Aube-Kubel Hopes To Continue Fourth-Line Success In Buffalo

28-year-old winger signed with the Sabres after scoring 16 points in 60 games with Washington

The Buffalo Sabres made a number of moves to solidify their forward depth during and after the NHL Draft in Las Vegas, trading with Edmonton for center Ryan McLeod, with Washington for Beck Malenstyn, and signing Jason Zucker, Sam Lafferty, and Nicolas Aube-Kubel in free agency.

“Buffalo did a real good job in free agency, if you look at the four guys they added, they’re all fast players,” Aube-Kubel said in a Zoom interview on Wednesday.

After spending two seasons with the rebuilding Capitals, the much-traveled Aube-Kubel was looking for a challenge and thought Buffalo was a good fit. The 28-year-old winger has played for four clubs over his five NHL seasons, starting with the Philadelphia Flyers (who drafted him in 2014). The Alberta native was claimed off of waivers by Colorado in 2021, which resulted in his career-best 22-point season and a Stanley Cup Championship.

Aube-Kubel signed with Toronto in 2022 but played only six games with the Leafs before being claimed off of waivers again by Washington. Last season, he split time between AHL Hershey and the Capitals, scoring 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists) in 60 games and played effectively on the fourth line with veteran Nic Dowd and newest-Sabre Malenstyn.

The Sabres will be looking for that combo to provide a physical edge and play effectively in a defensive role against the opposition’s top lines as they did under rookie coach Spencer Carbery in Washington.

"I just started to enjoy that role. This year was really good, I thought Beck, Dowd, and I did a really good job neutralizing (other team's) offensive lines and be more defensive." Aube-Kubel said on Wednesday. "I'm pretty pumped to have Beck still by my side in Buffalo. He's a good friend of mine, so I'm pretty pumped to start anew, but also have familiar faces (on the team)."