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Prospect pool, summer 2023


dudacek
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McCarthy is a better prospect than either Komarov or Lindgren.  Also Ratzlaff is a better goaltender than Leinonen.  Also, Poltapov is way too high on your winger list.  Neuchev, Kisakov and even Nadeau are probably better prospects at this point.

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27 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

McCarthy is a better prospect than either Komarov or Lindgren.  Also Ratzlaff is a better goaltender than Leinonen.  Also, Poltapov is way too high on your winger list.  Neuchev, Kisakov and even Nadeau are probably better prospects at this point.

Eh, wasn't really supposed to be a firm ranking, more like a general starting point.

You might be right on McCarthy. I'd put all three on a tier as likely tweeners for the time being.

I'm real curious if the Sabres think as little of Leinonen as Sabrespace does. Reminds me of Rosen, in the sense he was an unpopular pick who had a poor post-draft year. Never seen him play, but I have too much faith in this staff to write him off completely already. I suspect he's better than we know. 

If memory serves, you've always underestimated Poltapov. Kid's going to walk right on to a 3rd-line role with the Sabres when his KHL contract expires. He's Vaclav Varada reincarnated. The trio you listed probably aren't going to be NHL players.

Edited by dudacek
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This is incredibly helpful to someone like myself who is too lazy to compile such a list on my own. 

I would be very interested to read assessments of our prospect pool now that that the draft is over. 

For example, I recall Pekar from years ago and am surprised to see him still considered a prospect and not an AHLer by this point.

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2 minutes ago, ... said:

This is incredibly helpful to someone like myself who is too lazy to compile such a list on my own. 

I would be very interested to read assessments of our prospect pool now that that the draft is over. 

For example, I recall Pekar from years ago and am surprised to see him still considered a prospect and not an AHLer by this point.

I don't consider him a prospect.

He's finished his ELC now without establishing himself as even an AHL regular and is probably not going get a qualifying offer.

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59 minutes ago, dudacek said:

If memory serves, you've always underestimated Poltapov. Kid's going to walk right on to a 3rd-line role with the Sabres when his KHL contract expires. He's Vaclav Varada reincarnated. The trio you listed probably aren't going to be NHL players.

I'm still not convinced that Poltapov ever comes over to NA.  In his D+1 year he was a pt a game MHL player (15 pts in 13 games) and had 7 pts in 25 VHL games. In his D+2 year he played primarily in the KHL and had only 10 pts in 56 games. 

Kisakov in his D+1 had 56 pts in 51 MHL games.  In D+2 he had 8 pts in 48 AHL games.

These stats indicate to me that they are similar level prospects.  The KHL is a "better" league than the AHL, but not much and the NHLe put the players at a similar level.

Nadeau in D+1 in the Q had 78 pts in 65 games.  Again similar production to Kisakov and Poltapov at the Jr level.  

Neuchev is the best of the bunch.  In his D+1 he played in the KHL full-time and had 12 pts in 57 games, except he also played 6 games in the MHL playoffs and had 6 pts (4 goals) in 3 games.  

To me all these guys are bunched together with Neuchev as the leader.  Until I see them in action together it's going to be hard to separate them, but if I had to make a bet, I'd bet on Neuchev as the most likely successful NHLer.

I also think you are overselling Poltapov's potential.  Our forwards and forward prospect pool is so deep, he is going to have a hard time unseating incumbent players or beating out higher-rated prospects like Kulich and Rosen.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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47 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I'm still not convinced that Poltapov ever comes over to NA.  In his D+1 year he was a pt a game MHL player (15 pts in 13 games) and had 7 pts in 25 VHL games. In his D+2 year he played primarily in the KHL and had only 10 pts in 56 games. 

Kisakov in his D+1 had 56 pts in 51 MHL games.  In D+2 he had 8 pts in 48 AHL games.

These stats indicate to me that they are similar level prospects.  The KHL is a "better" league than the AHL, but not much and the NHLe put the players at a similar level.

Nadeau in D+1 in the Q had 78 pts in 65 games.  Again similar production to Kisakov and Poltapov at the Jr level.  

Neuchev is the best of the bunch.  In his D+1 he played in the KHL full-time and had 12 pts in 57 games, except he also played 6 games in the MHL playoffs and had 6 pts (4 goals) in 3 games.  

To me all these guys are bunched together with Neuchev as the leader.  Until I see them in action together it's going to be hard to separate them, but if I had to make a bet, I'd bet on Neuchev as the most likely successful NHLer.

I also think you are overselling Poltapov's potential.  Our forwards and forward prospect pool is so deep, he is going to have a hard time unseating incumbent players or beating out higher-rated prospects like Kulich and Rosen.

I think it's unfair to be writing him off at the moment, given his lack of playtime in the KHL lineup. It's a league notorious for underplaying younger guys.

 This is his toi/g ovee last 3 khl seasons.

 

Screenshot_20230630_080824_Brave.jpg

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6 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I'm still not convinced that Poltapov ever comes over to NA.  In his D+1 year he was a pt a game MHL player (15 pts in 13 games) and had 7 pts in 25 VHL games. In his D+2 year he played primarily in the KHL and had only 10 pts in 56 games. 

Kisakov in his D+1 had 56 pts in 51 MHL games.  In D+2 he had 8 pts in 48 AHL games.

These stats indicate to me that they are similar level prospects.  The KHL is a "better" league than the AHL, but not much and the NHLe put the players at a similar level.

Nadeau in D+1 in the Q had 78 pts in 65 games.  Again similar production to Kisakov and Poltapov at the Jr level.  

Neuchev is the best of the bunch.  In his D+1 he played in the KHL full-time and had 12 pts in 57 games, except he also played 6 games in the MHL playoffs and had 6 pts (4 goals) in 3 games.  

To me all these guys are bunched together with Neuchev as the leader.  Until I see them in action together it's going to be hard to separate them, but if I had to make a bet, I'd bet on Neuchev as the most likely successful NHLer.

I also think you are overselling Poltapov's potential.  Our forwards and forward prospect pool is so deep, he is going to have a hard time unseating incumbent players or beating out higher-rated prospects like Kulich and Rosen.

 

2 hours ago, Flashsabre said:

Poltapov just kicked ass in the playoffs and won the championship.Why are people suddenly dumping on him? He plays a bulldog style that is lacking in the prospect pool. 

The thing with Poltapov that doesn’t show up on the stats sheet is his ability to protect pucks, work the boards and the corners, and get under the skin of opponents. Fans talk about a lack of grit in the pool in part because they forget about Poltapov, or have no idea how he plays.

Stat watching teenagers in the KHL can be a little misleading. They generally don’t play much and Poltapov was fighting for ice time on the league’s best team. His numbers are in line with last year’s 1st rounders Yurov and Mirosechenko.

He’s an NHL skater with a game that works in your bottom 6 and enough skill to potentially be more.

 

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2 minutes ago, dudacek said:

 

The thing with Poltapov that doesn’t show up on the stats sheet is his ability to protect pucks, work the boards and the corners, and get under the skin of opponents. Fans talk about a lack of grit in the pool in part because they forget about Poltapov, or have no idea how he plays.

Stat watching teenagers in the KHL can be a little misleading. They generally don’t play much and Poltapov was fighting for ice time on the league’s best team. His numbers are in line with last year’s 1st rounders Yurov and Mirosechenko.

He’s an NHL skater with a game that works in your bottom 6 and enough skill to potentially be more.

 

Agree, Poltapov plays a game that should translate well to an NHL bottom 6 role.  I don’t think that’s ever going to be true for Kisikov and I’m not sure on Neuchev.

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This prospect pool is probably the best I've seen since the Miller/Pominville years and hopefully even better. 

Do those in the know think Mats Lindgren will make the jump to the AHL this year? I'm looking at his WHL stats and it looks like he doesn't have much more to prove there but I could be wrong. Also is Zach Benson eligible for the AHL? If so he will be there this year or does he spend another year in the WHL? Curious to see what some say.

Edited by GoPuckYourself
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1 minute ago, GoPuckYourself said:

This prospect pool is probably the best I've seen since the Miller/Pominville years and hopefully even better. 

Do those in the know think Mats Lindgren will make the jump to the AHL this year? I'm looking at his WHL stats and it looks like he doesn't have much more to prove there but I could be wrong. Also is Zach Benson eligible for the AHL? If so he will be there this year or does he spend another year in the WHL? Curious to see what some say.

Neither Benson, nor Lindgren are eligible for the AHL yet.

Neither has a contract yet either, although that could change tomorrow.

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9 minutes ago, GoPuckYourself said:

This prospect pool is probably the best I've seen since the Miller/Pominville years and hopefully even better. 

Do those in the know think Mats Lindgren will make the jump to the AHL this year? I'm looking at his WHL stats and it looks like he doesn't have much more to prove there but I could be wrong. Also is Zach Benson eligible for the AHL? If so he will be there this year or does he spend another year in the WHL? Curious to see what some say.

A player needs to be turning 20 before the calendar rolls over.  For example last year Nadeau vs Kozak.  Both were in the same draft class and were born about 2 weeks apart.  However, Kozak was eligible for the AHL because he was born Dec 29th 2002, while Nadeau went back to the Q because he was born Jan 15, 2003. The exception to the rule is 4 years already played in the CHL.

Lindgren has 3 seasons in the CHL and doesn't turn 20 until August 2024.  He is stuck in the CHL for another year.

Benson also has 3 years in the CHL and doesn't turn 20 until May 2005.  He is stuck in the CHL for another year unless he makes the Sabres.  His case is interesting.  If the 24 games in 2020-21 are considered a full season (COVID), Benson will become AHL eligible at 19.

Savoie is also CHL or NHL only this season by ONE DAY.  He has a Jan 1st B-day.  If he was one day older, he'd be AHL eligible this season.

 

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TOP 25 Sabres prospects

1) Devon Levi (G)- His play for Buffalo late last season solidified his place IMHO

2) Zach Benson (LW)- What a draft steal at 13.  KA probably couldn't believe his luck

3) Matt Savoie (C/W)- Benson's Ice linemate with a similar point total, just a year older.

4) Jiri Kulich (C/W)- Great rookie campaign in the AHL after a slow start with 46 pts in 62 games, but elevated to 11 pts in 12 playoff games. Most NHL-ready of the young forwards?

5) Noah Östlund (C) - KA says added size and strength and he outperformed fellow 1st rd picks teammates.  SHL next season and then NA

6) Isak Rosen (RW) - former 1st rd pick made his NA and AHL debut last season and improved as the season went along.  37 pts in 66 games and then 8 pts in 14 playoff games.  Needs another year or 2 in the A.

7) Ryan Johnson (D) - Finally signed with the Sabres.  Most proven D prospect.  

8.) Viktor Neuchev (LW)- Made the jump to the KHL fulltime in his D+1 season

9) Nikita Novikov (D)- This was a hard placement to decide until I realized that the former 6th rd pick has spent most of the last 2 seasons playing regularly in the KHL.  After Johnson, he is our next closed NHL ready D.  Just don't expect much offense.

10) Lukas Rousek (RW) - 56 pts in 70 A games plus 2 pts in 2 NHL games.  Could make the Sabres in the fall.  Biggest issue is that he is already 24.  

11) Oliver Nadeau (RW) - the next 4 guys could be in any order.  Nadeau has had back-to-back excellent Q seasons. AHL in the fall

12) Prokhor Poltapov (LW) - Spent last season in the KHL fulltime. Has another 2 years left on his KHL contract.

13) Anton Wahlberg (C/W) - KA had a 1st rd grade on him.  6'3" forward has one year left on his SHL contract.  Played 1/3 of the season in the SHL last year and was solid at the U18's with 10 pts in 14 games.  He could rapidly move up this board.

14) Alek Kisakov (LW) - Made the jump to the AHL last year and did OK.  Needs to make a step up this season

15) Max Strbak (D)- 2nd rd pick this year is a defensive stalwart.  Heading to MSU in the fall

16) Tyson Kozak (C/W) - 7th rd pick made his AHL debut last year and proved a feisty competitor.  10 pts in 55 games, but blossomed further in the playoffs with 5 in 14 games.

17) Gavin McCarthy (D) - This year's 3rd pick recovered from injury to have a very solid USHL season.  Headed to BU in the fall.

18) Vsevolod Komarov (D) - Took a huge step forward offensively.  Big D was also very solid for Que during their Memorial Cup run.

19) Mats Lindgren (D) - Rough 1st half, but excellent in the 2nd half of the season. 

20) Scott Ratzlaff (G) - Excellent season as backup to Milic for Seattle (WHL).  Highlight was 4-0 record with a .50 gaa and .976 save % for Canada in the Hlinka tourney.  He is Seattle's starter next season. Could also move rapidly up his board.

21) Topias Leinonen (G) - 2nd rd pick last year. Looked like a reach then and still does.  However he is a tall goalie and was OK at the U20's going 2-2 with a .874 save %.

22) Filip Cederqvist (LW) - 22-year-old made the jump to the AHL and was respectable in his first NA season with 20 pts in 55 games.

23) Jake Richard (W) - Had 62 pts in 57 USHL games last season.  Headed to UConn in the fall.

24) Ethan "Funky Cold" Miedema (LW) - 6'4 forward 200 lbs winger had 21 pts in 32 OHL games.  Some scouts think the Sabres got great value with this 4th rd pick.

25) Viljami Marjala (LW) - former 5th rd pick resurrected his prospect status by returning to Finland and having a solid year in Finland.  Will the Sabres sign the 20-year-old?

 

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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8 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

24) Ethan Miedema (LW) - 6'4 forward 200 lbs winger had 21 pts in 32 OHL games.  Some scouts think the Sabres got great value with this 4th rd pick.

Those stats are just from after his mid season trade.  For the full season he had 52 pts in 68 games.

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1 hour ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

10) Lukas Rousek (RW) - 56 pts in 70 A games plus 2 pts in 2 NHL games.  Could make the Sabres in the fall.  Biggest issue is that he is already 24.  

I don't see this as an issue at all. He now has the experience and body to step immediately into the NHL and contribute at his proper level (bottom 6). It's how you supplement your core once you have it. TBL, and PIT and DET before them, had great rosters and then out of nowhere an 23-25 year old AHLer steps in and they don't miss a beat. The issue would have been rushing Rousek up at age 22 as soon as he crossed the pond to play with Skinner-Cozens in the top 6 because his game complemented theirs.

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2 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

TOP 25 Sabres prospects

1) Devon Levi (G)- His play for Buffalo late last season solidified his place IMHO

2) Zach Benson (LW)- What a draft steal at 13.  KA probably couldn't believe his luck

3) Matt Savoie (C/W)- Benson's Ice linemate with a similar point total, just a year older.

4) Jiri Kulich (C/W)- Great rookie campaign in the AHL after a slow start with 46 pts in 62 games, but elevated to 11 pts in 12 playoff games. Most NHL-ready of the young forwards?

5) Noah Östlund (C) - KA says added size and strength and he outperformed fellow 1st rd picks teammates.  SHL next season and then NA

6) Isak Rosen (RW) - former 1st rd pick made his NA and AHL debut last season and improved at the season went along.  37 pts in 66 games and then 8 pts in 14 playoff games.  Needs another year or 2 in the A.

7) Ryan Johnson (D) - Finally signed with the Sabres.  Most proven D prospect.  

8.) Viktor Neuchev (LW)- Made the jump to the KHL fulltime in his D+1 season

9) Nikita Novikov (D)- This was a hard placement to decide until I realized that the former 6th rd pick has spent most of the last 2 seasons playing regularly in the KHL.  After Johnson, he is our next closed NHL ready D.  Just don't expect much offense.

10) Lukas Rousek (RW) - 56 pts in 70 A games plus 2 pts in 2 NHL games.  Could make the Sabres in the fall.  Biggest issue is that he is already 24.  

11) Oliver Nadeau (RW) - the next 4 guys could be in any order.  Nadeau has had back-to-back excellent Q seasons. AHL in the fall

12) Prokhor Poltapov (LW) - Spent last season in the KHL fulltime. Has another 2 years left on his KHL contract.

13) Anton Wahlberg (C/W) - KA had a 1st rd grade on him.  6'3" forward has one year left on his SHL contract.  Played 1/3 of the season in the SHL last year and was solid at the U18's with 10 pts in 14 games.  He could rapidly move up this board.

14) Alek Kisakov (LW) - Made the jump to the AHL last year and did OK.  Needs to make a step up this season

15) Max Strbak (D)- 2nd rd pick this year is a defensive stalwart.  Heading to MSU in the fall

16) Tyson Kozak (C/W) - 7th rd pick made his AHL debut last year and proved a feisty competitor.  10 pts in 55 games, but blossomed further in the playoffs with 5 in 14 games.

17) Gavin McCarthy (D) - This year's 3rd pick recovered from injury to have a very solid USHL season.  Headed to BU in the fall.

18) Vsevolod Komarov (D) - Took a huge step forward offensively.  Big D was also very solid for Que during their Memorial Cup run.

19) Mats Lindgren (D) - Rough 1st half, but excellent in the 2nd half of the season. 

20) Scott Ratzlaff (G) - Excellent season as backup to Milic for Seattle (WHL).  Highlight was 4-0 record with a .50 gaa and .976 save % for Canada in the Hlinka tourney.  He is Seattle's starter next season. Could also move rapidly up his board.

21) Topias Leinonen (G) - 2nd rd pick last year. Looked like a reach then and still does.  However he is a tall goalie and was OK at the U20's going 2-2 with a .874 save %.

22) Filip Cederqvist (LW) - 22-year-old made the jump to the AHL and was respectable in his first NA season with 20 pts in 55 games.

23) Jake Richard (W) - Had 62 pts in 57 USHL games last season.  Headed to UConn in the fall.

24) Ethan Miedema (LW) - 6'4 forward 200 lbs winger had 21 pts in 32 OHL games.  Some scouts think the Sabres got great value with this 4th rd pick.

25) Viljami Marjala (LW) - former 5th rd pick resurrected his prospect status by returning to Finland and having a solid year in Finland.  Will the Sabres sign the 20-year-old?

 

Ya I had the same top 6 considering I left Levi off. The 5 forwards in that order then Johnson. 

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1 hour ago, DarthEbriate said:

I don't see this as an issue at all. He now has the experience and body to step immediately into the NHL and contribute at his proper level (bottom 6). It's how you supplement your core once you have it. TBL, and PIT and DET before them, had great rosters and then out of nowhere an 23-25 year old AHLer steps in and they don't miss a beat. The issue would have been rushing Rousek up at age 22 as soon as he crossed the pond to play with Skinner-Cozens in the top 6 because his game complemented theirs.

The 24 thing isn't an issue with him making the Sabres it's a limiting factor on his NHL upside.   

1 hour ago, dudacek said:

Good list @GASabresIUFAN.

I think my first 7 slots would be identical, and we’ve already hashed out our divide on Poltapov, who would probably be my 8.

I think I’ll do mine after dev camp.

One other thought on Poltapov.  When I make my list I look at both a player's upside and when the player will arrive in the NHL.  I see him at best as a 3rd line player and that is 2-3 years in the future.  I see Neuchev and I see a guy with top 6 scoring potential who is already under contract to the Sabres.  

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15 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I'm still not convinced that Poltapov ever comes over to NA.  In his D+1 year he was a pt a game MHL player (15 pts in 13 games) and had 7 pts in 25 VHL games. In his D+2 year he played primarily in the KHL and had only 10 pts in 56 games. 

Kisakov in his D+1 had 56 pts in 51 MHL games.  In D+2 he had 8 pts in 48 AHL games.

These stats indicate to me that they are similar level prospects.  The KHL is a "better" league than the AHL, but not much and the NHLe put the players at a similar level.

Nadeau in D+1 in the Q had 78 pts in 65 games.  Again similar production to Kisakov and Poltapov at the Jr level.  

Neuchev is the best of the bunch.  In his D+1 he played in the KHL full-time and had 12 pts in 57 games, except he also played 6 games in the MHL playoffs and had 6 pts (4 goals) in 3 games.  

To me all these guys are bunched together with Neuchev as the leader.  Until I see them in action together it's going to be hard to separate them, but if I had to make a bet, I'd bet on Neuchev as the most likely successful NHLer.

I also think you are overselling Poltapov's potential.  Our forwards and forward prospect pool is so deep, he is going to have a hard time unseating incumbent players or beating out higher-rated prospects like Kulich and Rosen.

I don’t think you understand Poltapov’s game.    You can’t look at stats alone when analyzing his game.   The kid is someone you want on your side, especially come playoff time.    

Look at Michkov as an example.  Barely got ice time and did very little when he was with a top team.  Goes to Sochi and gets ice time and everyone remembers how good he is

Poltopov would be a 1 man wrecking crew in he was in CHL instead of KHL

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