SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT
With December in full gear, the Sabres’ NCAA prospects were hard at work last week producing offense as semester break quickly approaches.
J.T. Compher (2013, second round) pounced on a pair of rebounds Monday for the first two-goal game of his collegiate career as Michigan won an exciting 5-4 decision over Ohio State. The putbacks give the freshman pivot points in five consecutive contests, and multi-point efforts in five of his 13 collegiate games. It’s all added up to a team-leading point total of 14 (5+9) heading into Wednesday’s tilt with Ferris State. Compher will then depart on Sunday for USA’s World Junior selection camp in Minneapolis.
Anthony Florentino (2013, fifth round) buried a slap shot Friday to snap a five-game point slumber as No. 4 Providence clawed back with three third-period goals to earn a 3-3 tie at No. 19 Northeastern. The power play strike gives the freshman defender three goals and eight points to ride along with a sparkling plus-15 rating through 14 games in a Friars uniform.
VIDEO: FLORENTINO GOAL VS. NORTHEASTERN
On Saturday, Christian Isackson (2010, seventh round) straddled the goal line and tucked in a forehand for his first goal of the year as No. 1 Minnesota edged Michigan State 3-2 to earn the B1G series sweep. Sparingly used this season, Isackson later added an assist to give him the fourth multi-point outing of his 59-game NCAA career.
VIDEO: ISACKSON'S FIRST OF THE YEAR
Jake McCabe (2012, second round) logged a plus-two rating Friday but saw his three-game point streak come to a halt as No. 17 Wisconsin pasted Penn State 7-1. The standout defender resumed his productive ways Saturday by posting an assist as the Badgers earned the conference sweep with a 4-3 triumph.
Wisconsin winger Brad Navin (2011, seventh round) scored his second goal of the year Friday in the Badgers’ scorching of the Nittany Lions. The third-year man has been grinding away in a fourth-line role for Wisconsin, recording two goals and 12 shots through the first dozen games.
Freshman center Sean Malone (2013, sixth round) contributed three shots on goal over the weekend as Harvard lost 2-1 at Brown, and played to a 2-2 tie with No. 8 Yale. Malone’s offensive instincts have produced six points in 13 games, with his five helpers and 35 shots on goals both tied for second-most among Crimson skaters.
In Tuesday action, Logan Nelson (2012, fifth round) connected for a goal and an assist to earn the game’s number two star as Victoria blanked Kootenay 3-0. Nelson, who ended the week with an assist in Saturday’s loss to Vancouver, has produced multiple points eight times this season to earn a team-leading total of 32 (12+20) through 33 games.
On Saturday, Justin Kea (2012, third round) scored his 12th goal of the year and added an assist as Saginaw lost 5-4 in overtime to Sault Ste. Marie. The goal, which ended Kea's five-game goal drought, gives the grinding centerman 28 points through 31 games.
Saginaw captain Eric Locke (2013, seventh round) remained out of action while recovering from a shoulder injury. Locke has missed the Spirit’s last 10 contests after awkwardly going into the boards back on Nov. 15.
Nicholas Baptiste (2013, third round) extended his point streak to five games Saturday with an assist as Sudbury routed Mississauga 8-1. Baptiste, who has gone scoreless in his last four, has collected 19 goals and 40 points (20th in OHL) in 30 contests this year. A season ago, Baptiste had scored just five goals and 15 points at the 30- game mark.
Nikita Zadorov (2013, first round) posted one assist as London won all three of the week’s games to extend their winning streak to five. The big rearguard capped things off with a plus-two rating Saturday versus Owen Sound before departing the following day for Russia's World Junior Camp.
London defenseman Brady Austin (2012, seventh round) failed to get on the scoresheet as the Knights continued their winning ways. The fifth-year defender has nine points and a plus-12 rating since arriving in an early season trade with Belleville, and will likely be relied on for a larger role with Zadorov gone for the next month of action.
Justin Bailey (2013, second round) went without a point for the fourth-straight game Saturday as Kitchener dropped a 2-1 decision at Windsor. Despite the results, Bailey’s 19 points (9+10) are tied for second-most for the struggling Rangers, who remain at the bottom of the Western Conference standings with the halfway point approaching.
Connor Hurley (2013, second round) ended a four-game funk by accumulating three assists in the week’s two games as Muskegon lost to Indiana 4-3 on Friday, and defeated Chicago the following night by the same score. The Notre Dame commit has 14 points (3+11) this season, but has gone without a goal in his last 12 league contests.
Cal Petersen (2013, fifth round) made 28 saves as Waterloo dropped a 6-5 shootout decision to Dubuque. The reigning USHL Goaltender of the Week, Petersen has won 11 of his 14 starts this season while amassing a 2.61 GAA and .915 save%.
Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) notched an assist as Cedar Rapids was tripped up 6-3 by Tri-City. Connecting on 30 percent of his shots this season, Peterson’s nine goals are currently tied for the RoughRiders’ team lead with Buffalo Jr. Sabres product Andrew Poturalski.
Swedish Hockey League (SHL)
On Wednesday, Gustav Possler (2013, fifth round) returned from his eight-game absence and picked up an assist off a cross-ice feed as MODO dropped a 3-2 decision to Frolunda HC. The quick-shooting winger would play again Friday before sitting out Saturday’s contest. The 19-year old is scheduled to report to Sweden’s World Junior training camp on Dec. 16.
MODO goaltender Linus Ullmark (2012, sixth round) made 27 saves in the Wednesday loss to Frolunda HC, and followed up with another 27 stops Friday in a 3-2 loss at Leksands IF. Ullmark, who on Saturday stopped six of seven shots in relief duty in a loss to Farjestads BK, has hung tough through his 15 starts with an efficient .938 save% (1st in league) and 1.87 GAA (3rd). The year-to-date performance earned the 20-year old a spot on Team Sweden at the Channel One Cup from Dec. 19-22 in Sochi, Russia.
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.