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2019-20 Sabres Prospects


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39 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I very much like the takes and I mostly like the order.

Olofsson does not have a 10 ceiling, Borgen is too high (I like him, but I'd put him around Laaksonen) and I have no sense of Ruotsolainen yet but anything else would be quibbling. I like Bryson as a longshot with a shot.

I look at the potential at what they do. Like his ceiling as a goal-scored is a 10 to me. I’m not thinking he’s got Ovechkin-type potential but I could see him being an elite goal scorer. Olofsson’s 10 would be different from Eichel’s 10. Semi-forgot Bryson. I’d put him at the front of the extra group.

Prospect rankings are interesting and tough because what puts one guy higher than one guy might not be the same reason he’s behind another. Borgen is high on my list not because I think he will or can be a better player than the others but because I think he’s more of a safe bet to at least have a good NHL stint whereas Olofsson is high because I think his potential is sky high.

21 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

If Pilut and Ruotsalainen have similar upside as Davidsson, are more likely to play full time in the NHL and have a chance to make the team this season, why are they ranked behind Davidsson?

See the confusing explantation above.

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2 hours ago, phil_soisson said:

If you watch the video of Ralph Krueger addressing prospects, check out the shoulders on Victor Olofsson and Jacob Bryson;  they stand out! No wonder Olofsson has a "blink of the eye" release.

I’d imagine that there aren’t too many players there that are older than them. 

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On 6/27/2019 at 2:33 PM, GASabresIUFAN said:

I thought it was obvious, but thanks for catching the joke.

Back to the prospect list - Prospect is defined as a player 23 and under, who is waiver exempt (for the pros) and played part of last season in the AHL or lower leagues.

Here is my revised top 20.

1. UPL - making move to pro game, but was arguably the best non-pro goalie in the world last season

2. Cozens - Potential to be a top line winger or 2nd line center in Buffalo

3. Olofsson - former 7th rd pick looks likely to get a top 9 wing job in Buffalo this fall.  Looked good with Jack during late season callup.

4. Jokiharju - Chi’s top pick in 2017, played 38 NHL games in his first pro season.  Plays a solid 2 way game and is very responsible defensively which we desperately need.  Could make the Sabres out of camp.

5. Pilut - dominated in Rochester and looked decent in Buffalo early but ended up injured.  Excellent puck mover we need on the 3rd pair.

6.  Asplund - great second half in Roch.  If he builds on it this season, he could be in Buffalo sooner then later.

7.  Borgen - Physical stay at home D who skates decently.  Bogo's replacement after this season. Addition of Jokiharju makes his path to the NHL less clear.

8. Johnson - 1st rd all around D.  Description reminds me of a faster Tallinder. I demoted Jonson a little on the list because the three players just ahead of him are very close to NHL ready and Johnson’s upside is similar to Borgen and Pilut.  

9. Thompson - Former 1st rd pick who has played in the NHL most of the last two season, but still hasn't quite figured out how to use his massive frame.  Looked good in late demotion to Roch.  Still think he has 20 goal potential, but might need another couple of years to grow physically stronger.

10. Laaksonen - Maybe should be higher, but hasn't played in NA yet.  However his physical growth combined with a flashy all around game could put him in the top 2 or 3 if the improvement continues. Playing for Finland International is a great sign of how his development has come. 

11. Ruotsalainen - Small Forward who scored 21 goals and added 21 assists in the Finnish Elite league.  Could be Olofsson 2.0. Could move quickly up this board.

11. Nylander - While talent is there maybe just needs to play with top talent to bring out his best.  Make or break year for him. Demoted him behind Ruotsalainen because Ruotsalainen has proven he can score in a good league, while Nylander hasn’t and both guys are 21.

12. Pekar - Our resident pest who has having a good CHL season before an injury.  Starts this season in Roch and I envision a more talented and more disciplined Kaleta long-term.

13. Samuelsson - Physical stay at home D has solid potential but needs more time in college to help his O development.

14. Davidsson - I think of him as Asplund 2.0.  Had a good second half last year.  One more year in SHL (with a new team) and then here.

15. Bryson - Jbot seems to really like this small D's all around game.  Starts in Roch this season.  We'll see if his game translates to the pros.

16. Portillo - 6'6" Swedish G making the move to NA and the USHL and then Michigan.  Could very well have UPL type potential based on his excellent play in the Swedish Jr leagues.  Still one never quite knows with goalies, but he is likely 4 years away.

 17. Huglen - Kind of a Mitts lite kind of player.  Nice frame but needs 20 lbs of muscle to reach potential. 

18. Weissbach - Small forward was nearly a pt a game scorer for Wisconsin last year

19. Fitzgerald - Making the jump to Rochester after 4 mediocre years at BC.  Still put up 3 pts in 4 late season AHL games.  

20. Hickey - Former 3rd rd pick by Calg in 2014, had a rough 1st pro season but was rewarded with a qualifying offer.  I guess the Sabres see something.  I’m not so sure.

Others to watch Cederqvist, Kukkonen and Glotov (I want to see what he can do in Rochester)

Removed - Dougherty - A Former 2nd rd pick who I thought he impressed with solid stay at home play in Rochester.  Sadly he wasn’t given a qualifying offer by the Sabres.

Nylander out.  Jokiharju in.  

I have placed Henri 4th in my updated rankings above.  New info in Bold.  I also swamped the rankings for Pilut and Asplund because Pilut should be in the NHL when healthy.

 

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https://theathletic.com/1077434/2019/07/22/wheeler-the-top-50-drafted-nhl-prospects-ranking-2019-edition/

9. Dylan Cozens, C, 18 (Buffalo Sabres — 7th overall, 2019)

Every team wants a big center who can really fly — and manages to make plays at top speed. That’s what the Sabres got when Cozens fell to them (at least by my evaluation). He’s exactly what the Sabres needed and could help give them enviable depth down the middle if Casey Mittelstadt can put the pieces together and give them three productive playmakers down the middle.

26. Henri Jokiharju, RHD, 20 (Buffalo Sabres — 29th overall, 2017)

“He loves me, he loves me not.”

That’s the gist of Jokiharju’s rookie season. And regardless of how his head coach in Chicago felt about him, Jokiharju makes a lot of sense for the Sabres and they ought to be excited about what they’re getting because he’s got the chance to be a good No. 2 or No. 3 defenceman, even if there isn’t enough talent there to be a No. 1 guy. And while it won’t happen immediately, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jokiharju is Dahlin’s wingman in a year or two’s time. His poise under pressure is enviable and it should, in time, make him a possession-driving, modern NHL defenceman who can play in transition or slow things down to his tempo.

UPL just missed his list.  I find it hard to believe that not one goalie made his list and that there are 50 better prospects then UPL.

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Happy belated 24th B day Victor Olofsson.  Like it or not you have graduated from my list.

3. Olofsson - former 7th rd pick looks likely to get a top 9 wing job in Buffalo this fall.  Looked good with Jack during late season callup.

A couple of notes on my list.  I think our top 13 prospects have NHL futures.  I think our next 3 prospects Bryson, Portillo and Huglen also have a shot but need development.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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57 minutes ago, pi2000 said:

Olofsson has that shot.  What does Routsalainen have that makes him special?   If he's just an overall good prospect, that wont be enough.

Tiny forward with very good offensive skills and skating ability. Also plays a reliable defensive game and can kill penalties. A natural center but may have to move to wing because of his size.

from Dobberprospects.com. https://dobberprospects.com/player/arttu-ruotsalainen/

sounds like a younger Erod.

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4 hours ago, Curt said:

Sabres Prospect List w/write-ups from Last Word on Hockey Prospects.  I don’t like the order of the list, but the write-ups are good.

https://lastwordonhockeyprospects.com/2019/07/24/buffalo-sabres-prospects-2/

Our prospect system looks pretty strong, TBH. When I see a quality prospect like Davidsson listed 9th, and a likely NHLer at 10 in Borgen.....looks good to me. 

Samuelsson at #3 sticks out here as being listed too high, but otherwise, like the list. 

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I know people are sick of prospect watching, but the young talent stockpiled over the past five years has to stack up well against pretty much any other organization, no?

Dahlin and Eichel are franchise talents

Reinhart Is a first line player. 

Mittelstadt, Jokiharju, Cozens and UPL have dominated at the junior level.

Johnson, Samuelsson, Thompson, Asplund and Davidsson are late 1st/early 2nd rounders who seem to be on track

Borgen, Olofsson, Pilut and Laaksonen are tracking well as sleepers.

 

Our issue, as many have pointed out, has been that our collection of prime-aged players has been abysmal.

Between Botterill’s pickups and the tank survivors just now into their primes, maybe we’re finally approaching critical mass.

Edited by dudacek
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Just now, dudacek said:

I know people are sick of prospect watching, but the young talent stockpiled over the past five years has to stack up well against pretty much any other organization, no?

Dahlin and Eichel are franchise talents

Reinhart Is a first line player. 

Mittelstadt, Jokiharju and UPL have dominated at the junior level.

Johnson, Samuelsson, Thompson, Asplund and Davidsson are late 1st/early 2nd rounders who seem to be on track

Borgen, Olofsson, Pilut and Laaksonen are tracking well as sleepers.

 

Our issue, as many have pointed out, has been that our collection of prime-aged players has been abysmal.

Between Botterill’s pickups and the tank survivors just now into their primes, maybe we’re finally approaching critical mass.

Great analysis but also don't sleep on Pekar.  He was on fire to start the year in Barrie before getting hurt.  

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3 minutes ago, Derrico said:

Great analysis but also don't sleep on Pekar.  He was on fire to start the year in Barrie before getting hurt.  

I love Pekar.  In an irrational sort of way.  I love his personality and I love his blend of pest-ness and skill.  I’m excited to see what he can do in Rochester.

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1 hour ago, Thorny said:

Our prospect system looks pretty strong, TBH. When I see a quality prospect like Davidsson listed 9th, and a likely NHLer at 10 in Borgen.....looks good to me. 

Samuelsson at #3 sticks out here as being listed too high, but otherwise, like the list. 

I agree on Samuelsson being too high for my taste.  I would have him below everyone else listed in the top 10 as well as behind Asplund, Laaksonen, and Pekar.

 

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11 minutes ago, Curt said:

I agree on Samuelsson being too high for my taste.  I would have him below everyone else listed in the top 10 as well as behind Asplund, Laaksonen, and Pekar.

 

I think Samuelsson is falsely seen as an unfashionable Justin Falk type when he has better skills and a better mind for the game than that implies. He can flat out defend.

I see him settling in nicely as a pretty solid second pair defensive defenceman.

If the team is good, he will be pretty well-respected for what he does, like a Toni Lydman. If the team sucks, he will be scorned like Smehlik.

But he will play and he will help.

Edited by dudacek
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37 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I think Samuelsson is falsely seen as an unfashionable Justin Falk type when he has better skills and a better mind for the game than that implies. He can flat out defend.

I see him settling in nicely as a pretty solid second pair defensive defenceman.

If the team is good, he will be pretty well-respected for what he does, like a Toni Lydman. If the team sucks, he will be scorned like Smehlik.

But he will play and he will help.

Expecting he's rated as highly as he is because he almost certainly will make the NHL but guys behind him aren't as certain to be there.

But several of those behind him have higher ceilings to  be better NHLers.

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31 minutes ago, dudacek said:

I think Samuelsson is falsely seen as an unfashionable Justin Falk type when he has better skills and a better mind for the game than that implies. He can flat out defend.

I see him settling in nicely as a pretty solid second pair defensive defenceman.

If the team is good, he will be pretty well-respected for what he does, like a Toni Lydman. If the team sucks, he will be scorned like Smehlik.

But he will play and he will help.

Maybe.  I could see it, sure.

I do worry about his skating, although this article was pretty positive on it.

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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

I think Samuelsson is falsely seen as an unfashionable Justin Falk type when he has better skills and a better mind for the game than that implies. He can flat out defend.

I see him settling in nicely as a pretty solid second pair defensive defenceman.

If the team is good, he will be pretty well-respected for what he does, like a Toni Lydman. If the team sucks, he will be scorned like Smehlik.

But he will play and he will help.

I liked Zadorov when I saw him at D-camp and Samuelsson reminds me of a more skilled and more mature Z.

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11 minutes ago, MakeSabresGrr8Again said:

I liked Zadorov when I saw him at D-camp and Samuelsson reminds me of a more skilled and more mature Z.

Named Captain of Western Michigan as a Sophomore.   And his pedigree is superior, which is undervalued.  

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1 minute ago, Broken Ankles said:

Named Captain of Western Michigan as a Sophomore.   And his pedigree is superior, which is undervalued.  

Was captain of the US development team and US U18 team.

And no one will be surprised to see him captain of this year’s WJC team.

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The real question with Samuelsson is will he skate well enough for Jbot's Sabres teams. Admittedly Jbot drafted him, but when you look at Montour, Jokiharju, Miller, Pilut, Johnson and Laaksonen, I think it's fair to ask where he fits long-term.

I also think he is currently behind Pilut, Johnson, Laaksonen, Jokiharju and possibly even Borgen on our prospect list.  How he is rated 3rd overall by LWOS is beyond me and I like the kid.

 

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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1 minute ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

The real question with Samuelsson is will he skate well enough for Jbot's Sabres teams. Admittedly Jbot drafted him, but when you look at Montour, Jokiharju, Miller, Pilut, Johnson and Laaksonen, I think it's fair to ask where he fits long-term.

I also think he is currently behind Pilut, Johnson, Laaksonen, Jokiharju and possibly even Borgen on our prospect list.  How he is rated 3rd overall by LWOS is beyond me and I like the kid.

 

It really depends on the fit imo for Samuelsson and who he might be paired with.  Based on what we saw in the rookie 3-3 camp his skating looks improved.  If he can continue improving his reaction time... first quick step... I could easily see him jumping over a few guys because of his size and strength, especially if Risto and or McCabe get moved.  I could see him being a good opposite D for one of the puck movers.  He seems to me like a more intelligent version of Risto depending on what Rakru may or may not be able to do with Risto's play and a bigger version of McCabe.

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