Appert On Luukkonen Down The Stretch Of Regular Season: "He looked like a dominant goaltender"

ROCHESTER, NY (WHEC) – As the Amerks close the book on the 2022 season following Wednesday night’s triple overtime loss to the Rocket, the focus shifts to who from that squad could be of service to the Sabres soon. Despite an injury history and occasional struggles, Rochester head coach Seth Appert believes Ukko Pekka Luukkonen took strides.

The last three seasons, Luukkonen hadn’t played more than fifteen games. However, the goalie had his first real sample size to show if there was potential this AHL season. Though he only posted one complete shutout in 35 games, Rochester’s starting goalie did sport a career high .900 save percentage. In their season finale against Utica, he was perfect until being removed midway through the 1st period with an injury which gave way to Aaron Dell. It was that night that Appert noticed some intangibles.

"He looked like a dominant goaltender," Appert said. "He had that. He had the look and the swagger and the he was carrying himself. The way I remember coaching against him in the world championships when he was U18, watching him at the World Juniors. I thought he had kind of got back to that spot From a mental and physical perspective. He looked like a goalie that was ready to go on a run just with the way he was playing, the way he was carrying himself."

Luukkonen was Buffalo’s 54th overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft.