Sabres Prospects Notebook 12-11-19

 

 

Games Below From 12/2/2019 – 12/8/2019

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 or clicking the image below.

stats 12-11

 

Prospect of the Week:  RD – Casey Fitzgerald

Rochester (AHL) – 3GP – 1G – 2A – 3PTS

The former captain of the Boston College hockey team had his best week as an Amerk, putting up 3 points in 3 games and bringing his season total up to 8 points in 18 contests.  The right handed defender had a stellar freshman year but his production declined every season through his final one as a senior so it’s nice to see him showing some of the offensive abilities that helped get him drafted in the 3rd round of 2016.  With the organizational depth at defense as deep as it is, Fitzgerald has gotten lost in the shuffle a bit but still has some 3rd pair NHL upside as his game continues to develop in his 1st professional season.

 

Weekly Prospect Updates:

  • Dylan Cozens was once again dominant this week, putting up 6 points in 4 games which puts him 2nd overall in points for the WHL.  As the season progresses, the hope is that he continues to be consistent with his offensive production having gone only 6 of 30 games without a point and not once going back to back games without a point.  The offensive upside is very apparent for the former 7th overall pick and while he has been solid defensively this season, that area of his game is one that will need to continue to develop for a smooth transition to the next level which is ideally the NHL next year.
  • As this article covers things that happened in the week prior, one item I wanted to be sure to mention was Rasmus Asplund’s 1st career NHL goal.  The shot was excellent on the great feed from down low but what stuck out to me most was how Asplund found the open ice and put himself in a great position to receive the pass.  It’s this type of on ice awareness that separates replacement level players from good players and something that can’t necessarily be taught as it’s typically an instinctive thing.  It’s clear that Asplund should be sticking around for the long term and is going to be a great asset for this organization’s bottom 6 if he continues to make smart decisions like that away from the puck.

  • Matej Pekar finally busted out of his slump by burying a goal in a loss Sunday night which was his 2nd of the week in 3 games. He has shown to be a bit of a streaky producer in his two OHL seasons thus far so some improvements in his consistency are desired but regardless, he has the ability to score in a variety of different ways so more sustainable scoring is definitely possible.
  • Marcus Davidsson added another goal this past week and appears to be trending up again after a slow start to the season.  Dubbed another Asplund by some, Davidsson has a bit more offensive upside to his game that this organization is dying for in the forward ranks.  Known for his responsible 2 way game, if he can continue to tally goals on a very weak Vaxjo team, it will show that he is able to overcome a not so ideal situation for producing points.
  • Miska Kukkonen was recently demoted to the Jr. A league for Liiga and contributed 1 assist in his lone game with Lukko’s under 20 squad.  With his TOI trending down in Liiga, there is absolutely nothing wrong with bumping the 19 year old down a level and getting him more ice time with players closer to his age.  Development is so important for these prospects (especially defenders) and anything that can be done to get them more ice time should always be considered.
  • Ukko Pekka Luukkonen continued his stellar play in the ECHL and from a development standpoint, this is probably the best path for him right now. Given the early season success for the Amerks, UPL can continue to start the majority of games in Cincinnati and hone his game. He picked up 1 win in 2 games last week but only allowed 3 goals on 49 shots.
  • I don’t know what the Vezina equivalent is in the USHL but Erik Portillo is definitely going to be in consideration for that honor if he continues playing like he has.  Clearly way ahead of the competition at this level, Portillo allowed only 3 goals in 2 games and picked up 2 wins.  It’s a great development track for him as he transitions to the North American game which will see him play in the NCAA next season for Michigan.

 

WHL

C Dylan Cozens – Lethbridge

4GP 2G 4A 6PTS

 

OHL

C Matej Pekar – Barrie

3GP 2G 0A 2PTS

 

AHL – Rochester Americans

LD Lawrence Pilut

3GP 0G 1A 1PTS

LD Jacob Bryson

3GP 0G 1A 1PTS

RW Andrew Oglevie

3GP 0G 1A 1PTS

RD Casey Fitzgerald

3GP 1G 2A 3PTS

 

NCAA

LD Ryan Johnson – Minnesota

2GP 0G 1A 1PTS

 

SHL

C Marcus Davidsson – Vaxjo

2GP 1G 0A 1PTS

 

Liiga

RD Oskari Laaksonen – Ilves

3GP 0G 1A 1PTS

 

Czech

LW Lukas Rousek – Sparta Praha

2GP 1G 1A 2PTS

 

Jr. A SM Liiga

RD Miska Kukkonen – Lukko

1GP 0G 1A 1PTS

 

ECHL

RD Matt Spencer – Cincinnati

3GP 0G 1A 1PTS

 

Goaltenders

USHL

G Erik Portillo – Dubuque

2GP – 2W – 1.50 GAA – .925 SV% (38/41)

 

ECHL

G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen – Cincinnati

2GP – 1W –  1.50 GAA – .936 SV% (46/49)

 

Not Active – Injured

  • Aaron Huglen – Fargo (USHL)
  • Tage Thompson – Rochester/Buffalo
  • Arttu Ruotsalainen – 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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