former Sabres goalie Ryan Miller. Levi’s goals-against average was 1.90 and he had 16 shutouts in 66 appearances.
“We first got to get him up to speed and get him around the guys, get him comfortable,” Adams said. “You want to set players up for success. You want to put them in a situation that you believe they can thrive. We’re open to it and we’ll go day by day and once we feel that he’s comfortable and where he needs to be, then we’ll see where we’re at.”
Buffalo acquired the rights to sign Levi, a seventh-round selection in 2020, from the Florida Panthers, along with a first-round pick used to draft forward Jiri Kulich, in a July, 2021 trade for Sam Reinhart, the second overall pick in 2014.
The 6-foot, 184-pound Levi is a native of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec, Canada. He led the CCHL with a .941 save percentage in his lone season of junior hockey. He was tournament MVP at the 2021 World Junior Championship, compiling a .964 save percentage in seven games to help Canada win a silver medal. Levi’s .952 save percentage as a sophomore at Northeastern is the second-best single-season mark of all-time in NCAA D-I. He led the country with a .933 save percentage this past season.
Levi’s presence in the prospect pipeline contributed to the Sabres trading Michigan goalie Erik Portillo to the Los Angeles Kings for a third-round pick, as Portillo was considered unlikely to sign with the Sabres.
Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.