Sabres Prospects Notebook 2-18-20

Games Below From 2/10/2020 – 2/16/2020

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.

sabres stats 2-18

 

Prospect of the Week:  C – Casey Mittelstadt

Rochester (AHL) – 4 GP – 0 G – 4 A – 4 PTS (Shootout GWG)

Mittelstadt has been one of the most consistent performers for Rochester the past few weeks after his demotion to the AHL where he was slow to produce right away.  Picking up 4 assists and a shootout game winner in 4 contests earned Mittelstadt the Prospect of the Week honor.  The vision he showed on some of his assists is NHL level and an indicator that all hope is not lost for the once lauded prospect.  While I remain bearish on him ever becoming a legitimate 2nd line center, I will not rule out his middle 6 potential as he has such a great skill set with the puck.  On the assist to Dea, he finds open ice in the high slot and instead of shooting through traffic, he hesitates and draws the D towards him all while knowing Dea is creeping in.  This is great awareness of where his teammates are on the ice and he makes a similar play on the goal by MacWilliam.  Taking a quick look around to understand where guys are and where they are going to be made both of these goals possible.  The little bit of extra time he’s getting to make plays like this will hopefully allow him to build some confidence to make these plays at the next level with faster players and less time to make decisions.

 

Weekly Prospect Updates:

  • Top prospect Dylan Cozens put the team on his back earlier in the week, netting a hat trick  in one of the games and collecting 3 goals and 2 assists in 2 games.  Cozens is currently riding a 7 game point streak and is a force in the WHL.  Great anticipation and aggressiveness in the neutral zone led him to a shorthanded breakaway which he finished with a nice deke and backhand finish.  Goal number 2 he hung back high and drove to the net to pick up a loose puck and bury it while the 3rd goal was a nice wrist shot from the top of the circle.  Consistency and versatility scoring goals have been constant themes with Cozens all season and he stayed true to those traits this past week.
  • Matej Pekar scores goals in bunches and has improved his consistency a bit since the trade to Sudbury, even though he has played the last several games without star Quinton Byfield.  Picking up his 4th hat trick of the season, Pekar did so with a similar versatility as Cozens.  On the first goal he carries the puck into the zone on the wing before cutting to the middle of the ice and taking a shot in the high slot.  Goal number 2 was great positional awareness, going to the front of the net as the puck got worked back to the point and picking up a rebound, while goal number 3 was an effort play to drive to the net and outwork the defender to pick up a rebound for an easy tap in.  Pekar continues to improve on his goal and point totals from last year and is looking like quite the prospect to keep an eye on moving forward.
  • More time down in Rochester is only going to help Rasmus Asplund develop more at this point as playing under 12 minutes a night in Buffalo was becoming inefficient use of the young prospect.  Asplund picked up a goal and assists in 4 games with his goal coming on a nice feed cross ice to him on his off wing which he promptly one timed into the net.  While his defensive game has proven to be strong at the AHL and NHL level, it’s his offensive game that still needs work if he stands any chance at being a bottom 6 NHL player.  He is a very smart player and that will go a long way towards improving his contributions in the offensive zone but it’s a part of his game that needs more development and something playing big minutes in Rochester can help improve.
  • When I watch Ruotsalainen with the puck, I am amazed at how much he seems to slow the game down to a pace that he wants it to be, especially on the powerplay.  He tends to not have to even be moving with the man advantage to make plays and the precision passing he has shown on the off wing.  The confidence he has to pass through sticks to players that are tied up or covered by a defenseman has helped turn him into just over a point per game player in the top Finnish league Liiga this year.  He picked up 3 assists in 3 games for Ilves this past week and looks to challenge for a starting roster spot in Buffalo next year even though some time in Rochester would do him well, much like Olofsson.
  • If Mattias Samuelsson could improve his foot speed then he could blossom into quite the prospect and while I still have my doubts about him, he has done a great job piling up some points lately for Western Michigan.  He has shown some great instincts jumping up in the offensive zone lately and has been rewarded for those efforts with 5 points total in the past couple weeks.  Over this past week, he scored 1 goal and added 2 assists with his goal coming on a play where he identified a chance to get way down low near the net and finish off a pass in front.
  • Luukkonen continues to struggle for Rochester but he was able to secure 2 victories in 3 games played this past week though he received some great goal support to get there after allowing 10 goals on 79 shots total.  He did capture a shootout victory where he stopped both shootout attempts he faced and did make a spectacular save late in the game against Utica where he played arguably his best game for Rochester since 1/31.  UPL is extremely young and has plenty of time to take this experience and learn from it to hone his skill set between the pipes.

 

WHL

C Dylan Cozens – Lethbridge
2 GP – 3 G – 2 A – 5 PTS

 

OHL

C Matej Pekar – Sudbury
2 GP – 3 G – 2 A – 5 PTS

 

AHL – Rochester Americans

C Casey Mittelstadt
4 GP – 0 G – 4 A – 4 PTS

C Rasmus Asplund
4 GP – 1 G – 1 A – 2 PTS

C Andrew Oglevie
4 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS

LD Jacob Bryson
4 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS

LW Brett Murray
4 GP – 1 G – 0 A – 1 PTS

RD Will Borgen
4 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS

 

Liiga

C Arttu Ruotsalainen – Ilves
3 GP – 0 G – 3 A – 3 PTS

 

Czech

LW Lukas Rousek – Sparta Praha
2 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS

 

NCAA

LW Linus Weissbach – Wisconsin
2 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS

LD Mattias Samuelsson – Western Michigan
2 GP – 1 G – 2 A – 3 PTS

 

Allsvenskan

LD Linus Cronholm – Karlskrona
2 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS

LW Filip Cederqvist – Karlskoga
2 GP – 0 G – 2 A – 2 PTS

 

SuperElit U20

LD William Worge – Linkoping
3 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS

 

Goaltenders

USHL

G Erik Portillo – Dubuque
2 GP – 1 W – 4.00 GAA – .879 SV% (29/33)

AHL

G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen – Rochester
3 GP – 2 W – 1 L –  3.27 GAA – .873 SV% (69/79)

NHL

G Jonas Johansson – Buffalo
0 GP – 0 W – N/A GAA – N/A SV% (N/A)

 

Not Active – Injured

  • Aaron Huglen – Fargo (USHL) – TBD
  • Tage Thompson – Rochester (AHL) – Out for Season
  • Marcus Davidsson – Vaxjo (SHL) – Week to Week (Concussion)
  • Miska Kukkonen – Lukko (Liiga and Jr. A) – Out for Season

 

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

  1. Do you know if Aaron Huglen will be playing at all this year, or taking full year off.

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    1. It doesn’t appear as if he will be playing at all. I’ve tried to find info on it but so far have been unsuccessful. Kris Baker usually has something on these things but even he doesn’t have much info it seems. I thought I remember reading it was related to some back injury but that’s pure speculation on my part

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  2. […] 2020 Sabres Prospects Notebook 2-26-20 Sabres Prospects Notebook 2-18-20 Sabres Prospects Notebook 2-12-20 Sabres Prospects Notebook […]

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