Phil Varone
Image: NHL

Phil Varone


Vaughan Ontario

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









Trade with Buffalo, 2016


186 lbs.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream

2008-09: Phil Varone scored 19 goals and 33 assists, alongside 32 penalty minutes in 58 games for the London Knights in his second OHL season. Ranked 172nd among North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings he was selected by San Jose in the fifth round (147th overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft. 

2009-10: Varone had an injury shortened season. He played in only 31 games for the London Knights(OHL). Varone did score at a point-per-game pace when healthy, finishing with 9 goals and 22 assists.

2010-11: Varone attended the Sharks’ camp before returning to London for an overage season. With a limit on overage players, he was traded to Erie in October 2010. After scoring 1 goal in four games with the Knights, Varone was a key player for an Otters team that won 40 games for the first time since 2001-02. He was the second-leading scorer with 33 goals and 81 assists in 55 games and was plus-22 with 30 penalty minutes. The Otters finished third in the Midwest Division before losing to defending Memorial Cup champion Windsor in a tight seven-game series. Varone was Erie’s leading scorer in the playoffs, finishing with 3 goals and 10 assists in seven games. He was not signed to a contract by San Jose in June 2011, becoming an unrestricted free agent.

2011-12: Varone was signed to an AHL contract by the Rochester Americans after attending Buffalo’s training camp. He was the leading scorer for the Sabres’ affiliate, scoring 11 goals with 41 assists, and was plus-17 with 42 penalty minutes in 76 games. The Amerks finished second in the North Division. Varone and Marcus Foligno each scored 1 goal with 2 assists to lead the Amerks in scoring in the three-game playoff series with Toronto. The Sabres signed him to a three-year entry-level contract in March, 2012.

2012-13: Varone skated in 62 games for Buffalo’s AHL affiliate in Rochester in his second pro season. A healthy scratch at times early in the season due to the NHL lockout, he scored 11 goals with 24 assists and was -3 with 42 penalty minutes. The Americans finished second in the North Division and were swept by first place Toronto in the first round of the playoffs. Varone played in all three playoff games and was -4 with no points and 2 penalty minutes.

2013-14: Varone made his NHL debut with Buffalo on January 23rd in a game against the Hurricanes and skated in nine games with the Sabres during a mid-season call-up; spending the majority of the season with AHL affiliate Rochester. He scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was -3 with 4 penalty minutes, averaging 11:24 minutes of ice time while with the Sabres. Varone led Rochester in points (61) and assists (43) in his third season with the Americans. He scored 18 goals and was -1 with 58 penalty minutes in 69 regular season games. Rochester finished second in the North Division and lost to Chicago in a first-round playoff series. Varone had 3 assists and was -3 with no penalties in five playoff games.

2014-15: Varone spent the first half of the year with Sabres’ AHL affiliate Rochester before being recalled in January. He skated in seven mid-season games with Buffalo before being returned to Rochester on January 19th and was recalled by the Sabres at the end of February. Varone saw a bit more ice time with the Sabres, averaging over 14 minutes per game, and led Rochester in scoring for the second straight year. 

Talent Analysis

Varone has been a consistent scorer at the AHL level during his pro career but has yet to show that same offensive consistency in the NHL. Whether that is because of the limits of his game or because he has had a lack of opportunity is a point of contention among scouts. Some say that, despite his small stature, he is slick and skilled enough to be a top-six playmaker in the NHL, with a Daniel Briere-like ability to elevate his game when it matters most. Others say that Varone is destined to top out as an AHL scorer.


Varone was dealt by the Buffalo Sabres along with Jason Akeson and Jerome Gauthier-Leduc to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Eric O'Dell, Micahel Sdao, Cole Schneider, and Alex Guptill.

Buffalo Sabres flaunt deep prospect pool despite recent trade

by Jason Chen
Justin Bailey has scored 12 goals and 14 assists in 20 games since being traded to the Soo Greyhounds at the trade deadline.

Photo: Justin Bailey has scored 12 goals and 14 assists in 20 games since being traded to the Soo Greyhounds at the trade deadline. (Courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)


Only a team with a wealth of young talent like the Buffalo Sabres could have put together a package appetizing enough to wrestle Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian away from Winnipeg. Outgoing prospects Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux are promising young players, but the organization has plenty of others—and the best are still in the fold. Read more»

Many young players seeing ice time for rebuilding Buffalo Sabres team

by Jason Chen
Nikita Zadorov - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Defenseman Nikita Zadorov is one of several young players to suit up for the Buffalo Sabres this season. Zadorov is a first round pick from the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire)


The Buffalo Sabres have not won a game in the 2015 calendar year, but all eyes are on the future, as the rebuild continues. A string of injuries and poor performances by the Sabres’ veterans opened up opportunities for some of the organization’s top AHL players to showcase their skill in the big leagues, and although the results have been mixed, generally speaking the franchise is in good shape for the future.

Read more»

Buffalo Sabres experiencing growing pains at all levels of organization

by Jason Chen
Montreal Canadiens v Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Buffalo Sabres forward prospect Johan Larsson has split time between the Sabres and the AHL’s Rochester Americans this season (courtesy of Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)


Despite the return of their top scorers, an influx of new talent, and the continuing development of their top players, the Rochester Americans are having a disappointing season. After making the AHL playoffs in three consecutive years, the Amerks sit last in the North Division and 14th in the Western Conference. The team has just two wins in their past 10 games.

Read more»

Dynamic group of forwards represent Buffalo Sabres at CHL level

by Jason Chen
Vaclav Karabacek - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Vaclav Karabacek is one of seven prospects representing the Buffalo Sabres in the Canadian major junior hockey ranks. Karabacek was picked in the second round of the 2014 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Francois Laplante/FreestylePhoto/Getty Images)


Many of the Buffalo Sabres‘ top prospects are already earning their stripes in the pros, but the organization’s war chest of young players runs deep, with several other key prospects currently playing in the CHL and USHL.

Read more»

Rebuilding Buffalo Sabres boast deep, talented group of prospects

by Jason Chen
Jake McCabe - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Defenseman Jake McCabe is one of several Buffalo Sabres defensive prospects who are pushing for spots in the NHL. McCabe was a second round pick from 2012. (courtesy of Andy Mead/YCJ/Icon Sportswire)


Once the Buffalo Sabres are done collecting their puzzle pieces, it will be a matter of figuring out how they will all fit together. The Sabres have the cornerstones in place with Sam Reinhart at center and Rasmus Ristolainen on defense, but the short-term focus is to make sure that every prospect in the organization takes a step forward.

Read more»