SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT
Baptiste's hot run cooled by injury; Zadorov tallies twice; Malone getting top-line minutes at Harvard
Nicholas Baptiste (2013, third round) picked up four points Thursday, striking twice on the power play and adding a pair of assists as Sudbury skated to a 7-5 victory over Barrie. The outburst gives Baptiste 21 multiple-point efforts this season, while his second tally of the night made him the first Sabres prospect to hit the 30-goal mark.
Baptiste has been on fire since the flip of the calendar, notching 10 goals and 18 points in 13 January games. But the hot streak hit a speed bump on Friday when the talented winger exited the game with London after taking a first-period hit. He sat out the following night’s tilt with Sault Ste. Marie.
Nikita Zadorov (2013, first round) scored twice on the power play Saturday to earn the game's number one star as London earned a 5-4 victory over Barrie. The first-period markers give the big defender seven goals in 19 games this season, eclipsing the six he posted in all of 2012-13 (63 games). With the World Junior experience behind him, Zadorov has settled into a dominant groove with five goals, eight points, and a plus-nine rating in helping the Knights to five straight wins, while supplying a major physical presence.
London defenseman Brady Austin (2012, seventh round) went without a point in the week’s three games. The left-handed defender has logged an impressive plus-35 for the season, tying him for fourth overall in the OHL in that category.
Justin Bailey (2013, second round) snapped a four-game drought with his 19th goal of the year Friday as Kitchener couldn't hold a late lead in a 6-4 loss to Barrie. Bailey came through again on Saturday, forcing overtime with his 20th goal and adding a mark in the shootout as the Rangers defeated Niagara 5-4. The Williamsville, NY native has 36 points in 49 games this season, equaling his total output from 57 games in 2012-13.
Eric Locke (2013, seventh round) produced a goal and an assist Friday as Saginaw rolled past Belleville 7-0. The Spirit captain kept the offense coming Saturday, notching an assist for his 40th point of the season as Saginaw came from behind to earn a 4-2 victory over Kingston. Locke, who earlier in the week converted a penalty shot in Tuesday’s loss to Sault Ste. Marie, has points in 13 of his last 16 games.
Saginaw centerman Justin Kea (2012, third round) sat out the week’s three games with an unspecified injury. The power-forward prospect has 16 goals, 35 points and 80 penalty minutes this season.
In Thursday action, Mikhail Grigorenko (2012, first round) notched a power play goal and an assist as Quebec smoked Halifax 8-2. Grigorenko, who went without a point the following night in a 6-4 loss Blainville-Boisbriand, has four goals, including three game winners, and four assists in six games since being assigned to the Remparts.
Logan Nelson (2012, fifth round) posted his second two-goal game of the season Friday to earn the number two star as Victoria lost to Vancouver 5-4 in a shootout. On Saturday, Nelson scored a power play goal and added an assist as Victoria got past Vancouver 3-2 in overtime. Nelson’s productive week gets him to the 40-point barrier (16+24) for the second straight year.
In Saturday action, Cal Petersen (2013, fifth round) stopped all 34 shots he faced to earn his second shutout of the year as Waterloo throttled Sioux City 7-0. The night before, Petersen made 22 saves as his Black Hawks outshot Muskegon 52-23 en route to capturing a 5-1 win. Petersen is unbeaten in his last 12 starts, improving his record to 23-2-1 with a 2.25 GAA (3rd in USHL) and .922 save% (2nd).
Connor Hurley (2013, second round) saw his 10-game point streak come to a halt Saturday as Green Bay was blanked 5-0 at Cedar Rapids. The 18-year old centerman has six goals and seven assists in 13 games since being traded to the Gamblers. He had previously amassed 14 points (3+11) in 21 games with Muskegon.
On Wednesday, Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) scored his team-leading 15th goal of the year as Cedar Rapids blanked Des Moines 1-0. The St. Cloud State-commit recorded a pair of assists Friday and another helper Saturday to put him on a four-game point streak heading into February.
Sean Malone (2013, sixth round) picked up an assist in a top line role Friday as Harvard withstood a late surge to hold off Princeton 3-2. The freshman pivot has gotten on the score sheet in three of his last four games, placing him third in team scoring with 13 points (4+9).
J.T. Compher (2013, second round) recorded an assist Friday as No. 12 Michigan got past No. 9 Wisconsin 3-1. Compher, who was kept quiet Saturday as the Wolverines and Badgers played to a 2-2 tie, has collected points in 13 of his first 22 games as a collegian. The true freshman currently leads all Michigan skaters with 21 points (9+12).
Jake McCabe (2012, second round) walked away from a weekend set without a point for just the second time this season as Wisconsin visited Michigan for a B1G pair. The third-year man leads the Badgers defensive corps with 18 points (6+12) while netting a minus-two rating.
Brad Navin (2011, seventh round) registered an assist as Wisconsin played to a 2-2 tie with Michigan. Navin's assist gives him eight points (3+5) through 24 contests.
Anthony Florentino (2013, fifth round) returned from a five-game injury absence as No. 7 Providence was blanked 2-0 by No. 2 Boston College. The freshman has eight points (3+5) in 19 appearances for the Friars, while his plus-13 rating is tops among the team’s blueliners.
Christian Isackson (2010, seventh round) manned the fourth-line center spot over the weekend as No.1 Minnesota earned a tie and victory over Michigan State. The junior forward has one goal and four points in 15 games for the Gophers.
Swedish Hockey League (SHL)
In Saturday action, Linus Ullmark (2012, sixth round) made 35 saves as MODO edged AIK 2-1. Ullmark has continued to perform admirably while playing behind a struggling MODO offense ranked ninth out of 12 teams in goals for, boosting his record to 14-12 with a 1.93 GAA (3rd in SHL) and .938 save% (1st).
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.