We all know how the Buffalo Sabres have been doing lately; but it’s time, once again, to take a look at some of the up-and-coming players in the system. Whether in one of the Canadian Hockey Leagues (OHL, WHL, QMJHL), playing college hockey or overseas – here it is, folks. Let’s take a look.
ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE
- Overage defenseman Brady Austin (LDN) now has 15 points and is a plus-14 in 31 games this season. Since joining the London Knights, Austin has tallied 10 points (3-7) in 24 games and accrued 14 penalty minutes. Two of his three goals for London have come on the power play. The London Knights are second in the Midwest Division – behind one of Austin’s former teams, the Erie Otters. The Knights are 23-6-1-1 on the season and have 48 points in 31 games.
- Center Justin Kea (SAG) is third on the Spirit in scoring, with 29 points in 32 games this season. His 13 goals and 53 penalty minutes are both tied for second-most on the team. Kea is currently averaging .91 points/game and 1.66 penalty minutes per game.
- Center Eric Locke (SAG) is just a few points shy of Kea on the Spirit scoring list. Locke has eight goals and 14 assists in 15 games this sesason, averaging 1.47 points per game. Locke is currently out with an injury and hasn’t played since a 5-3 loss to Sarnia on November 15, missing 11 games in that stretch to date. The Saginaw Spirit are currently third in the West Division, with a 16-11-4-1 record and 37 points.
- Right wing Justin Bailey (KIT) has nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points in 30 games this season with the Rangers. Bailey is tied for third on the team in points scoring. He is currently a minus-9 (if that stat matters to you) and has 16 penalty minutes on the season. The Kitchener Rangers currently sit last in the Midwest Division, with an 11-18-0-1 record and 23 points on the season.
- Right wing Nicholas Baptiste (SUD) has hit the 40-point mark this season in just 31 games. He’s second on the Wolves in both goals (19) and assists (21) and is third in points scoring (40). Seven of his 19 goals have come on the power play, and he averages 1.29 points/game. The Sudbury Wolves sit atop the Central Division with a 16-9-3-3 record (38 points).
WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE
- Center Logan Nelson (VIC) leads the team with 32 points in 33 games this season. His 12 goals are third-most on the team, while his 20 assists lead the Royals in that statistic. Half of his goals this season have come on the power play. The Royals are second in the B.C. Division with a 21-13-0-1 record and 43 points.
- Forward Colin Jacobs has one goal and six penalty minutes in six games with the Elmira Jackals this season since being sent down on November 29.
- Right winger Shawn Szydlowski is scoreless in 11 games with the Fort Wayne Komets this season, but has accrued nine penalty minutes and 15 shots on goal. Also on the Komets is goaltender Andrey Makarov, who has a 3.00 GAA and a .904 save percentage in 12 games. He’s recorded seven wins and five losses, logged 720 minutes of ice time and allowed 36 goals against.
- Goaltender Connor Knapp recorded his first professional shutout on November 23 with 31 saves against Gwinnett. On the season, he has a 2.31 GAA and .934 save percentage with the Road Warriors, notching three wins, six losses, one overtime loss and one shootout win.
UNITED STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE
- Goaltender Cal Peterson has a record of 11-2-1-1 with the Waterloo Black Hawks this season. His 2.61 GAA is good for ninth in the league, and he has a .915 save percentage.
- Foward Judd Peterson has nine goals and six assists for 15 points in 20 games this season with Cedar Rapids. He has 33 penalty minutes and two game-winning goals.
- Forward Connor Hurley has three goals and 11 assists for 14 points in 19 games with Muskegon. Five of his 14 points have come on the power play, and he has one shorthanded assist. Hurley has 12 penalty minutes this season so far, compared to just four in 11 games last season.
- Right winger Gustav Possler has eight goals and six assists for 14 points in 21 games this season with MODO Hockey Ornskoldsvik this season. He has four penalty minutes and is a plus-7 and will join Team Sweden for WJC camp in the coming days.
- Goaltender Linus Ullmark has a 1.99 GAA and .936 save percentage in 18 games with MODO this season.
- Left winger J.T. Compher has 14 points (5-9) and four penalty minutes in 14 games with the University of Michigan. Compher will attend the selection camp for Team USA for the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championships.
- Defenseman Jake McCabe has 11 points and 12 penalty minutes in 12 Big-10 games with the University of Wisconsin this season. Forward Brad Navin has two goals and six penalty minutes with the Badgers this year.
- Defenseman Anthony Florentino has three goals, five assists and 12 penalty minutes in 14 games with Providence College.
- Forward Christian Isackson has four points (1-3) in eight games with the University of Minnesota.
- West Seneca native – and center – Sean Malone has six points (1-5) in 13 games of ECAC action with Harvard this season.
Check back for more updates about some of the Buffalo Sabres prospects, and keep an eye on the upcoming 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships – the Sabres will potentially have five representatives in the tournament.