SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT
Ullmark's rookie season has been a good one; Grigorenko plays the hero
Linus Ullmark (2012, sixth round) continued his stellar goaltending last week, highlighted by a 45-save performance Friday as MODO knocked off SHL front-runner Skelleftea AIK 2-1. Prior to the big win, Ullmark stopped 24 of 25 shots Wednesday to guide MODO to a 4-1 victory over Orebro HK.
A bulky, flexible backstop, Ullmark has continued his steady rise among Swedish goaltending prospects while playing his first full SHL (Swedish Hockey League) season. The 20-year old has racked up 12 wins while amassing a 1.96 GAA (3rd in SHL) and league-best .936 save%, and will likely garner strong consideration for SHL Rookie of the Year honors at season’s end.
Mikhail Grigorenko (2012, first round) posted a successful return to the QMJHL Saturday, notching the game-winning goal with 7:30 left to play as Quebec defeated Rouyn-Noranda 5-3. Grigorenko, who parked in front and connected with his only shot on goal of the night, rounded out the first-star effort with a pair of assists and an 83.9 percent efficiency (26/31) at the faceoff circle.
Nicholas Baptiste (2013, third round) scored the only goal of the game Friday as Sudbury edged Plymouth 1-0. The next night, Baptiste scored his 25th goal of the year as the Wolves lost at Saginaw 4-3. Baptiste has scored in five of eight January starts, and has collected eight points (4+4) in six games since Radek Faksa (DAL) joined the team via trade with Kitchener.
Justin Bailey (2013, second round) opened the game's scoring with his 18th goal Thursday, but Kitchener came up short in a 6-2 loss to London. The big winger, who was blanked in the Rangers’ Friday and Saturday losses, has been using his size more of late en route to scoring nine goals in his last 15 games. The upward trend comes after potting nine through the season's first 30 contests. Bailey is currently second on the Rangers in scoring with 33 points (18+15) through 45 games.
Saginaw captain Eric Locke (2013, seventh round) posted a goal and an assist Saturday to earn the game’s number one star as the Spirit skated to their sixth-straight victory, 4-3 over Sudbury. Locke, who is riding an eight-game point streak, is currently fifth in team scoring with 34 points (15+19) despite missing six weeks with a shoulder injury.
In Friday action, Justin Kea (2012, third round) scored two goals as Saginaw edged London 3-1. The two-goal night, his third such performance of the year, was capped off with an empty-netter in the game's final minute. Kea has 17 goals and 36 points this season while taking key draws and providing stout defensive zone play.
Nikita Zadorov (2013, first round) picked up a pair of assists Thursday in London’s 6-2 win over Kitchener. The big defender has three assists in six games since returning from the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
London defenseman Brady Austin (2012, seventh round) was kept off the scoresheet in the week’s three games. The left-handed rearguard has 18 points (6+12) and a plus-25 rating through 45 games.
Logan Nelson (2012, fifth round) went without a point Friday as Victoria got past Kelowna 3-1. The Minnesota native had played in just two of the Royals' previous 13 games while nursing an upper body injury. Nelson returned to work Saturday, earning an assist as the Royals were defeated by the league's top club Kelowna 5-3. The helper was Nelson's first point since Dec. 7.
Sean Malone (2013, sixth round) notched a goal and an assist Friday as Harvard was defeated by No. 12 Cornell 3-2. Malone was blanked the next night in a 4-2 loss to Colgate. Malone's third multi-point game of the year gives the speedy freshman four goals and 11 points in 18 games.
Christian Isackson (2012, seventh round) contributed three shots on goal over the weekend as No. 1 Minnesota swept Ohio State. Isackson has appeared in 11 of the Gophers' 22 games this season, recording a goal and three assists.
Providence defensemen Anthony Florentino (2013, fifth round) and Mark Adams (2009, fifth round) both remained out of action with injuries as No. 7 Providence earned a tie and a win at Colorado College.
Freshman centerman J.T. Compher (2013, second round) had the week off as No. 13 Michigan prepared for a B1G set with rival Michigan State beginning Thursday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Compher ranks second in team points with 15 (6+9) after 18 games.
Defenseman Jake McCabe (2012, second round) and winger Brad Navin (2011, seventh round) were idle as No. 9 Wisconsin looks ahead to hosting Ohio State for a pair of games this weekend. McCabe leads all Badgers defender with 16 points (5+11), while Navin’s play has seen him net six points (3+3), a plus-nine rating, and an increased role for coach Mike Eaves.
In Friday action, Cal Petersen (2013, fifth round) made 17 saves to earn his ninth-consecutive win as Waterloo held on for a 4-3 victory at Youngstown. The Phantoms appeared to tie the game late in the third period, but the goal was disallowed after it was ruled that it was tipped past Petersen with a high stick. Petersen improves to 20-2-1 on the year, with a 2.48 GAA and .916 save%. His 20 wins are most in the USHL.
Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) snapped his five-game goal drought with his 13th of the year and added a helper as Cedar Rapids downed Chicago 4-1. The second-year forward, who has connected on 25 percent of his 52 shots this season, ranks second on the RoughRiders in points with 23 (13+10) through 32 contests.
Connor Hurley (2013, second round) picked up a goal and an assist Friday as Green Bay lost to Cedar Rapids 4-3. Hurley added another helper Saturday to extend his point streak to six games as Green Bay dropped a 4-1 decision to Sioux City. Hurley has eight points in eight games since being traded to the Gamblers for a cumulative season total of 22 (7+15).
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.