The on-ice fortunes of the 2002-2003 Buffalo Sabres have been equally as dismal as the uncertain off-ice situation that currently surrounds the club. The team has sunk to the bottom of the NHL standings, due mostly to the uninspired play of many of the players on the roster. To make matters worse, there does not appear to be a player on the Buffalo roster that can provide the spark that is necessary to lift the team out of their funk.
While it may not come as much comfort to Sabres’ fans in these bleak times- who knows if the club will be here next season, after all – there are some future reinforcements in the team’s prospect pool that could bring some vigor to the currently moribund bunch that wears the red-and-black. Some of those prospects are currently showing their stuff with the red-hot Rochester Americans of the AHL, but the most promising offensive prospect might be center Derek Roy of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers.
Derek had a strong showing in Buffalo’s training camp and preseason, but was returned to Kitchener for further development. Rather than sulk over the missed opportunity of landing a spot on a NHL roster, Roy instead has been one of the top performers in the OHL so far this season. The Rockland, ON native is currently 7th in total points (25GP, 15G, 35A) in the OHL, while leading the Rangers in that category. Roy is also in the top ten in other league categories, including assists (4th), short-handed goals (9th), and plus/minus rating (6th).
Offense isn’t the onl Read more»
In the past, I’ve updated statistics at each of the player profiles at the Hockey’s Future Buffalo Sabres home page. Rather than force you to look at each individual profile, however, it would seem the best way to provide statistical updates is simply to put all the data in one place. As a result, this article represents the first in a series of monthly statistical updates for all the prospects of the Buffalo Sabres.
I will eventually update the information at each profile, most likely at the end of the season, so readers should consult these articles for the prospect statistics during the season.
All prospects listed on the Sabres’ page are included in this table. All European players not designated with a number next to their country of origin (ex. CZE vs. CZE1) are playing in the top leagues in those countries, with the numbers next to the country abbreviation indicating participation in a lower league. Other abbreviations: NHL= National Hockey League, AHL= American Hockey League, OHL= Ontario Hockey League, QMJHL= Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, HE= Hockey East (NCAA), WCHA= Western Collegiate Hockey Association (NCAA). Statistics are from games played through November 24th, 2002.
What do hockey prospects Brooks Orpik, Krys Kolanos, Alexander Frolov, Anton Volchenkov, David Hale, Brad Boyes, Steve Ott, and Brian Sutherby all have in common? If you guessed that they were all chosen in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, you would, of course, be correct. More importantly, at least to Buffalo Sabres’ fans, is the fact that these were some of the more impressive prospects chosen after Buffalo selected Artem Kriukov with the 15th pick in the Draft.
Kriukov was an intriguing package of skills leading up to the 2000 Draft, with his main failing being a serious concussion that caused Artem to have his rating downgraded on several NHL team’s draft lists. Buffalo’s Director of Player Personnel Don Luce and his scouting staff saw Artem play on 15 different occasions following his injury, with Luce stating his satisfaction with the big Russian’s recovery.
Unfortunately, it appears that Luce and Company didn’t bother to measure Artem’s hockey skills, which at this point are non-existent.
Currently, Artem appears to be in hockey limbo, having yet to play a game in the 02-03 season for defending Russian Superleague champion Yaroslavl. There are reports that the 20-year-old center has been skating with the club, but he has not been able to crack the lineup of a team that appears to be making another run at a championship. Other reports have indicated that Kriukov has been seen practicing with Yaroslavl 2, a team in that same organization, but in a lower league. It does not appear that Artem has played for th Read more»
Following a season in which the Rochester Americans generated little excitement of any sort on the ice, Buffalo GM Darcy Regier and Rochester GM Jody Gage set about the task of adding some talented youth and muscle to the Amerks 2002-03 lineup. Regier and Gage hope the fruits of their labor will be apparent when Rochester opens their 47th season this evening against division rival Albany.
Rochester coach Randy Cunneyworth will start the season without some of the better youngsters from last year’s squad, including goaltender Mika Noronen, defenseman Henrik Tallinder and center/winger Ales Kotalik. Noronen should remain a Sabre for the foreseeable future, since he will be backing up Buffalo starting goaltender Martin Biron. Tallinder and Kotalik may not be permanent fixtures in Buffalo, however, although Tallinder has certainly looked right at home on the Buffalo blueline.
To make up for the shortfall in young talent in Rochester, the Buffalo Sabres signed several of their prospects in the off-season. New faces in the Amerks lineup for the 02-03 season will include former MSU star goaltender Ryan Miller, 2001 draft picks Jiri Novotny, Jason Pominville and Ryan Jorde, and 2000 selections Paul Gaustad and Sean McMorrow. Also signed was 28-year-old Slovakian defenseman Radoslav Hecl, a 2002 draft choice. In addition to these seven newcomers, 2nd-year player Karel Mosovsky should see his first extensive action following an injury-aborted rookie campaign.
Perhaps the most significant additions to the 02-03 edition of Read more»
With less than one week left until the Buffalo Sabres play their final game of the 2002 preseason schedule, the team’s hockey brain trust is still in the process of paring their roster down to the 23-player roster limit. A handful of young prospects are making, or have made, some noise, but the end result of this trial period may be an opening-night Buffalo roster that is not all that different from the one that closed the 01-02 season.
Upon the completion of the St. Catherines portion of training camp, the Sabres began to whittle away at the training camp roster, with six players being returned to their respective junior teams. LW/C Daniel Paille (Guelph- OHL), LW Michael Tessier (Acadie-Bathurst- QMJHL), C Chris Thorburn (Saginaw- OHL), D Martin Cizek (Plymouth- OHL), D Dennis Wideman (London- OHL) and G Marty Majers (Owen Sound- OHL) were the junior-eligible prospects to return to the CHL. While Paille, Tessier and Majers were perhaps the most notable performers of the players sent down, it is safe to say that all six players have a good bit of work to do to make themselves bona fide pro prospects.
With the majority of the junior players having been sent to their respective teams, the Sabres’ next cut-down would include the first installment of players intended for the roster of Buffalo’s AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans. Buffalo prospects included in these initial cuts were LW Milan Bartovic, C/LW Paul Gaustad, RW Jaroslav Kristek, RW Karel Mosovsky, C/W Read more»