SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT
Nicholas Baptiste was Mr. Clutch on the weekend with a pair of late goals
Sudbury Wolves right winger Nicholas Baptiste (2013, third round) proved to be a clutch player over the weekend, forcing overtime with his second goal of the game with five seconds left in regulation in a 7-6 loss at Owen Sound on Saturday. Baptiste was at it again Sunday by scoring with just three ticks left on the clock to send the game to extra time in a 5-4 loss to Mississauga.
Baptiste, who has five points (4+1) through the first four games of OHL play, makes a difference with his up-tempo style and willingness to get his hands dirty at the edge of the crease. The Ottawa native’s timely offense is a mere continuation of what started over the summer when he scored twice in July’s Blue vs. Gold scrimmage, before leading the Sabres with four goals and seven points at the NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan. The early results are promising, and the combination of hard work and confidence should only become more effective with age and experience.
Swedish Hockey League
Swedish standout Gustav Possler (2013, fifth round) maintained the hot hand last week, scoring in both of MODO’s contests to extend his goal streak to four games. The MODO offense struggled in a pair of 2-1 losses, but Possler’s play has continued to be the highlight of the young season with his committed two-way style and ability to work into shooting position. His team-leading four goals through September are tied for third among SHL skaters, while his five total points place him 10th overall.
Goaltender Linus Ullmark (2012, sixth round) stopped 28 of 30 shots Saturday in MODO’s 2-1 loss to Farjestads BK. Sixteen-year old defenseman Oliver Kylington squeezed the game winner past Ullmark in the game's 54th minute to become the youngest player ever to record a goal in SHL/SEL history. Through three starts, Ullmark leads all netminders with a .952 save%, and places second with a 1.63 GAA for the league’s 10th-place club.
Logan Nelson (2012, fifth round) scored on a power play blast Tuesday for his first goal of the year in Victoria’s 6-2 loss to Spokane. On Saturday, the third-year man buried a backhand in the shootout as the Royals kicked off a four-game road trip with 4-3 victory over Kelowna. Nelson leads the Royals in scoring with five points (1+4) through five games heading into the week’s set at Prince George.
Brady Austin (2012, seventh round) picked up an assist just 15 seconds into the action Saturday as Belleville skated to a 4-3 win over Niagara, their first victory of the year. The helper gives Austin points in all four games this season. The big defender will go for the first five-game point streak of his junior career Wednesday when the Bulls host Kingston.
On Friday, Justin Bailey (2013, second round) notched a pair of secondary assists as Kitchener dropped a 5-4 decision to Peterborough. After being held off the scoresheet Sunday in a win over Oshawa, Bailey enters the week with three points (1+2) through the Rangers’ first three games.
Justin Kea (2012, third round) picked up a power play helper Friday as Saginaw lost at London 6-3. Goalless through the season’s opening five-game stanza, Kea will look to break the seal Wednesday when the Spirit welcomes Sarnia to the Dow Event Center.
Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) scored a pair of goals Friday as Cedar Rapids opened the USHL regular season schedule with a 6-3 doubling of Lincoln. The number one star effort was the second two-goal game for Peterson since joining the RoughRiders last fall.
Connor Hurley (2013, second round) potted his first goal of the season Saturday to help Muskegon to a 5-4 victory over Indiana. The night before, Hurley connected for a pair of assists in the Lumberjacks’ 5-4 triumph over Team USA. The Notre Dame commit has accumulated five points (1+4) through his first three games of the year.
Cal Petersen (2013, fifth round) stopped 32 shots Friday as Waterloo came up short in a 3-2 loss to Dubuque. The loss evens Petersen’s record at 1-1 heading into Saturday’s matchup with the Youngstown Phantoms, featuring Buffalo-area products Zach Evancho, Jake Moore and Kyle Mackey.
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.