Sabres Prospects Notebook 3-8-2021

 Games Below From 3/1/2021 – 3/8/2021

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 3-8

Prospect of the Week:  C – Aaron Huglen

(Fargo) – 2 GP | 3 G | 1 A | 4 PTS

Aaron Huglen brought his yearly point total to 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) in 23 games played after an excellent week saw him score 3 goals and 1 assist in 2 games. Huglen has had a strong season for Fargo of the USHL and put his talented hands on display with his goals this week. On his goal below, he enters the zone and pulls a nifty toe drag to get around the first defender. He makes it seem like another toe drag is coming but instead release a quick snap shot high blocker side. 

Expectations needed to be tempered with Huglen returning from a long term injury this season but he has shown incredible offensive abilities that will help him transition to the NCAA level next season with Minnesota. On his 2nd goal, Huglen is waiting in front of the net for a timely tap in. 

For Huglen’s 3rd goal of the week, he does something that is a goal scorers trait. As the puck bounces out to the slot, Huglen corrals it on the backhand and waits just a second before putting it on net. This patience ensures that he has possession of the puck, and buys himself some more room to beat the sprawling goalie. Centering the 1st line for Fargo most of the season, Huglen has developed well this year and is a promising prospect that Sabres fans should keep an eye on.


Weekly Prospect Updates

  • Dylan Cozens failed to tally a point in his 4 games this week, though he has certainly been a bright spot on a team that has struggled to generate excitement lately. Cozens registered his 1st career fight where he did very well in the battle in an attempt to shoot some life into his team. Unfortunately, his bout didn’t amount to anything of substance on the scoresheet but it’s hard not to love what he has brought to this team. Currently on a 6 game pointless streak, Cozens has been solid at both ends of the ice but needs to contribute on the scoresheet more. Cozens recently got some play on the top line with Eichel but is still showing some greenness in the NHL. As he gets more NHL games under his belt, I’m confident that he will continue to develop into a top 6 forward and one of the better forwards on this roster. Cozens also set a career high in minutes played in a game with 17:54 on Sunday.
  • Entering the season, it seemed as if people were more bullish on Tage Thompson than Casey Mittelstadt.  Over the last few weeks however, Mittelstadt is the ones that has made fans more optimistic about a future in the NHL. His development seemed stunted last season and it earned him a demotion to Rochester where he appeared to make a commitment to improving his overall game. Now back in Buffalo, Mittelstadt has actually showed some promise. While he may not ever live up to the expectations from his tremendous WJC Tournament showing, Mittelstadt’s 4 points in 8 games thus far and play on the ice have warranted keeping him in a top 9 role going forward.
  • Congratulations to Jacob Bryson for scoring his 1st career NHL goal Saturday against the Islanders. As someone who hyped up Bryson last year, it hasn’t been a shock to see how well Bryson has played for Buffalo. Bryson’s passing and skating ability have always been his best traits. Averaging over 20 minutes of ice in 4 games this past week, Bryson scored his goal on a nice point shot that beat the Islanders goalie on the far post. There are definitely some things Bryson needs to work on still but he should remain in the lineup as a player that is providing a spark to an otherwise dim team.
  • Arttu Ruotsalainen picked up 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) in 3 games for the Amerks, bringing his season total to 7 points in 9 games. Given the lack of scoring ability in Buffalo, it seems as if it is only a matter of time before Ruotsalainen gets the call up. There’s really not much for the 23 year old to prove from a development standpoint. What he brings from an offensive perspective is enough to warrant giving him a shot in Buffalo for a few games.
  • Casey Fitzgerald had a tremendous week and gave Huglen a serious run for Prospect of the Week honors, scoring 2 goals and 2 assists in 3 games. It was the first time Fitzgerald had showed up on the scoresheet this season as he netted at least 1 point in all 3 games played. On his shorthanded goal, Fitzgerald just used his speed to drive to the net and got rewarded while his 2nd goal was a simple shot from the point that found it’s way to the back of the net. Fitzgerald always had some offensive upside to his game that had seemed to fizzle out when he reached Rochester so it’s refreshing to see that part of his game showing up once again.
  • It hasn’t been a fairy tale start to Jack Quinn’s AHL debut as the touted goal scorer still searches for his 1st of the season. Quinn however picked up a nice assist on an Andrew Oglevie goal, quickly sending a pass to the front of the net in a very tight window. There has definitely been an adjustment for Quinn jumping up straight from the OHL to the AHL and his natural shooting ability should start resulting in some goals for the 2020 8th overall pick.
  • JJ Peterka has not necessarily been given a great opportunity in the German Pro League for EHC Munchen. Peterka played in 2 games where he averaged just 12:31 of ice time and 2 shots on goal. Having said that, Peterka has still raised his point per game total in this league from 0.26 in his DY, up to 0.42 in this his DY+1. The talented winger may not be lighting up the scoresheet but is certainly a prospect that can be expected to continue to develop, with the potential to be a top 6 forward some day.
  • It took 59 collegiate games and an empty net but Ryan Johnson scored his 1st career goal for Minnesota, also adding an assist this week. Johnson started the season off very well on the scoresheet and had gone cold prior to this week on an excellent Minnesota team. What Johnson does in possession, passing, and skating hasn’t translated to many points but he certainly has shown signs of being an NHL level defender that just needs more time to develop.
  • Lukas Rousek wrapped up his regular season for Sparta Praha this past week, scoring 2 goals and 3 assists in just 2 games. One of those games was a 4 point outing for Rousek who finishes the year with 38 points in 49 games for 1st place Sparta Praha. Rousek was a 6th round overager drafted in 2019 who has developed well in the Czech pro league the last few years. The Sabres own his rights up until June 1st, 2021 and after his playoff season ends, is a good candidate to receive an Entry Level Contract and join Rochester this year. The Sabres currently have used 44 of 50 allowable contracts on the books so there is certainly room to add Rousek to the mix.

Prospect Highlights

NHL (Buffalo)

LW Casey Mittelstadt

1 GP | 0 G | 1 A | 1 PTS

C Dylan Cozens

4 GP | 0 G | 0 A | 0 PTS

LD Jacob Bryson

4 GP | 1 G | 0 A | 1 PTS


AHL (Rochester)

RD Oskari Laaksonen

3 GP | 0 G | 1 A | 1 PTS

C Arttu Ruotsalainen

3 GP | 2 G | 1 A | 3 PTS

LD Mattias Samuelsson

3 GP | 0 G | 3 A | 3 PTS

RW Andrew Oglevie

3 GP | 2 G | 0 A | 2 PTS

RD Casey Fitzgerald

3 GP | 2 G | 2 A | 4 PTS

LW Brett Murray

3 GP | 1 G | 1 A | 2 PTS

RW Jack Quinn

3 GP | 0 G | 1 A | 1 PTS


Extraliga

LW Lukas Rousek (Sparta Praha)

3 GP | 2 G | 3 A | 5 PTS


NCAA

Linus Weissbach (Wisconsin)

2 GP | 0 G | 3 A | 3 PTS

Ryan Johnson (Minnesota)

2 GP | 1 G | 1 A | 2 PTS


USHL

Matteo Costantini (Sioux City)

3 GP | 0 G | 1 A | 1 PTS

Aaron Huglen (Fargo)

2 GP | 3 G | 1 A | 4 PTS


Allsvenskan

LW Filip Cederqvist (Tingsryds)

2 GP | 0 G | 1 A | 1 PTS

LW Marcus Davidsson (Tingsryds)

2 GP | 1 G | 0 A | 1 PTS


Chanceliga

LW Jakub Konecny (Litomerice)

2 GP | 0 G | 1 A | 1 PTS


Goaltenders

NHL

G Jonas Johansson (Buffalo)

2 GP | 0 W | 4.53 GAA | 65 SVS | 0.878 %

NCAA

G Erik Portillo (Michigan)

DNP

AHL

G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Rochester)

3 GP | 2 W | 2.70 GAA | 79 SVS | 0.908 %


Not Active – Injured

  • Will Borgen – Out 6-8 weeks (Broken Arm)

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Special Thanks
  • Elite Prospects for all of their stats and all folks who provide video clips of assists and goals above on Twitter.

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