Sabres Prospects Update

By pbadmin

As of Mid-January 1998, here is my current feeling as to the Sabres top
prospects.


Rank Player Ht. Wt. Age Location (league) +/- from Dec.
1. Erik Rasmussen 6-2 207 21 Rochester (AHL) new
2. Cory Sarich 6-3 182 19 Saskatoon (WHL) -1
3. Mika Norinen 6-1 191 18 Tappara (Finland) new
4. Alexei Tezikov 6-1 198 19 Moncton (QMJHL) -2
5. Maxim Afinogenov 5-11 176 18 Moscow Dynamo (Russia) -2
6. Darren Van Oene 6-3 207 19 Brandon (WHL) ---
7. Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre 6-3 207 20 Rochester (AHL) ---
8. Vaclav Varada 6-0 200 21 Rochester (AHL) -3
9. Luc Theoret 6-2 197 18 Lethbridge (WHL) +3
10. Scott Nichol 5-8 160 22 Rochester (AHL) ---
11. Jeff Martin 6-2 177 18 Windsor (OHL) +5
12. Kamil Piros 6-1 186 18 Litinov (Czech Rep.) new
13. Torrey Diroberto 6-0 186 19 Seattle (WHL) new
14. Jeremy Addouno 5-11 182 18 Sudbury (OHL) -1
15. Henrik Tallinder 6-3 196 18 AIK (Sweden) new
16. Sergei Klimentiev 5-11 200 22 Rochester (AHL) -1
17. Francois Methot 6-0 175 20 Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) -3
18. Denis Hamel 6-2 205 20 Rochester (AHL) -9
19. Martin Biron 6-1 160 20 Rochester (AHL) -15
20. Matt Davidson 6-2 190 20 Rochester (AHL) -9
21. Scott Buhler 5-11 169 19 Medicine Hat (WHL) -13

I drop Hamel, Biron, Davidson, and Buhler because they are struggling badly.
Biron hasn’t played in over a month, and it appears as if Buffalo has
completely lost faith in him.

There are several players newly ranked. I mentioned that I was not going to
rank the European players until after the WJC. Since I now have a better feel
for them, I finally feel confortable in ranking them. Also I add Erik
Rasmussen following his demotion to Rochester, and Torrey Diroberto following
his return from a shoulder injury.

Transactions:

Vaclav Varada was called up to Buffalo on 12/15/97.

Mark Dutiaume was recalled from South Carolina on 12/20/97.

Jay McKee was called up to Buffalo on 12/31/97.

Vaclav Varada was sent down to Rochester on 1/16/98.

Vaclav Varada was called to Buffalo on 1/19/98.

Sabres News:

It appears as if Buffalo has lost all faith in former First Round pick, Martin
Biron. He has not played in a game for more than a month. However, I find it
rather funny that Mike Bales numbers have dropped during this stretch, and
they are now alomost identical to Biron’s. Maybe it’s the team (Rochester)
and not the goaltender.

Curtis Brown has cemented his place as Buffalo’s number 2 center. Currently
playing between Michal Grosek and Matt Barnaby, they have clearly become
Buffalo best and most consistent line.

Prospect Kurt Walsh, who was playing as an overage junior in Kingston of the
OHL, has quit hockey and returned to his native Newfoundland. He is now
enrolled in school and he is playing club level hockey. He also had his
contract with the Sabres terminated.

Following a strong first half, Alexie Tezikov has struggled since returning
from the World Junior Championships. He has collected only one point in five
games and he has racked up a lot of pentaly minutes, including a match penlaty
which lead to a one game suspention. Alexie had been averaging just under a
point a game.

Five Sabres prospect were named as Junior all stars. Luc Theoret, Darren Van
Oene and Cory Sarich were named to the WHL Eastern All Star team. Sarich was
named the team captain. Also Jeremy Audunno and Brian Campbell were named to
the OHL Eastern All Star Team.

Francois Methot is still out follwoing his torn MCL in October. From the
reports I have seen, it appear he may miss the remainder of the season. He
was suppose to be out only 4 to 6 weeks, but the surgery did not go well.

Lastly, two of Buffalo junior prospect were recently traded. Ryan Davis was
shipped from Owen Sound to Guelph, and Darren Mortier was shipped from his
hometwon Sarina Sting, to the Kitchener Rangers.

Now on to the stats!

1997-98 Rochester Amerk Stats of Sabres Propsects

Thru 1/18/98


No. PLAYER POS GP G A PTS +/- PIM
14 Varada, Vaclav RW 27 18 13 31 +13 44 - recalled
25 Menard, Martin C 40 16 12 28 0 26
22 Tardif, Patrice RW 38 11 12 23 +6 68
2 Hurlbut, Mike D 33 9 12 23 -6 20
21 Nichol, Scott C 35 13 7 20 -10 113
11 Hamel, Denis LW 41 6 11 17 +6 64
3 Klimentiev, Sergei D 40 3 13 16 -8 51
15 Wright, Shayne D 43 0 11 11 -5 58
8 McKee, Jay D 13 1 7 8 +6 11 - recalled
19 Davidson, Matt RW 40 3 7 10 -15 6
17 Rasmussen, Erik C 20 2 7 9 -1 20
40 Ndur, Rumun D 29 1 6 7 +3 113
4 Grand-Pierre, J-L D 41 2 4 6 -8 113
-- Zanutto, Mike C 9 0 0 0 -1 0 - AHL
19 (1/13) 21 7 5 12 +5 2 - ECHL
-- Bienvenue, Daniel LW 9 0 0 0 -5 15 - AHL
12 (1/13) 21 3 3 6 -4 2 - ECHL
-- Dutiaume, Mark LW 8 1 1 2 -5 8 - ECHL
18 (1/18) 6 0 0 0 0 2 - AHL

No. PLAYER GPI Min GAA W L T SO GA Saves Save%
35 Bales, Mike 25 1429 3.44 8 - 11 - 2 0 82 660 0.889
1 Biron, Martin 17 990 3.51 5 - 8 - 4 1 58 466 0.889
31 Shields, Steve 1 59 3.04 0 - 1 - 0 0 3 23 0.885

1997-98 Players Stats of Sabres Junior Propsects

Pos. Player Team GP G A Pts +/- PIM

Western Hockey League: 1/10/98
LW Van Oene Brandon 42 21 23 44 +24 138
D Theoret Lethbridge 45 11 29 40 +12 66
D Kemp Saskatoon 28 1 5 6 -14 26
D Sarich Saskatoon 31 5 24 29 -7 71
Team Canada (WJC) 7 0 1 1 ? 6
C Diroberto Seattle 15 7 6 13 +2 17

Ontario Hockey League: 1/20/98
D Campbell Ottawa 41 10 27 37 +20 17
RW Davis Guelph 36 11 10 21 -10 61
C Martin Windsor 45 24 36 60 -9 30
RW Adduno Sudbury 48 27 51 78 +20 34
C Moriter Kitchener 36 12 18 30 +5 25
D Martone * Peterbrough 26 1 13 14 +7 61
RW Walsh * Kingston 12 5 5 10 -- --

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League: (1/19/98)
D Tezikov Moncton 38 12 17 29 +10 121
Team Russia (WJC) 6 0 3 3 --- 2
RW/C Methot Shawingan 11 13 11 24 --- 0

European Based Players
D Tallinder AIK (Sweden) (1/20) 19 0 0 0 -6 6
Team Sweden (WJC) 7 1 0 1 --- 2

C Piros Litinov (Czech Rep.) No Statistical update
Team Czech Rep. (WJC) 7 2 6 8 --- 6
RW Afinogenov Moscow Dynamo (Russia) No Statistical update
Team Russia (WJC) 7 3 2 5 --- 4

Goaltenders
Players Team GP MIN GAA W /L/T SO SS/SF save%
Bulher Med. Hat (WHL) 29 1677 4.11 8-18-2 0 868-983 88.3%

European Based Players: (1/20)

Norinen Tappara (Finland) 25 1442 2.91 13-10-2 1 534-604 88.4%
Team Finland (WJC) 5 313 1.53 5- 0-0 0 111-119 93.3%
Second Team All Tournement Goalie

* = overage junior players