2010-11: Nick Baptiste played in two games for the Tier 1 Cumberland Grads and was the third-leading scorer for the Ottawa Senators minor midget AAA team. He had 1 goal in his brief stint with the Grads. In 24 games for Ottawa he scored 22 goals with 33 assists and had 26 penalty minutes. Baptiste played in two games for Team Ontario at the 2011 Canada Winter Games – scoring 1 goal. He was the sixth player taken in the OHL Priority Draft – going to the Sudbury Wolves.
2011-12: Baptiste played in 68 games, including four playoff contests, in his first OHL season with Sudbury and skated for Canada Ontario in the 2012 U17 World Hockey Challenge. He scored 8 goals with 19 assists and was -7 with 42 penalty minutes during the regular season for the Wolves. Sudbury finished fourth in the Central Division. Baptiste was -3 with no points and 2 penalty minutes in the four-game playoff series with Brampton. He had 1 goal with 3 assists in six games for the bronze medal Canada Ontario squad.
2012-13: Baptiste was the third-leading scorer for Sudbury in his second season and won a gold medal skating for Canada at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship. He scored 21 goals with 27 assists in 66 games for the Wolves and was -1 with 44 penalty minutes. Sudbury finished third in the Central Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. Baptiste scored 3 goals with 1 assist and had 6 penally minutes in nine playoff games. Sudbury also represented Canada at the pre-season World Junior Club Cup – capturing the tournament championship – and in five games Baptiste scored 1 goal with 1 assist and 4 penalty minutes. He and Morgan Klimchuk were tied behind Connor McDavid for second in scoring for Canada at the 2013 U18 WJC, both scoring 3 goals with 5 assists. Rated 105th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings, Baptiste was ranked 61st in the final rankings and was selected by Buffalo in the third round (69th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft.
2013-14: Baptiste was an assistant captain for Sudbury and led the Wolves in scoring in his third OHL season. He scored 45 goals with 44 assists and was +20 with 59 penalty minutes in 65 regular season games. Sudbury finished second in the Central Division and lost to Sudbury in the first round of the playoffs. Baptiste scored 1 goal with 4 assists and was +2 with 8 penalty minutes in five playoff games. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with Buffalo in May 2014.
2014-15: Baptiste attended his second training camp with the Sabres before returning to Sudbury for his fourth OHL season. Named a team captain, he skated in 12 games for the Wolves before being traded to the Erie Otters in November 2014 in exchange for two players and four draft picks. In 53 regular season games between the two squads he scored 32 goals with 32 assists and was +9 (+16 with Erie) and had 26 penalty minutes. Erie had the OHL’s third-best record and finished first in the Midwest Division.
Baptiste is a two-way winger who caught the eyes of scouts with his work ethic and attention to detail. He is an all-round player who is willing to do whatever coaches ask of him, be it scoring goals or being a physical force. Baptiste models his game after Wayne Simmonds and Ryan Kesler.
Baptiste made huge strides in his development over his two finals seasons in the OHL and enters the season as young forward to watch with the Rochester Americans. The two-way winger really stepped up his focus and performances in the OHL playoffs and Memorial Cup, and the Sabres are looking for him to take the next step. He will stay in the minors for the 2015-16 season but is a potential top-nine forward due to his ability and versatility.