The Buffalo Sabres’ pipeline is sprouting some offense as season continue on for the Rochester Americans, those overseas, and various major and minor junior teams.
After a disappointing start to the season, the Rochester Americans have rocketed to first place in the North Division with a record of 5-2-1-0. Steve Lopez has done a great job on here of keeping everyone up to date on the Amerks.
The most noteworthy story out of Rochester so far seems to be Victor Olofsson, who has sniped his way to the top of AHL scoring. All five of his goals this year have arguably been gems that show off his quick release from pretty much any position in the offensive zone.
And then the th.... pic.twitter.com/4qc3CWMWsd— Rochester Americans (@AmerksHockey) October 17, 2018
More recently, the defensemen have found themselves to be jumping into the offensive output.
Lawrence Pilut is still chugging away down on the farm as well. He ranks 7th in the AHL in points with 10.
Linus Weissbach and the Wisconsin Badgers have kicked their season off with a 3-1 start. Weissbach, in his sophomore season, has collected four points including a two point night with a goal and an assist against Boston College.
The biggest thing for Weissbach to maintain this season is the scoring power he has now. He has already been developing his speed and if he can prove to be a lethal threat at the college level he just might translate to a sneaky good bottom six scorer professionally.
Jacob Bryson is another college guy off to a hot start, offensively, with a Providence team that currently has one of the best record in the Hockey East. Bryson, four points in five games, has been more than willing to dig deep into the offensive zone, especially on the powerplay.
On the other side of the ice, there have been some defensive zone breakdowns, but he has been doing some good things in terms of positioning in his own end.
Christopher Brown and Casey Fitzgerald are both staying on pace with the Eagles. Brown notched two assists in a 5-7 loss against to Wisconsin.
Oskari Laaksonen is on a three-game point streak and is shaping up to be a top offensive threat on the back end for Ilves. While they are secondary assists that he is picking up for the most part, Laaksonen is driving play from the blueline. Very excited to see him continue his development.
Miska Kukkonen has made a slight adjustment in development as he is now playing in Mestis with KeuPa HT after being sent on a loan from Tappara.
Matej Pekar signed his entry-level deal with the Sabres after his impressive start to the season with the Barrie Colts. The offense and point production has been a positive this season thus far, and now we are seeing the pest and physicality that fans were attracted to during development camp.
In a chippy Colts-Spitfires game Pekar received six penalty minutes from two roughing minors and an unsportsmanlike conduct that branched from a skirmish at the end of the second period. He also assisted in the game.
After two disappointing games in net, Ukko Pekka-Luukkonen came back with his first shutout of the season against the Kingston Frontenacs where he made 29 saves. Still carries impressive numbers, which need to be consistent year round in junior for a goalie at the level UPL carries himself at.
Mattias Samuelsson scored his first goal of the year in Western Michigan’s 4-1 loss to Bowling Green. He jumped into play after coverage broke down in the BG zone and ripped one low blocker.
Samuelsson was not afraid to put his frame to the test, but made sure to do it at appropriate times. The Broncos also used him regularly on the powerplay and the penalty kill, which as a freshman is nice to see.
Another thing I really liked about Samuelsson was his instinct to create on the breakout. If he did not like a look moving the puck out, especially on the powerplay, he would circle back and wait to make that crisp pass into the open lane. I did not notice him at even-strength play on the blueline, but that is also to say I did not see any glaring mistakes at that position either. Encouraging overall performance for my first live viewing of the giant defenseman.
Marcus Davidsson scored his first goal of the year in a two-point effort after assisting earlier in the same game.
Linus Cronholm, who is now with IK Pantern, made the Hockey Allsvenskan team of the week this past week. He is really grooving from a puck moving standpoint. He’s found himself at one goal and two assists in the seven games he has played since making the switch to Allsvenskan.
Some good and bad in that highlight package. Cronholm (18) does seem to be reading lanes well at the point, which is nice to see, but to see him get burned on AIK’s second goal of the game is a teaching opportunity for him.
Check back later for the next edition of Sabres Prospects Report. As the future of the sabres continues to develop, we’ll keep an eye on who is standing out and who is sliding down the pipeline.
Follow me on Twitter @maxwellmarko for more updates.