Welcome back to the Sabres Prospect Notebook for the 2021-22 season. For those familiar with this column, the intent is to provide updates on Sabres prospects over a 2 week period and highlight those that had noteworthy performances. For this first article only, the stats/highlights are from the past week only but going forward these will be over a 2 week period.
There’s a direct link to the Sabres Prospect Stat Tracker on TCB’s website in the image below. On this page you will find stats for each Sabres prospect in the system, which updates daily. This data is powered by Elite Prospects.
At the bottom of the embedded spreadsheet are other tabs that show some advanced stats for each prospect, powered by InStat Hockey. There’s also some NHLe conversions for both standard stats and the advanced ones to help equalize the numbers respective to each other.
Every article will be headlined by a Prospect of the Week, typically this the Sabres prospect who stood out the most over the games that they played during the 2 week time period.
Stats Below From Games 10/11/2021 – 10/17/2021
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.
Prospect of the Week: RW – Olivier Nadeau
Shawinigan (QMJHL) – 3 GP | 1 G | 3 A | 4 PTS
It was an eventful week for Sabres 4th round pick (97th) in 2021, Olivier Nadeau, picking up 4 points through 3 contests for Shawinigan of the QMJHL this past week. The play making winger has been a huge part of the offense in Shawinigan this year as he is now up to 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) in 7 games. Nadeau scored his goal by parking himself in front of the net and opening up his body position to become a target for a pass that he redirected easily for the goal.
On his lone primary assist of the week, Nadeau found open ice and received a pass headed towards the side of the net. As the defender turned towards him, Nadeau slid a nice pass under a stick to a wide open teammate in front for an easy goal. There was zero hesitation by Nadeau to feed this puck to the front of the net and is a testament to his high end vision with the puck.
Nadeau lived up to his reputation as a play maker Nadeau has the offensive awareness to continue producing at this pace, along with some high quality line mates. While Nadeau is not the fastest player on the ice, he has great hockey IQ and positioning to make up for this.
Prospect Updates and Notes
- Owen Power followed up a very strong opening weekend for Michigan with a more modest showing on the scoresheet, picking up a single assist in 2 games played. 17:54 on Sunday. The 2020 1st overall pick is averaging the most ice time on a stacked Michigan team with 23:31 through 4 games. Power has shown off the skating and puck carrying abilities that helped get him selected 1st overall as he is tied for 2nd of all Michigan players in controlled exits per 60 minutes at even strength. After an impressive opening night that saw him earn 4 points, Power has hit the ground running and is a major reason why Michigan is off to a 4-0 start this season.
- It’s been an interesting start to the season for Sabres 14th overall selection in the 2021 Draft, Isak Rosén. Playing minimal minutes for Leksands of the SHL, Rosén was bouncing back and forth between the J20 and top Swedish league in recent weeks but has since seen a slight uptick in minutes. Rosén’s speed is his best asset and he used it to pick up a goal for Leksands earlier this week, making a nice move on the backhand to bury his chance. The young Swede is earning some more ice time at the SHL level and from a per 60 perspective, his scoring rates have actually been quite impressive, but TCB will go more into depth on this in a “Mini Dive” Article on Rosén later this season.
- Through 4 games, left shot defenseman Ryan Johnson leads all Minnesota players in controlled exits per 60 and is 2nd among defenders in controlled entries per 60, all at even strength. The smooth skating Johnson enters his Junior season for the Gophers with some high expectations and a chance to lead a strong Minnesota team on a potential National Championship run. Known for his puck movement skills and vision, Johnson picked up a nice goal in his first weekend in action, sliding into the slot area uncovered where he received a pass for an easy goal. For how much he positively impacts the game at both ends of the ice, it seems like only a matter of time before points start piling up for the young defender who is likely to sign his ELC with the Sabres at the end of this season.
- After a strong start to the year for Zvezda Moskva of the VHL, Prokhor Poltapov was promoted to the KHL level for CSKA. While his minutes have been limited in a few appearances for the top club, Poltapov has not looked out of place and is playing very well both with and without the puck. Known for his all around style of play that includes relentless puck pursuit and solid offensive skills, Poltapov is adjusting well to the higher levels of opponent. What is most notable about Poltapov thus far is how good he is at getting possession of the puck from the other team, and forcing them to make bad decisions.
- While his prospect camp games were a bit uninspiring, Jack Quinn made an early impact for Rochester, scoring in his first game with the Amerks on a redirect shot from the point by Laaksonen. Posting a 63% CF in 13:32 minutes of even strength play Sunday, Quinn is someone to keep an eye on as the Amerks season progresses. His lethal shot is his best asset and he has solid 2-way play that should yield good underlying numbers.
- It took a few games at the NCAA level for Minnesota but Aaron Huglen scored his first career collegiate goal this past weekend. Playing the 4th line center position for the Gophers, Huglen came down the middle of the ice and received a pass that he promptly fired at the net with his quick release. The skill level has never been doubted when it comes to Huglen as he is a magician with the puck on his stick at times. Thus far, Huglen has looked really good, applying pressure to the puck carrier as needed and creating chances on his own by carrying the puck through all 3 zones.
- Dubbed “Prince” William von Barnekow by some on Sabres Twitter, von Barnekow has been excellent for Malmo’s J20 club this year, even earning some minimal ice time with the SHL roster. The tall forward was seen by many draft pundits as an excellent choice in the 6th round this past draft. Collecting 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists) in just 2 games this past week, von Barnekow has an intriguing size and speed combination that show he’s likely too good for the J20 level and may best be suited for Sweden’s 2nd tier league Allsvenskan in the near future.
- Staying a perfect 4-0 on the season, Erik Portillo was someone who I had pegged as the best goalie prospect in the Sabres organization headed into the year. His play for Michigan to start, combined with UPL’s woes have widened that gap a bit as Portillo looks the part of a top tier NCAA goalie and one who has never had an issue adjusting to higher levels of competition. It’s safe to remain bullish on the young Swedish netminder as he continues to roll with a stacked Michigan team.
- It was not a good night for Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen in his season debut for the Amerks this past Sunday. Giving up 6 goals on 24 shots, the former 2nd round pick has a huge opportunity this season to not only develop himself further, but potentially take a starting job in the NHL. UPL did struggle at times for Rochester last year and definitely needs to improve his consistency if he’s ever going to live up to his full potential.
RW Jack Quinn
1 GP | 1 G | 0 A | 1 PTS
RD Casey Fitzgerald
1 GP | 1 G | 0 A | 1 PTS
RD Oskari Laaksonen
1 GP | 0 G | 1 A | 1 PTS
LW Isak Rosén (Leksands)
2 GP | 1 G | 0 A | 1 PTS
LW Filip Cederqvist (Djurgardens)
3 GP | 3 G | 0 A | 3 PTS
C Aaron Huglen (Minnesota)
2 GP | 1 G | 0 A | 1 PTS
LD Owen Power (Michigan)
4 GP | 0 G | 0 A | 0 PTS
C Matteo Costantini (North Dakota)
2 GP | 0 G | 1 A | 1 PTS
RW Olivier Nadeau (Shawinigan)
3 GP | 1 G | 3 A | 4 PTS
LW Viljami Marjala (Quebec)
3 GP | 1 G | 0 A | 1 PTS
W Alexander Kisakov (Dynamo Moscow)
2 GP | 1 G | 0 A | 1 PTS
C William von Barnekow
2 GP | 2 G | 3 A | 5 PTS
G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Rochester)
1 GP | 1 L | 6.02 GAA | 18 SVS | 0.750 SV%
G Erik Portillo (Michigan)
2 GP | 2 W | 2.00 GAA | 55 SVS | 0.932 SV%
G Devon Levi (Northeastern)
1 GP | 1 L | 4.04 GAA | 32 SVS | 0.889 SV%
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