Sabres' Pilut hopes his time in the AHL translates to the NHL

The defenseman came up to Buffalo tied for the lead in AHL scoring

Paul Hamilton
November 23, 2018 - 5:52 pm
Lawrence Pilut

Photo: Kevin Hoffman - USA TODAY Sports


Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - With the injury to Marco Scandella, the Sabres needed an extra defenseman up just in case there was an injury. Scandella returned on Friday, but Lawrence Pilut stayed with the team.

Pilut was tied for the lead in AHL scoring when Chris Taylor gave him the word Wednesday before practice.

Pilut didn’t play Wednesday or Friday, but he earned the call up and is getting a taste of the NHL. Pilut is so happy he’s up in the NHL, but he knows there were things to learn in the AHL, “I’ve learned the game over here, all the angles and stuff and we’ve had a great group and all the guys have been pushing me on and I need to keep working and keep improving.”

For players that come over from Europe, there is always an adjustment. Pilut will be 23 by the end of the year. He said he knows there’s a process to getting to the NHL, “I want to be up here, but you’ve got to have patience with it and work on the details.”

There are differences between the Swedish Hockey League and the American Hockey League. Pilut said, “It’s a little quicker out there, a little more body contact and just the angles, so I’m trying to learn more and improve every day.”

We know Pilut has the offensive flair to his game, but he’s been working on his defense, “I think it’s coming more and more. I’m still working on small details to be in the right spot at the right time, but so far, I’ve been pretty solid.”

There’s an adjustment for players from Europe in moving to the United States. Pilut said, “The whole team has helped me out a lot and all the coaching staff have made sure that I settle in OK and it’s been really good that way because you have so much help.”

Pilut played five seasons in the SHL before coming over. He’s glad he did that and didn’t come over to North America too early, “I think it’s an advantage to have that with me here, to play against pro players and get the feeling of it before you take off is pretty big.”

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