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Everything You Need to Know About the 2021 Prospects Challenge

Sabres, Devils & Bruins prospects & invitees converge on Buffalo

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New York Islanders v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Prospects from the Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils and Boston Bruins converge at LECOM HarborCenter this weekend for a three-game Prospects Challenge among the trio of teams.

There’s a lot of young, fresh talent that will hit the ice, including nine invited players for the Sabres who will help fill the gaps left by NCAA players and international players who couldn’t make it this weekend. Across the three teams, players represent a spectrum of experience across the AHL, ECHL, international leagues, college hockey and juniors.

Both Jack Quinn & Arttu Ruotsalainen are expected to play center this weekend. Per Sabres.com’s Jourdon LaBarber, Quinn will skate with JJ Peterka & Brett Murray, while Ruotsalainen may find himself on a line with Linus Weissbach and Viljami Marjala.

Game Schedule

Friday, Sept. 17: Buffalo vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 18: Buffalo vs. Boston, 3 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 19: New Jersey vs. Boston, 1 p.m.

How to Watch

For local fans, all three games are open to the public at LECOM HarborCenter. Tickets are $10 per game. Per current guidelines, masks are optional for fully-vaccinated fans at the rink.

The Sabres will stream their games on Sabres.com. Here’s the direct link for Friday’s game.

The Sabres Roster

(* = camp invite) (# = has NHL experience)
(bold = previously attended Sabres prospects camp)

Forwards

  • Brandon Biro (signed, 2020) - 23 years old. Joined the Sabres organization after four years at Penn State. Had five points (2-3) in 15 AHL games with the Amerks last season.
  • Josh Bloom (drafted, 2021) - 18 years old. Did not play last season due to COVID shutdown. Last action was in 2019-20 with OHL’s Saginaw Spirit (14 points in 54 games).
  • Thomas Casey* - 21 years old. Played last four years with QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders. Put up 74 points (34-40) in 38 regular-season games last season.
  • Riley Fiddler-Schultz* - 19 years old. Appeared in 20 games with WHL’s Calgary Hitman last season. Recorded 15 points, including 10 assists.
  • Tyson Kozak (drafted, 2021) - 18 years old. Spent most of last season with WHL’s Portland Winterhawks, where he scored 11 points (3-8) in 18 games.
  • Viljami Marjala (drafted, 2021) - 18 years old. Recorded 27 points (5-22) in 30 games with the QMJHL’s Quebec Remparts in his first North American season.
  • Brett Murray# (drafted, 2016) - 23 years old. Appeared in 2 NHL games with Sabres last season. Put up 20 points (9-11) in 27 games with the Amerks.
  • Olivier Nadeau (drafted, 2021) - 18 years old. Recorded 45 points, (13-32), in 34 regular-season games with QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes last season.
  • Matej Pekar (drafted, 2018) - 21 years old. Split last season between Liberec Bili Tygri HC (Czech) and Amerks; totaled 10 points in 37 games.
  • JJ Peterka (drafted, 2020) - 19 years old. Split last season between Salzburg EC (Austria) and Munich EHC (DEL); totaled 36 points in 42 games. Had 10 points in 5 World Junior games.
  • Jack Quinn (drafted, 2020) - 19 years old. Recorded nine points (2-7) in 15 AHL games with the Amerks last season. Five points in 7 World Junior games.
  • Arttu Ruotsalainen# (signed, 2019) - 23 years old. Split last season between Buffalo (6 points, 17 games) and Rochester (13 points, 13 games).
  • Linus Weissbach (drafted, 2017) - 23 years old. Just finished up four years at the University of Wisconsin; had 41 points (12-29) in 31 games last season.

Defense

  • Nick Boka* - 24 years old. Drafted by Minnesota, 2015 (171st). Played mostly with ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets last season with one AHL game (Ontario).
  • Matthew Cairns* - 23 years old. Drafted by Edmonton, 2016 (84th). After three years at Cornell, played last season at Minnesota-Duluth (28 games).
  • Charlie DesRoches* - 19 years old. Spent last three seasons with QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs; had 26 points (4-22) in 32 games last season.
  • Clay Hanus* - 20 years old. Split last season between USHL’s Lincoln Stars and WHL’s Portland Winterhawks for a combined 42 games.
  • Oskari Laaksonen (drafted, 2017) - 22 years old. Split last season between Pelicans (SM-liiga) and Amerks (AHL) for a total of 29 points and 48 games.
  • Mattias Samuelsson# (drafted, 2018) - 21 years old. Appeared in 12 games with the Sabres last season; also had 23 AHL games with the Amerks (13 points).
  • Peter Tischke* - 25 years old. Played 16 games with AHL’s Colorado Eagles last season; former Wisconsin Badger (2015-2019).

Boka, Cairns & Tischke are all signed to play with the Amerks this season.

Goaltenders

  • Mack Guzda* - 20 years old. Last played in 2019-20 with OHL’s Owen Sound Attack; appeared in 51 games with a 3.18 GAA and .900 save percentage.
  • Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen# (drafted, 2017) - 22 years old. Played last season with Sabres (4 games), Amerks (14 games) and TPS Turku (13 games).
  • Oliver Satny* - 18 years old. Spent last season in the Czech Republic; poised to play for QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders this season.

The Devils Roster

Players are listed alongside where they last played.

(* = camp invite) (# = has NHL experience)

Forwards

  • Alexander Holtz (Djurgardens IF, SweHL & Binghamton, AHL)
  • Tyce Thompson# (Providence College, Hockey East & Binghamton, AHL & New Jersey, NHL)
  • Dawson Mercer (Chicoutimi, QMJHL)
  • Nolan Foote# (Binghamton, AHL & New Jersey, NHL)
  • Nate Schnarr (Binghamton, AHL)
  • Fabian Zetterlund (AIK, Swe-1 & Binghamton, AHL)
  • Luke Stevens (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, AHL)
  • Tyler Irvine (Binghamton, AHL)
  • Patrick Grasso (University of New Hampshire, Hockey East)
  • Jordan Kaplan (University of Vermont, Hockey East)
  • Chase Stillman (Sudbury, OHL 2019-20)
  • Aarne Talvitie (Penn State, Big-10 & Binghamton, AHL)
  • Graeme Clarke (Nove Zamky Mikron HC, Slovak & Binghamton, AHL)

Defense

  • Reilly Walsh (Binghamton, AHL)
  • Joe Masonius (Macon, SPHL)
  • Zach Biggar (Acadie-Bathurst, QMJHL)
  • Jeremy Groleau (Binghamton, AHL)
  • Michael Vukojevic (Binghamton, AHL)
  • Nikita Okhotiuk (Binghamton, AHL)
  • Kevin Bahl# (Binghamton, AHL & New Jersey, NHL)

Goaltenders

  • Akra Schmid (Sioux City, USHL)
  • Nico Daws (Ingolstadt ERC, DEL)
  • Mareks Mitens (Lake Superior State, WCHA & Binghamton, AHL)

The Bruins Roster

Players are listed alongside where they last played.

(* = camp invite) (# = has NHL experience)

Forwards

  • Samuel Asselin (Providence, AHL)
  • Marc Boudreau* (Soo, OHL 2019-20)
  • Matt Filipe (Providence, AHL & Jacksonville, ECHL)
  • Jesper Froden (Skelleftea AIK, SweHL)
  • Curtis Hall (Providence, AHL)
  • Brett Harrison (KooVee Tampere, Mestis)
  • Jacob Hudson* (Moncton, QMJHL)
  • Jakub Lauko (Karlovy Vary HC, Czech & Providence, AHL)
  • Fabian Lysell (Vastra Frolunda Jr., Swe-Jr, & Lulea HF, SweHL)
  • Ian McKinnon (Providence, AHL & Jacksonville, ECHL)
  • Oskar Steen# (Providence, AHL, Boston, NHL (3 GP) & Bjorkloven IF, Swe-1)
  • Eduards Tralmaks (Providence, AHL & Maine, Hockey East)
  • Alex-Olivier Voyer (Providence, AHL & Jacksonville, ECHL)

Defense

  • Jack Ahcan# (Providence, AHL, Boston, NHL (3 GP) & Jacksonville, ECHL)
  • Victor Berglund (Lulea HF, SweHL)
  • Noah Dorey* (Kelowna, WHL)
  • J.D. Greenway (Maine, Hockey East)
  • Brady Lyle (Providence, AHL & Detva HC, Slovak)
  • Ryan Mast (Sarnia, OHL 2019-20)
  • Andrew Peski (Providence, AHL & Jacksonville, ECHL)
  • Nick Wolff (Providence, AHL & Miskolci DVTK Polar Bears, Slovak)

Goaltenders

  • Kyle Keyser (Providence, AHL & Jacksonville, ECHL)
  • Jeremy Brodeur (Binghamton, AHL & Knoxville, SPHL)

For updates throughout the weekend, follow along on Twitter: @_MelissaBurgess and @DieByTheBlade.