SABRES PROSPECT REPORT
Minnesota's Isackson records a hat trick; Grigorenko continues his torrid start
Quebec Remparts centerman Mikhail Grigorenko (2012, first round) continued his torrid start to the QMJHL season, collecting three goals and three assists last week as the CHL’s top-ranked club earned six of a possible eight points. The productive effort vaulted Grigorenko into the league scoring lead with 17 points (6+11) through the Remparts’ first eight games.
Following a one-assist performance in Tuesday’s win over Chicoutimi, Grigorenko began a three-game weekend on Friday with a late helper and the overtime game winning goal as Quebec clawed their way to a 4-3 win over Victoriaville.
Grigorenko followed-up by scoring a pair ofgoals and putting on a stickhandling show in Saturday’s 7-2 win over Rimouski. The crafty Russian capped the weekend by posting a single assist as Quebec dropped a 4-2 decision to Blaineville-Boisbriand on Sunday for their first loss of the regular season.
|Logan Nelson (Photo: WHL)|
Logan Nelson (2012, fifth round) added fuel to his U.S. National Junior Team hopes Saturday by recording two goals and the only mark in the shootout as Victoria earned a 4-3 win at Tri-City. Nelson, who earlier connected with a nice backhand finish in the second period, struck again with 35 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
Nelson extended his point streak to four games Sunday with an assist in the Royals’ 2-1 win over Vancouver. The hard-working forward has collected three goals, nine points and two shootout winners in the Royals' first seven games to keep himself on the map for this winter’s World Junior Championship.
Prince George forward Colin Jacobs (2011, fourth round) continued his surprising start with three points (2+1) as the Cougars split a pair of weekend games with Kelowna. Jacobs has registered a point in each of the Cougars' first six contests this year en route to maintaining a share of WHL scoring lead with 12 points (6+6).
Saskatoon goaltender Andrey Makarov battled a lack of offensive support as the Blades slid down the standings with three consecutive losses. Makarov took the decision in two of the defeats and came on in relief during the third, stopping a combined 69 of 80 shots as the Blades were outscored by a 19-5 margin. Makarov enters the week with a 2-4-0-0 record, 3.59 GAA and .888 save%.
|Alex Lepkowski (Photo: Sabres.com)|
Alex Lepkowski (2011, fifth round) notched a pair of assists Saturday as Barrie skated to their fourth consecutive win, a 4-3 triumph over Peterborough. In the final minute of regulation, Lepkowski’s breakout pass started the play that resulted in Mark Scheifele’s game-winning goal. The multi-point effort was the third of Lepkowski's career and his first since a two-point (1+1) outing last April in Game Six of the OHL Eastern Conference semifinal.
On Saturday, Dan Catenacci (2011, third round) scored the game-winning goal in the shootout as Owen Sound defeated Guelph 4-3. Catenacci, who used his excellent speed to capture two assists in the week’s two contests, has seven points (3+4) through the Attack's first seven games.
Justin Kea (2012, third round) recorded an assist Tuesday in Saginaw’s 6-5 loss to Sault Ste. Marie. The shutdown forward has been strong on the cycle and effective in creating offensive zone traffic for the young Spirit club.
Belleville defenseman Brady Austin (2012, seventh round) logged a plus-two rating in the Bulls’ Saturday win over Ottawa. Austin continues to anchor a back-end duo with 2013 draft eligible Jordan Subban, who leads Belleville in scoring through the Bulls’ first five games.
Following a two-point outing in his regular season debut, Cedar Rapids forward Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) was held off the scoresheet Friday as the RoughRiders downed Fargo 5-2. Buffalo Jr. Sabres product Dylan McLaughlin paced Cedar Rapids with a pair of goals.
|Christian Isackson (Photo: Unv. of Minn.)|
Minnesota sophomore Christian Isackson (2010, seventh round) began exhibition play with a natural hat trick Saturday as the Gophers stormed to a 7-0 win over the University of Lethbridge. Held without a point in 11 appearances as a freshman last season, Isackson scored the game’s first three goals on the Gophers’ top line with Florida prospects Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau.
Brad Navin (2011, seventh round) picked up two assists while skating on a line with Joseph Labate (VAN) and Brendan Woods (CAR) as Wisconsin skated to a 5-0 exhibition shutout of the U.S. Under-18 Team. Badgers defenseman Jake McCabe (2012, second round) sat out with an undisclosed upper body injury.
|Joel Armia (Photo Sabres.com)|
In Finland, Joel Armia (2011, first round) began the week Tuesday with a three-point (2+1) performance as Assat Pori downed the Lahti Pelicans 7-4. The game was only 25-seconds old when Armia came down the right side and slung a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle to give the Aces an early lead. Nine minutes later he glided to the top of the crease and calmly directed a Michael Ryan centering pass into the net for his second goal of the game.
Armia, who went without a point as the Aces split a pair of weekend tilts, has five goals and eight points through his first 10 SM-Liiga games. The 6-foot-3 right winger had five points (1+4) through his first 10 games last season.
Goaltender Linus Ullmark (2012, sixth round) earned his fourth consecutive start Tuesday, stopping 15 of 19 shots as Mora IK dropped a 5-3 decision to Orebro HK. Mora returns to action Tuesday versus Asploven HC.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s web site - sabresprospects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @sabresprospects for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.