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.

Several Buffalo Sabres prospects enjoyed productive postseasons

by Jason Chen

Nikita Zadorov - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Defenseman Nitkita Zadorov had a strong postseason for the London Knights, managing four goals and five assists in nine playoff games. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

The parent club was in shambles for much of the 2013-14 season, but the plight of the Buffalo Sabres did not adversely affect the development of their deep pool of prospects. Though the Rochester Americans felt the effects of Buffalo's roster shuffle throughout the season, the organization's prospects at the junior and amateur levels performed well, with the majority of them qualifying for the playoffs in their respective leagues.

Read more»

San Jose Sharks have little to show from 2009 NHL Draft

by Craig Fischer

Taylor Doherty - San Jose Sharks

Photo: Defenseman Taylor Doherty, currently skating in AHL Worcester, is one of two draft picks from the Sharks 2009 class that is still part of the organization (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)

The 2008-09 Season was one of great hope for the San Jose faithful. The team finished the regular season with 117 points, a franchise record, and good enough to win their first and only Presidents’ Trophy as the league’s best team after 82 games.

Read more»

Buffalo Sabres remain in state of transition at NHL and minor league levels

by Jason Chen

Phil Varone - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Forward Phil Varone currently leads the Rochester Americans with 29 points through 32 games. Varone is in his third year at the AHL level. (courtesy of Abelimages/Getty Images)

The Rochester Americans, the AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, made their return to the Spengler Cup this winter after placing third in 1996. However, the Amerks were outmatched in the prestigious tournament this time around, allowing 15 goals and losing all three of their games. Participating in the tournament meant taking a 12-day break from AHL play, but three extra games' worth of experience can be beneficial to a young team.

Read more»

Rebuild fully underway for Buffalo Sabres

by Jason Chen

Zemgus Girgensons - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Forward Zemgus Girgensons is one of four teenagers to play for the Buffalo Sabres this season. The Latvian-born Girgensons was selected 14th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

Currently amid a full-scale rebuild, the Buffalo Sabres have 43 prospects in their system, including seven first-round picks, giving them both quantity and quality at every position. The Sabres also have many prospects already contributing at the NHL level, including forwards Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko, and Johan Larsson.

Read more»

Several Buffalo Sabres prospects experienced extended post-seasons in 2012-13

by Jason Chen

Alex Lepkowski - Buffalo Sabres

Photo: Defenseman Alex Lepkowski had a strong playoff run with the Barrie Colts of the OHL. The 20-year-old was a defensive mainstay for the Colts, who finished one win away from a berth in the 2013 Memorial Cup. (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL images)

After finishing last in the Northeast Division for the first time since 2004 and missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season, the Buffalo Sabres are hitting the reset button. The first move was saying goodbye to head coach Lindy Ruff after 1,165 games behind the bench, then shipping captain Jason Pominville to the Minnesota Wild for two prospects and two picks.

Read more»