Buffalo Sabres Top 25 Under 25: #20 - Nick Baptiste
Baptiste could get a look in Buffalo earlier than many thought he would.
Weight: 201 lbs.
2013-14 team: Sudbury Wolves (OHL)
Acquired: Taken in the third round (69th overall) in the 2013 draft
Last year's ranking: Not ranked
A third-round pick last season, Baptiste had an excellent season, propelling him from unranked to 20th in the Top 25 Under 25.
After being drafted by the Sabres last season Baptiste upped his production heavily, which earned him an entry-level contract with the team this off-season. He will likely at least get a shot with the Sabres for the first nine games before they have to decide whether or not they'll send him back to Sudbury or not.
A tough skating winger, Baptiste is the third ranked RW prospect on Sabres Prospects behind only Joel Armia and Hudson Fasching. He's known to be tough to knock of the puck and is a powerful skater. He was voted as the second best skater in the OHL in the OHL East Coaches Poll. His 6'1" 190 lbs. frame gives him enough size to play tough in the corners.
His 45 goals this season with Sudbury was fourth in the OHL, and he was also voted the best shootout scorer in the coaches poll as well. Baptiste was invited to the Canadian National Junior Evaluation Camp this season, one of 18 OHL players.
As stated previously, the Sabres signed Baptiste to his entry-level deal this early for a reason. He'll likely get an audition at the beginning of the year with the team, but at only 19-years-old and with Ted Nolan's track record the likelihood of him sticking isn't great. Odds are he'll be back in juniors for one more season before he hits 20 and is allowed to go to the AHL.
Want to see all the ranked players thus far? You can find them by clicking here.