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Sabres Prospects Report: 10/26 - 11/12

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Taking a look down the pipeline the past few weeks, The Amerks are still rolling, Oskari Laaksonen prepping for the WJC, Matej Pekar and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen becoming big parts to their team’s success.

Buffalo Sabres v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

AHL

The Rochester Americans continue to rip it up down on the farm. They are 5-1 in their last six, including three straight wins after picking up their first regulation loss in almost a month.

As mentioned before, Victor Olofsson and Lawrence Pilut remain consistent point producers for the Amerks as they look to climb their way back to the top of the AHL in scoring. Pilut, 17 points, is on a four-game point streak and has 15 points in his last 10 games.

Another aspect to Pilut’s game that has not changed is his skating and heads up play coming into the neutral zone. He has shown time and time again when to carry the puck in and out of play and when to use his teammates for a dime breakout pass.

Staying with the defense, Brendan Guhle is someone who has had the spotlight taken away from him so far this season. Partly because of the new addition in Pilut, partly because he has not been standing out in a positive light.

Guhle, six points in 12 games, has in no way been bad, he just has not been the player we were seeing at the beginning of the year last season and during camp this season. From what I have seen, his skating ability and offensive instinct still look very good. He just has not been able to translate that into points.

Sean Malone is back from injury and has collected two points in his first two games. He has been able to provide a little bit of an offensive spark when he is on the ice.

Oh, and Justin Bailey is still fast.

Sweden

The SHL is currently taking a little break with the Four Nations U20 tournament going on. While Marcus Davidsson was not on the ice, Linus Cronholm has been pumping out some consistent games with IK Pantern in Allsvenskan. Powerplay and penalty kill usage has been able to raise his ice time compared to the SHL junior league, and he seems to be ready to accept that responsibility. He remains in contact with the Sabres developmental squad every month as he continues his growth as a two-way defenseman.

Cronholm remains at one goal and three assists in nine games played.

Finland

Speaking of the Four Nations U20 tournament, Oskari Laaksonen suited up for Team Finland during the small tourney in Czech Republic, along with Russia, Sweden and the Czechs, as they prepare for the ever-so close World Juniors.

Laaksonen, 19, was a top pairing defenseman for the Finns and he hopes to find himself in that same role come December and January. Before that, Laaksonen picked up his second career goal which was much prettier than his first.

OHL

What started as consistent has turned into up and down play for Matej Pekar. Some nights fans will see the Turnov, Czech Republic native buzzing. Perhaps scoring one of his OHL-leading four shorthanded goals. Other nights, his in-your-face style of play catches up to him and he’ll take three minor penalties that ultimately lead to a 4-0 shutout loss.

Focusing on the positive, Pekar has been peppering the opposition which shots. His 70 shots in 19 games leads the Barrie Colts by 13.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen seems to be finding a sustainable line at which to keep expectations. 9-3-1 on the year with 427 saves (2.48 GAA, .926 SV%) is right up there with another another top goaltending prospect from the 2017 NHL Draft class in Michael DiPietro (7-5-0, 2.18 GAA, .926 SV%).

To see him guide a Sudbury team to a tie for first place in their division after the season they had last year has been a real treat to watch.

NCAA

Jacob Bryson is still on a tear even though the Providence Friars were swept by a hot UMass team.

He is one goal away from his career high in goals and he is only eight games into the season.

Another defenseman with the goal-scoring touch as of late has been Mattias Samulesson. He has been a commanding offensive presence at the blue line this year. Delivering smart back-door passes as well as being able to creep down and use his frame well to dig out open ice.

He has two goals and an assist in his last four.

After an abysmal start to the season, Boston College has picked it up a bit as have Casey Fitzgerald and Christopher Brown. The pair have a combined one goal and four assists on the year.

Linus Weissbach is battling a hand injury. He could possibly be back at the end of the week. A tough blow, given that Weissbach has had a rather large impact on the team’s offense.

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