Sabres Prospects Notebook 11-4-19

Games Below From 10/28/2019 – 11/3/2019

NOTE:  For recaps below, we are highlighting any prospects who contributed on the score sheet over the past week or did anything notable.  For an overall view of Sabres Prospects and their stats, be sure to check The Charging Buffalo’s Prospect Stat Tracker which is updated daily here —-> TCB Sabres Prospect Stat Tracker 

 

Prospect of the Week:  C – Dylan Cozens

Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)

3GP – 1G 7A 8PTS

As alluded to last week in The Notebook, Cozens had not really had a blow up game in quite some time even though he was consistently getting on the score sheet.  He came through in the big way this week, scoring 8 points total in 3 games that included 4 and 3 point nights on Friday and Saturday respectively.

Sitting at 2nd in the WHL in points scored with 25 in 16 Games, Cozens is also 2nd in even strength primary points with 13.  This type of production was expected for Cozens as he is physically more mature than some of the younger competition he’s up against on top of his incredible skill set.  He will be representing team WHL in the Canada/Russia set to take place between players representing each CHL league against a group of Russian junior players.

 

Big thanks to @LetsGoAmerks, @SabresProspects, and all others for providing video clips of many of the prospects that are featured in this column on a weekly basis!  As the sample size for these players grows, their NHLe scores featured in the Prospect Stat Tracker have begun to stabilize.  I have added the image below to show the pNHLe scores developed by Mason Black (@NHLRankKing) to show what a prospect’s projected point ceiling is at the NHL level.  It is a refined version of the NHLe score which takes into account a players age and league to interpolate what their current production could ultimately translate to when they have reached their prime at the NHL level.  

pNHLe 11-4

As expected, Dylan Cozens leads the way here.  Leagues like Extraliga (Czech) and VHL are not supported with this metric as of yet so that is why they appear as N/A.  Historically, the Russian leagues do not have as good of a correlation to NHL success as others so they must be taken with a grain of salt.  It is also important to note that quality of linemates is not taken into account here.  For example, Linus Weissbach is playing with elite level talent in Caufield and Turcotte which definitely boosts his pNHLe score so there is a. understanding that his projected ceiling is going to be a bit inflated this year.

 

  • Arttu Ruotsalainen had a strong weekend with 1 goal and 3 assists in two contests for Ilves in Liiga play.  He’s showcasing the speed and skill that got him signed by Buffalo over the off-season, especially on his lone goal which saw him come from behind the net and spin around to release a quick backhand that beat the goaltender.  It remains to be seen how his game will ultimately translate to North America but he can absolutely produce points.
  • With the injury to Marco Scandella keeping him out for an extended period of time, Lawrence Pilut got the call up over the weekend and heads to Sweden for the Global Series against Tampa.  Pilut heads to big club after contributing 1 goal and 5 assists in 8 games and looks to provide a spark to the Sabres who have dropped 4 of their last 5 games.  
  • From the group of forwards in Rochester, Tage Thompson would appear to be one of the first call-ups as he has produced at a very nice rate in Rochester.  Adding another 3 points this past week, Thompson is up to 11 points in 12 games and is proving that he deserves another chance at the NHL level.  His NHL caliber shot to go along with his size and speed make him a project to watch this year as Sabres fans pray that we get some value out of the ROR trade.
  • Mattias Samuelsson returned to action for Western Michigan and added 2 assists in a 6-3 win over Colorado College.  Known more for being a defensive defenseman, Samuelsson will need to find a way to develop his offensive game to better set him up to be an impact player in the NHL.  He has great size but isn’t the fastest player out there so there are concerns about how his game will translate as he moves up the ranks.
  • Linus Weissbach was reunited with Turcotte and Caufield this weekend and added 2 assists in 2 games for Wisconsin.  The 7th round pick in 2017 has developed his defensive game as noted here in a Wisconsin State Journal article recently.  As a player who projects as a bottom 6 NHLer, playing a sound 2 way game is a great sign that his development is trending in the right direction.
  • Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen got his first action of the 2019-20 season with a conditioning stint down in Cincinnati.  He gave up 3 goals on 28 shots and was promptly recalled up to Rochester as Hammond joined the Sabres over in Sweden.  As the top goaltender prospect in the system, it will be very interesting to see how UPL transitions to AHL play.
  • Erik Portillo was perfect this week, going 2-0 and improving to 6-0-1 on the season for Dubuque.  Sporting a 2.00 GAA and .920 Save %, Portillo is a big reason why Dubuque is off to a great start in the USHL and is someone they will lean on heavily as the season progresses.
  • The European Leagues (SHL, KHL, Liiga, Extraliga) are on break for a few weeks as they take part in International Play for the Karjala Tournament between Russia, Czech, Finland, and Sweden.  As of now, no Sabres prospects are set to take place in this tournament.

 

OHL

C Matej Pekar – Barrie Colts

3GP 1G 1A 2PTS

 

AHL – Rochester Americans

RW Tage Thompson

3GP 1G 2A 3PTS

LW Brett Murray

3GP 1G 2A 1PTS

C Rasmus Asplund

3GP 1G 0A 1PTS

RW Andrew Oglevie

3GP 0G 2A 2PTS

LD Lawrence Pilut

3GP 0G 2A 2PTS

RD Casey Fitzgerald

2GP 0G 2A 2PTS

RD Will Borgen

2GP 0G 2A 2PTS

LD Jacob Bryson

3GP 0G 1A 1PTS

 

NCAA

LW Linus Weissbach – Wisconsin

2GP 0G 2A 2PTS

LD Mattias Samuelsson – Western Michigan

2GP 0G 2A 2PTS

 

Liiga

LW Arttu Ruotsalainen – Ilves

2GP 1G 3A 4PTS

RD Miska Kukkonen – Lukko

3GP 0G 1A 1PTS

 

SHL

C Marcus Davidsson – Vaxjo

2GP 1G 0A 1PTS

LD William Worge Kreu – Linkoping

2GP 0G 1A 1PTS

 

Czech

LW Lukas Rousek – Praha

3GP 1G 0A 1PTS

 

VHL

LW Vasily Glotov – St. Petersberg

2GP 3G 0A 3PTS

 

USHL

G Erik Portillo – Dubuque

2GP – 2W – 2.00 GAA – .920 SV%

 

ECHL

G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen – Cincinnati

1GP – 0W – 3.07 GAA – .862 SV%

 

Not Active – Injured

  • Aaron Huglen – Fargo (USHL)
  • Oskari Laaksonen – Ilves (Liiga)

 

Continue to check in every Monday for a weekly prospect update from The Charging Buffalo Crew.

Follow for more:

@TheChargingBuf

@JoeTCBNHL

@FutureOfThe716

@CurtisTCB716

 

Week Ahead Schedule

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