Photos: After putting up 120 points in his draft year, Nicolas Petan is on pace to surpass that mark in 2013-14 while averaging over two points per game for the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Welcome to the December 2013 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various levels of competition who are either exceeding expectations or are falling a little behind.
Photo: Defenseman Brady Austin has provided a steadying presence along the London Knights blue line. Austin started the 2013-14 season with the Belleville Bulls, but was traded to the Knights on October 9th. (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Saying the Buffalo Sabres are off to a tumultuous start would be an understatement. With just six wins in 30 games, their point percentage of .233 projects to be the worst in franchise history. The Sabres have recently put together better performances under interim head coach Ted Nolan, but remain dead last in the NHL.
Photo: London Knights defenseman and Buffalo Sabres prospect Nikita Zadorov returned to junior hockey in style last week, picking up three assists in Russia’s 5-2 win over the OHL in the Subway Super Series (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Buffalo, NY is just over 230 kilometres away from London, ON — but the distance between the OHL and the NHL is far greater. But when the Buffalo Sabres decided to return 6’5 blueliner Nikita Zadorov to the junior league’s Knights, London’s dreams of a Memorial Cup win just got a whole lot closer to reality.
Photo: Red Wings draft pick Anthony Mantha has torn up the QMJHL and put himself in prime position for a prominent role on Team Canada at the 2014 WJC (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Welcome to the November 2013 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various competition levels who are either exceeding expectations or falling a little behind.
Photo: Forward Zemgus Girgensons is one of four teenagers to play for the Buffalo Sabres this season. The Latvian-born Girgensons was selected 14th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
Currently amid a full-scale rebuild, the Buffalo Sabres have 43 prospects in their system, including seven first-round picks, giving them both quantity and quality at every position. The Sabres also have many prospects already contributing at the NHL level, including forwards Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko, and Johan Larsson.