SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT
Compher makes a speedy return; Bailey and Malone continue to heat up
Hometown products Justin Bailey and Sean Malone both continue to heat up for their respective squads; Michigan’s J.T. Compher made a speedy return from injury, while Connor Hurley looks to get settled in his new USHL home. It’s all in this week’s Sabres Prospects Report.
Justin Bailey (2013, second round) emerged from the holiday break Saturday rested and focused, scoring his 13th and 14th goals of the year as Kitchener defeated Erie 6-2. Bailey, who was named the number two star of the game, has collected 25 points this season, including goals in three straight outings and five in his last five.
Justin Kea (2012, third round) buried a wrist shot for his 14th goal of the season on Saturday as Saginaw was upended by Windsor 4-1. Kea, who added an assist in the Spirit’s loss to Windsor the following day, has amassed 33 points (14+19) in 37 games this season.
Saginaw received a late Christmas present Saturday when captain Eric Locke (2013, seventh round) returned to the lineup after missing 14 games with a shoulder injury. After skating without a point in Saturday’s loss to Windsor, Locke connected for his ninth goal of the year Sunday as the Spirit were again outgunned by the Spitfires 6-5 at the Hockeytown Winter Festival at Comerica Park in Detroit.
Nicholas Baptiste (2013, third round) recorded a pair of assists Saturday as Sudbury doubled up North Bay 4-2. The speedy winger returned to work Sunday, producing another helper on the Wolves’ lone goal in a 3-1 loss to Sault Ste. Marie. Baptiste's productive weekend puts him at 45 points (20+25) through 35 games.
Brady Austin (2012, seventh round) recorded a minus-one rating Sunday as London returned from the break with a 2-1 shootout loss to Plymouth in an outdoor contest at Comerica Park. Austin has five goals and 16 points this season while racking up an impressive plus-18 rating for the Knights.
Victoria's leading point man Logan Nelson (2012, fifth round) went without a point in his return to action Friday as the Royals pasted Prince George 8-1. The Minnesota native, who had previously missed five games while recovering from an upper-body injury, sat out of the Royals’ Saturday night contest.
J.T. Compher (2013, second round) scored a shorthanded goal Friday as No. 3 Michigan was defeated by Western Michigan 3-2 in overtime in the semifinal of the Great Lakes Invitational at Comerica Park. The marker gives the gritty forward a team-leading 15 points (6+9) through the Wolverines first 16 games, but perhaps the bigger story is his quick return from a foot injury suffered Dec. 16 that prevented him from participating in the World Junior Championship. Compher was unable to get anything going in Saturday’s consolation game as the Wolverines were blanked 3-0 by Michigan State.
Jake McCabe (2012, second round) notched an assist Friday as No. 15 Wisconsin bested Alabama-Huntsville 5-0. McCabe, who recorded three shots on goal the following night as the Badgers completed the sweep of the Chargers, continues to lead all Badgers defenders with 12 points (3+9) in 16 games.
Brad Navin (2011, seventh round) was unable to get a point over the weekend in Wisconsin’s sweep of Alabama-Huntsville. The checking line forward has three goals and five points this season while appearing in all 16 of the Badgers’ contests.
Anthony Florentino (2013, fifth round) recorded two shots on goal Sunday as No. 5 Providence earned a 3-2 victory over host Dartmouth at the Ledyard Bank Classic. The freshman defender has worked his way into a big role for the Friars, posting three goals, eight points, and a plus-15 rating through his first 15 collegiate contests.
Buffalo-native Sean Malone (2013, sixth round) notched a goal and an assist Sunday as Harvard earned a 9-3 exhibition victory over the Russian Red Stars. Malone, who along with the rest of his Crimson mates hadn’t skated since a 2-2 tie with Yale on Dec. 7, has a goal and six points in his first season of NCAA action.
In Friday action, Cal Petersen (2013, fifth round) stopped 27 shots to earn the number three star as Waterloo held on for a 2-1 victory over Chicago. Petersen had a shutout going until the Steel put out the extra attacker and scored with 41 seconds left in regulation. Petersen had a lighter workload the next night, stopping 14 of 16 shots sent his way as the Black Hawks rolled Cedar Rapids 6-2. The Notre Dame commit has picked up wins in 15 of 17 starts this season while posting a 2.48 GAA and .919 save%.
Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) scored the game winning goal with 2:46 left on the clock Friday as Cedar Rapids edged Des Moines 5-4. The St. Cloud State recruit has scored 11 goals in 24 games this season, connecting on 31.4% of his shots along the way. Peterson has already matched his full season goal total from last year, with those 11 goals coming in 46 USHL contests.
Connor Hurley (2013, second round) scored in his Green Bay debut Friday as the Gamblers downed Dubuque 7-5. The goal snapped a 14-game goal drought for the Notre Dame commit. Hurley has notched 15 points (4+11) in 23 games this season between Muskegon and Green Bay.
Linus Ullmark (2012, sixth round) served as backup for both games last week as MODO returned from the break with a pair of losses. The 6-foot-3 stopper has been solid all year in the MODO nets, amassing eight wins, a 2.05 GAA (3rd in league) and league-best .933 save% through 18 starts.
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.