Look at a list of the top 20 scorers in the OHL, and one name you’ll recognize on that list will be Sabres prospect Nick Baptiste. Drafted by Buffalo in 2013, Baptiste is in his third full OHL season and is having a solid offensive year.
The right winger turns 19 in August, meaning he still has at least one, if not two, good OHL seasons left after this one. He’s been a part of the Wolves organization since 2011, and this season, Nick Baptiste has already set career-highs in goals, assists and points.
Baptiste was drafted by the Sabres in 2013 with the 69th overall selection in the third round. Prior to the draft – and since then – Nick Baptiste has been playing with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves, who currently sit second in the Eastern Conference with 69 points.
This season to date, the right winger has 38 goals and 37 assists – that’s 75 points in 56 games. He’s also a plus-22 and has a career-high 53 penalty minutes.
Surprisingly enough, his 38 goals are not the most on the Wolves roster. That honor goes to Nathan Pancel, a left-winger who has yet to be drafted into the NHL at the age of 20. He’s still eligible for the upcoming 2014 draft, so we’ll see where this season takes him. Pancel has 40 goals on the season, barely edging out Baptiste for the team lead.
However, Baptiste claims both top spots on the team in assists (37) and points (75). Another pretty impressive statistic: 11 of his 38 goals this season have come on the power play, and he’s averaging 1.34 points per game.
Compare that to last season, when he had 21 goals and 27 assists for 48 points in 66 regular season games; he added five points in nine playoff games. Prior to that, he had 27 point (8-19) in 64 games during his rookie year in Sudbury in 2011-12, and also appeared in two playoff games with the Wolves after the 2010-11 season, going pointless in both games.
Going back to this season, it’s worthy to note how many point streaks Nick Baptiste has had, including two six-game point streaks earlier in the season.
The right winger started off the OHL season with a six-game point streak that lasted from September 21 through October 5. He notched 12 points during that time, including eight goals.
Baptiste had another six-game point streak from October 13 until October 27. He notched 10 points – four goals, six assists – in that stretch. In addition to those streaks, Baptiste has had multiple smaller point streaks and is overall having a pretty solid season.
In the month of February so far, he has 12 points in seven games, including at least a point in five of those meetings.
The Wolves have three games left on the schedule this month – all at home – and then seven games in the first half of March to round out the regular season. The team has already clinched a playoff spot, so it’s just waiting time to see exactly what spot they end up in and who they’ll face in the first round of the playoffs, so keep an eye out for the team and the Sabres prospect helping to lead the way.