Former Kootenay Ice goaltender Nathan Lieuwen has received a qualifying offer from the Buffalo Sabres.
Lieuwen, whose NHL entry-level contract expired at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season, was retained by the Sabres after they extended a qualifying offer to him Monday afternoon.
The Sabres originally selected Lieuwen in the sixth round (167th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
The 23-year-old native of Abbotsford had been signed to a three-year contract worth $1.765 million.
Restricted free agents are eligible for qualifying offers. A restricted free agent is a player who has completed their entry-level contract, but is not 27 years old or does not have seven years of NHL experience.
In seven career NHL games, Lieuwen is 1-4-0 with a 2.98 goals-against average (GAA) and .906 save percentage (SP).
Lieuwen played 178 games with the Ice between 2007-08 to 2011-12, going 85-59-15 with a 2.77 GAA and .903 SP. He was named 2011 WHL Playoff MVP after helping the Ice to the Ed Chynoweth Cup.
Lieuwen was originally a first-round pick (16th overall) of the Kootenay Ice at the 2006 WHL Bantam Draft.