The Sabres season is underway, so while the attention shifts to the NHL club we take a look down on the farm to see how the Buffalo Sabres’ prospects are developing in their respective leagues.
The Rochester Americans have had a rough start to the season after losing on home ice to the Charlotte Checkers in back-to-back games. You can read all about their abysmal weekend right here, thanks to Ryan Wolfe.
Alexander Nylander, RW/LW
He did not have any points to show for it in the first game of the series, but Alex Nylander had a very good weekend which saw him collect two assists on Saturday night.
Fans will continue to argue over Nylander, but he has shown many positives in his game whether in the preseason with the Sabres, or with the Amerks this past weekend.
Lawrence Pilut, D
Pilut was making plays on Friday. He scores his first two points in North American with a goal and assist. He was also helping out the rush and providing the offense with some slick breakout passes in the comeback effort.
NowcPilut is just getting silly, LOOK AT THIS TAPE TO TAPE PASS For porter break away pic.twitter.com/x90GXz8NUU— Mark in Fairport (@Mark_inFairport) October 6, 2018
A great read on his goal here, as well. He hesitates and finds the lane he is looking for then pots it.
C.J. Smith, LW
Smith started right where he left off last season in the Amerks season opener on Friday. He scored their first goal of the year. Consistency will remain the key for Smith this year.
Miska Kukkonen, D, Tappara
The Sabres fifth round selection in the 2018 draft is logging heavy minutes with Tappara’s junior team in Finland. Playing on both the powerplay and penalty kill, Kukkonen has been trusted to be an anchor for Tappara this season and it seems to be paying off for them through the first 11 games.
Collecting three assists thus far, Kukkonen is seeing the ice well, particularly from the point.
Oskari Laaksonen, D, Ilves
Laaksonen really came out strong at the start of the season for Ilves and is still pumping out quality games for Ilves. He picked up two more assists in the past three games which were attributed to his lateral movement at the blueline and his forward thinking in developing plays.
Laaksonen is vying for a spot on Finland’s World Junior team, so his stellar play is something to keep an eye out for heading into December.
Jacob Bryson, D, Providence
The college hockey season has started! Jacob Bryson started his year off with a bang by finding the back of the net in the first period of Providence’s season opener against AIC.
Bryson, somewhat of powerplay specialist, scores at even strength with a nice cross body shot from the top of the point. A nice little play from the junior who works his screens down low well.
Christopher Brown, C, Boston College
Senior captain Christopher Brown potted two goals in Boston College’s 8-1 blowout over New Brunswick on Saturday. Teammate and fellow Sabres prospect Casey Fitzgerald went without a point, but played a steady game on the back-end with a good amount of ice time.
Mattias Samuelsson, D, Western Michigan
The Sabres most recent 2nd round pick supplied Western Michigan with some offense on the powerplay, picking up an assist, in their 4-1 win over the University of Lethbridge. Samuelsson, 18, is entering his freshman year with the Broncos. I will get a good look at him later in the month when Western comes to Bowling Green (shoutout to the Falcons demolishing Mercyhurst 8-2 in their opener).
Linus Weissbach, LW/RW, Wisconsin
The 5’8” undecided sophomore was buzzing all over the ice in Wisconsin’s victory on Sunday. Weissbach, a seventh rounder, event snuck one in from in tight after adding an assist.
If he can boost his offensive output with developing his skating and strength, Linus Weissbach could prove to be a nice find by Botterill and company.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, G, Sudbury Wolves
Dominance has been the theme for UPL in the OHL. In his five appearances this season he has given up a total of nine goals. That leads the league amongst goaltenders with a minimum of 200 minutes played. He also leads the OHL in save percentage under those same circumstances (.944).
Matej Pekar, C, Barrie Colts
Five goals, five assists, 25 shots on goal in seven games played for Matej Pekar. If you haven’t seen his Forsberg move, take a look y’all:
Not the first time this has happened this season. This one game in a 10-3 bludgeoning over Sudbury (UPL did not play):
Matej Pekar has pulled off the Peter Forsberg deke TWICE this season in a Barrie Colts uniform. The #Sabres prospect has been very strong on the Colts’ top line (10 points in six games). @mpekar10 @BuffaloSabres @OHLBarrieColts @CZprospects #OHL #Pekar pic.twitter.com/dvWq34ER50— Ryan McArthur (@ryanpmcarthur) October 7, 2018
Marcus Davidsson, C, Djurgarden
After a very hot start to the season, Marcus Davidsson has cooled down. Still a regular in Djurgarden’s forward deployment, Davidsson is averaging around 17-18 minutes a night.
His latest assist came in the defensive zone. After strong work along the boards and in the slot, the Davidsson brothers worked together to find the empty net at the other end of the ice and seal the victory.
Linus Cronholm, D, Malmo Redhawks (IK Pantern)
After a hot start with Malmo’s J20 team, Linus Cronholm has been loaned to IK Pantern of Allsvenskan. Malmo GM Patrik Sylvegård had this to say on Cronholm, “It’s both fun and good for him to play senior hockey. He is mature for it and has done well in our J20 team.”
Cronholm will face better competition by moving just a half-step up in his development.
That is it for this week’s update. Stay tuned for more reports on the Sabres prospect pipeline. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for more updates @maxwellmarko (sorry for all the Bowling Green hype tweets).