With college and major-junior post-seasons in full force, Die By The Blade steps up its prospects coverage with an initial installment of the SabresProspects Three Stars of the Week for 3/23-3/29.
#1 Star - Tyler Ennis, LW, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
The slick 5'9 speedster has carried his 43-goal production into the first round of the playoffs, finding net five times and adding two assists in the week's four games to lead the Tigers to a 3-3 series lock with Swift Current. Heading into Tuesday's Game Seven, the Edmonton native sits atop the WHL postseason leaderboard in goals (8) and points (11) highlighted a hat trick in Wednesday's 5-3 win.
With sick offensive skills, Ennis, 19, will likely begin his professional career next season in Portland (AHL)..
#2 Star - T.J. Brennan, D, Montreal Juniors (QMJHL)
After notching five goals and 34 points in 59 regular season games, the New Jersey native spiked his offense to help push Montreal past Rouyn-Noranda in the QMJHL's opening round.
In Tuesday's Game Four, Brennan scored the game winner and added two assists as the Juniors staked a 2-1 series lead. On Friday, he erupted for two goals and two assists in the final 20-minutes of play in a 7-0 rout of the Huskies.
Second among all QMJHL defensemen in playoff scoring with 10 points (4+6), Brennan will need to continue his hot streak as Montreal faces #1 seed Drummondville in the second round.
#3 Star - Dennis Persson, D, Portland Pirates (AHL)
Buffalo's first-round pick in 2006, Persson, 20, had a busy week after his seeing his season conclude with Timra IK of the Swedish Elite League. He acquired a work visa Tuesday, landed in Portland on Wednesday, practiced Thursday, played his first game Saturday, and set-up Tim Kennedy's game-winning goal on Sunday for his first career AHL point.
The 6'1, 187-pound Persson adds mobility, good looks up ice, and a solid point-shot to a depleted Pirates blueline. The lefty arrives on the heels of a mediocre year where he was often found on the right side of Timra's bottom pair. In 46 games, he scored one goal and five assists to go along with a -8 rating while adjusting to a more defensive role.
MUST SEE TV: Freshman rearguard Drew MacKenzie (2007, 7th round) will skate for the Vermont Catamounts against top-ranked Boston University at the NCAA Frozen Four on Thursday, April 9th. Faceoff will be at 8:30 EST on ESPN2.
Be sure to visit SabresProspects.com for tape-to-tape coverage of all of the future Sabres!