Sabres Prospects Notebook 2-26-20

Games Below From 2/17/2020 – 2/23/2020

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.

stats 2-26


Prospect of the Week:  LD – Jacob Bryson

Rochester (AHL) – 3 GP – 2 G – 1 A – 3 PTS 

Bryson picked up 2 goals and 1 assist for Rochester, including the game winning overtime goal against Lehigh Valley.  On his first career AHL goal, Bryson read the breakout extremely well and took off down the ice which created a 2 on 1 opportunity with Asplund.  The pass across was perfect and Bryson buried it in a perfect display of his offensive instincts and speed.  On goal number 2, he was opportunistic with the extra space in overtime and found himself in front of the net for an easy goal to get the win for Rochester.  He’s got a bit of Samuel Girard to his game from a style perspective which bodes well for his future should his game continue to develop like it has all season long.



Weekly Prospect Updates:

  • While Cozens has been praised on a weekly basis for the variety in which he scores goals, he took this week to display his vision and versatility as a playmaker, picking up 4 assists in 3 games.  As highlighted in the video below, Cozens is a play driving center who is very good at reading his teammates on the ice.  Understanding their position and when to dish the puck out to them is a great skill that he possesses and ultimately gives his line-mates great scoring chances on a regular basis.  Of all the assists he had this past week, the best in my opinion was where he threads a beautiful pass through traffic in the neutral zone to spring Okuliar on a breakaway.  The future remains extremely bright for the top Sabres prospect.
  • Matej Pekar picked up 2 goals in 3 games for Sudbury and now has 8 total in his past 7 games for the Wolves.  Lately he’s done a great job scoring goals in tight of the net, whether that be driving hard to the front for a rebound or taking the puck himself to the front to create and also finish scoring opportunities.  He also showed his gritty side this past week by getting into a fight with 6’7″ Kevin Bahl and held his own pretty well for a guy who has 6 inches and about 50 lbs on him.  It should be noted that Pekar is still doing well even without playing with top NHL Draft prospect Quinton Byfield.
  • It was another strong week for Rasmus Asplund down in Rochester who tallied 4 assists in 3 games played.  The demotion from Buffalo has been good to the young Swede who clearly needed some more time in the AHL to further hone his offensive game.  He lacked consistency at the NHL level this year and is doing a nice job lately of picking up points for the Amerks.
  • Ruotsalainen picked up an assist on the Laaksonen goal below by carrying the puck through the neutral zone and into opponent territory, a trait that I love about his game and hope to see translate over in North America when he does get that opportunity.  Having the speed and mindset to perform a controlled zone entry is huge in today’s game and started the sequence which led to Laaksonen picking up his first goal since September of 2019.  It was a seeing eye shot for the arguably snake bitten Laaksonen who has not seen much improvement offensively this season but getting on the scoresheet will hopefully be the start of a strong finish to his season in Liiga.
  • I am going to keep making fun of Samuelsson’s foot speed until he stops picking up points.  The hulking defender added another assist over the weekend for Western Michigan while Linus Weissbach also picked up an assist for Wisconsin.  Ryan Johnson continues to disappoint on the scoresheet but is still showing positive signs of development from a positioning standpoint as the true freshmen adjusts to playing against much older competition.
  • It was another difficult week for Luukkonen who failed to win in either of his 2 starts for Rochester and gave up 6 goals on only 31 shots faced in those contests.  His presence with the Amerks has been out of necessity with the injury to Ullmark but I expect him to get sent back to Cincinnati for the end of their season when Ullmark does return as this has been an eye opening experience for UPL that shouldn’t be overdone.  He clearly needs some more development before being the starter in Rochester.
  • Much like UPL, Erik Portillo had a single rough outing and got pulled early in a game where he gave up 4 goals on not many shots.  He did bounce back with a strong performance for a win the following night however so he didn’t let the poor game carry over.
  • A big congratulations to Jonas Johansson who picked up his first career NHL win and deservedly so, turning away 25 of the 26 shots he faced with the 1 goal being on a nice passing play by Winnipeg where he didn’t get much help.  Johansson was solid in net for Buffalo Sunday afternoon and while he didn’t get asked to do much in the 3rd period, still showed very well in his first career NHL win.  As Ullmark gets closer to a return, Johansson will most likely end up back in Rochester to finish the year and be the mainstay between the pipes for their upcoming playoff run.



C Dylan Cozens – Lethbridge
3 GP – 0 G – 4 A – 4 PTS



C Matej Pekar – Sudbury
3 GP – 2 G – 0 A – 2 PTS


AHL – Rochester Americans

C Rasmus Asplund
3 GP – 0 G – 4 A – 4 PTS

LD Jacob Bryson
3 GP – 2 G – 1 A – 3 PTS

LW Brett Murray
3 GP – 1 G – 0 A – 1 PTS

C Casey Mittelstadt
3 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS

C Andrew Oglevie
3 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS

RD Will Borgen
3 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS

LD Lawrence Pilut
3 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS




C Arttu Ruotsalainen – Ilves
3 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS

RD Oskari Laaksonen – Ilves
3 GP – 1 G – 0 A – 1 PTS




LW Linus Weissbach – Wisconsin
2 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS

LD Mattias Samuelsson – Western Michigan
2 GP – 0 G – 1 A – 1 PTS



SuperElit U20

LD William Worge – Linkoping
2 GP – 0 G – 2 A – 2 PTS




G Erik Portillo – Dubuque
2 GP – 1 W – 1 L – 3.89 GAA – .842 SV% (32/38)


G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen – Rochester
2 GP – 0 W – 2 OTL –  2.94 GAA – .806 SV% (25/31)


G Jonas Johansson – Buffalo
1 GP – 1 W – 1.00 GAA – .962 SV% (25/26)


Not Active – Injured

  • Aaron Huglen – Fargo (USHL) – TBD
  • Tage Thompson – Rochester (AHL) – Out for Season
  • Marcus Davidsson – Vaxjo (SHL) – Week to Week (Concussion)
  • Miska Kukkonen – Lukko (Liiga and Jr. A) – Out for Season


Continue to check in every Monday for a weekly prospect update from The Charging Buffalo Crew.

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