Games Below From 2/3/2020 – 2/9/2020
NOTE: For recaps below, we are highlighting any prospects who contributed on the score sheet over the past week or did anything notable. For an overall view of Sabres Prospects and their stats, be sure to check The Charging Buffalo’s Prospect Stat Tracker which is updated daily here or clicking the image below.
Prospect of the Week: C – Matej Pekar
Sudbury (OHL) – 3 GP – 3 G – 2 A – 5 PTS
A Hat Trick helped earn Matej Pekar the honor of “Prospect of the Week”, finishing with 5 points total in his 3 games played. An empty netter sealed the hat trick for him but the 2 goals prior to that showed the versatility he has as a goal scorer, something this segment has commented on a few times during the season. He used his speed to get behind the defense and go in on a breakaway for one of the goals, beating the goalie clean on a quick snap shot while the other he drives to the net and picks up a dirty goal in front. Playing away from Byfield lately, Pekar has shown no signs of slowing down and is setting himself up to be a full time player in Rochester next season.
Weekly Prospect Updates:
- Dylan Cozens followed up his quiet week before this with 7 points (1g-6a) in 3 games for Lethbridge. He has ramped up his production since the World Junior Tournament and has shown no signs of slowing as the regular season winds down. As evidenced by the shorthanded goal last week, Cozens has consistently shown a knack for going to the net and staying there in anticipation of the puck coming to him. He scored a big goal like this at the World Juniors and it’s a part of his game that is going to translate very well at the next level. He shows great vision and patience on his assists as well which is a big indicator of the confidence level he has been playing at lately.
- Jacob Bryson once again picked up a few assists and one of them was due to a great neutral zone play by him that he carried into the zone before it got cycled between him and Mittelstadt a few times. Mittelstadt ultimately found JS Dea for the goal but it was Bryson’s quick skating and possession of the puck that allowed everything to happen. Bryson has picked things up lately scoring 6 points in his last 8 games dating back to 1/24.
- Casey Mittelstadt picked up a goal and assist this past week, bringing him to 8 points in his last 9 games. His assist was mentioned above but his goal was on the powerplay where like a few others in this article, he drove the net hard and was able to pick up a dirty goal in front. As he’s known more for his great puck skills, scoring goals like this are going to help Mittelstadt become more dynamic as an offensive producer.
- You have to go back to November 16th to find the last time Linus Weissbach scored a goal prior to Saturday night. His 4th goal of the season came in a loss to Michigan but he positioned himself well in front of the net to bury his chance. After starting the season so hot with Caufield and Turcotte, Weissbach has since been pulled off that line and his stat line has taken a hit because of it.
- Both Luukkonen and Johansson struggled a bit in their recent promotions with the latter being thrust into a role that he likely isn’t ready for. Regardless of readiness, Johansson has an opportunity to develop his game with little to no pressure as the Sabres playoff chances are basically dead in the water and there is no reason to rush Luukkonen up to the NHL at this point in time. He should get a few more looks with Ullmark out which means UPL will also be getting more starts in Rochester.
- Goaltender Erik Portillo was almost perfect this weekend, allowing only 1 goal in 2 games and picking up 2 wins for Dubuque. The reason he didn’t get prospect of the week over Pekar was the lack of shots he faced in the 2 contests as he only needed to make 31 saves on 32 shots to get 2 wins, one of which was a shutout. I’ve noticed that Dubuque has done a good job of suppressing shots this year which has led to some low quantities of shots faced by Portillo on a game by game basis. Regardless, he sits in 1st place in the USHL in GAA and Save Percentage, while having the 2nd most wins of all goalies.
C Dylan Cozens – Lethbridge
3 GP – 1 G – 6 A – 7 PTS
C Matej Pekar – Sudbury
3 GP – 3 G – 2 A – 5 PTS
AHL – Rochester Americans
C Casey Mittelstadt
3 GP – 1 G – 1 A – 2 PTS
LD Jacob Bryson
3 GP – 0 G – 2 A – 2 PTS
RD Will Borgen
3 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS
LW Linus Weissbach – Wisconsin
2 GP – 1 G – 0 A – 1 PTS
LD Ryan Johnson – Minnesota
2 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS
LD Mattias Samuelsson – Western Michigan
2 GP – 0 G – 2 A – 2 PTS
G Erik Portillo – Dubuque
2 GP – 2 W – 1.00 GAA – .969 SV% (31/32) – 1 SO
G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen – Rochester
1 GP – 0 W – 1 L – 4.04 GAA – .862 SV% (25/29)
G Jonas Johansson – Buffalo
3 GP – 0 W – 2.78 GAA – .889 SV% (56/63)
Not Active – Injured
- Aaron Huglen – Fargo (USHL) – TBD
- Tage Thompson – Rochester (AHL) – Out for Season
- Marcus Davidsson – Vaxjo (SHL) – Week to Week
- Miska Kukkonen – Lukko (Liiga and Jr. A) – 5-6 Months
Continue to check in every Monday for a weekly prospect update from The Charging Buffalo Crew.
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