Logan Nelson is one name that should be familiar to Buffalo Sabres fans who have been paying attention to the recent Traverse City tournament. Nelson, a 2012 draft pick of the Sabres, will be entering his third season of junior hockey with the WHL’s Victoria Royals in the coming weeks.
Nelson, 20, is a Rogers, Minnesota native who has spent the past two seasons with the Victoria Royals. Prior to that, he played in the USHL with the Des Moines Buccaneers. Nelson is a right-handed centerman who has put up decent offensive numbers in his WHL career.
In 2011-12 as a rookie, Nelson had 23 goals, 39 assists and 70 penalty minutes in 71 regular season games. He also averaged a point-per-game in the playoffs, scoring four assists (and four penalty minutes!) in as many games in his second draft-eligible season. He went undrafted after his USHL season but things turned around in 2012.
Prior to the draft, Nelson was ranked 108th in midterm and 73rd in final rankings among North American skaters. The Buffalo Sabres drafted him in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, with the 133rd overall selection.
This past season with the Royals, Nelson had 14 goals, 29 assists and 41 penalty minutes in 49 games. This included tallying at least a point in 24 of his first 32 games of the 2012-13 WHL season. Again, he averaged a point-per-game status in the playoffs, notching two goals and four assists in six games.
Nelson attended Buffalo Sabres development camp in July and scored twice for Team Blue in the Blue & Gold scrimmage that wrapped up the three-day camp.
He also represented the team at the Traverse City rookie tournament, facing off against rookies from a number of NHL squads, including the Carolina Hurricanes and Detroit Red Wings.
He had one goal in the Sabres’ overtime victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets prospects on September 6 and was on a line with Colin Jacobs for all three of the round-robin games, with the third part of the line switching between Eric Locke, Frederick Roy and Kevin Sundher.
In the championship game on September 9, Nelson had an assist on Peter Trainor’s goal as Buffalo eventually dropped the game, 4-2, to the Detroit Red Wings prospects. Again, he was on a line with Colin Jacobs, with Trainor completing the trio this time around.
Now that the tournament is over, Nelson will return to the WHL for another season of junior hockey with the Victoria Royals before the Buffalo Sabres will have to sign him.
As a side note – if you don’t already follow him on Twitter, I’d recommend it. Seriously… what are you waiting for?