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Buffalo Sabres Prospects Challenge Notebook #2


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Buffalo went 3-0 and outscored their opponents 17-10.

The Buffalo Sabres wrapped up their Prospects Challenge on Monday afternoon. In three games, the Sabres outscored their opponents 17-10 and won all three games. (I’d say they were the only undefeated team, but the Penguins won their lone game, so technically...)

The Standouts

  • I already mentioned Tyson Kozak in my first notebook, but he’s definitely worth noting again. The 19-year-old played in all three games and worked hard, scoring four goals as a result. He’s got an edge to his game that I like, and the way he speaks about the sport, it’s clear why he’s captain of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. The kid has a bright future, and I think he’ll be an underrated prospect who will truly blossom over the next 2-3 years.
  • Jiri Kulich was initially not expected to be on the ice, but after doctors took another look at him, he was given clearance to play. His impact was immediate, and watching him, you can’t help but wonder how in the world he dropped to pick 28. In two games, he had three points.
  • Mats Lindgren wasn’t the flashiest guy out there by any means, but he did a lot of things right and looked like he should’ve been a higher than fourth round pick.
  • Matt Savoie was as expected, a stellar offensive presence. He had three goals and looked the part of a first-round draft pick in his first time on the ice in Buffalo.

The Ones You Already Know

  • Both Linus Weissbach and Oskari Laaksonen underwhelmed me a bit in the first game, but really stepped up over the course of the tournament. They were two of the oldest players on the ice and their leadership shone through as the games went on. It’s easy to forget about them as part of the Sabres depth with guys like Quinn and Peterka around, but they’ve steadily been developing and we’ll see what this year brings.

The Ones You Don’t Know

  • One invitee who caught my eye is Spencer Sova, who could get a contract from the Sabres. He had two points in three games and played a well-rounded game. Sova currently plays for the OHL’s Erie Otters.
  • Nolan Burke got a well-deserved rest in the Sabres’ third game, but his line as a whole was fantastic in the first two games. Burke and his linemates, regardless of who they were, made things happen, created chances and got the net.
  • Ethan Ritchie also looked like a nice little potential pickup. The 20-year-old had 38 points in 65 games in the OHL last season between Kingston and Sarnia. He appeared in two games at the Prospects Challenge and had three points (1-2).

View the full article

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My Adopt A Sabre:Patrick Kaleta

My Adopt a Buffalo Bandit: John Tavares

 

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