Team Depth Chart of NHL Prospects
Strengths
  • Depth in goaltending
  • Many prospects ready for NHL
  • Depth at center
Weaknesses
  • Lack of depth and talent on wing

About Prospect Scores and Probability

Prospect Criteria

Legend of Players' Leagues
Pro
Playing in N.A. Pro (NHL, AHL, ECHL, etc.)
CHL
Playing in CHL (OHL, QMJHL, WHL)
NCAA
Playing in NCAA
Europe
Playing in Europe
Junior
Playing in Junior 'A' (USHL, BCHL, AJHL, etc.)
N/A
Not Categorized Yet

Goaltenders

League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Andrey Makarov Pro 7.0 D
2. Linus Ullmark Europe 7.0 D
3. Nathan Lieuwen Pro 6.5 C
4. Jonas Johansson Europe 6.5 C
5. Cal Petersen NCAA 6.0 C

Right Wing

League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Joel Armia Pro 7.0 B
2. Justin Bailey CHL 7.0 D
3. Nick Baptiste CHL 7.0 D
4. Hudson Fasching NCAA 7.0 D
5. Vaclav Karabacek CHL 7.0 D
6. Jordan Samuels-Thomas Pro 6.5 C
7. Judd Peterson NCAA 6.0 D
8. Victor Olofsson Europe 6.0 D
9. Colin Jacobs Pro 5.0 D
10. Christian Isackson NCAA 5.0 D

Left Wing

League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Brendan Lemieux CHL 7.0 C
2. Nicolas Deslauriers Pro 7.0 D
3. Daniel Catenacci Pro 7.0 D
4. William Carrier Pro 7.0 D
5. Gustav Possler Europe 7.0 D
6. Max Willman NCAA 5.5 C
7. Brad Navin NCAA 5.0 D

Centers

League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Sam Reinhart CHL 8.0 B
2. Mikhail Grigorenko Pro 7.5 C
3. JT Compher NCAA 7.0 C
4. Johan Larsson Pro 6.5 B
5. Connor Hurley NCAA 6.5 C
6. Sean Malone NCAA 6.5 C
7. Eric Cornel CHL 6.5 C
8. Justin Kea Pro 6.0 C
9. Phil Varone Pro 6.0 C
10. Tim Schaller Pro 6.0 C
11. Kevin Sundher Pro 6.0 D
12. Christopher Brown Junior 6.0 D

Defensemen

League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Rasmus Ristolainen Pro 8.0 B
2. Jake McCabe Pro 7.5 C
3. Nikita Zadorov CHL 7.5 C
4. Mark Pysyk Pro 7.0 C
5. Chad Ruhwedel Pro 7.0 C
6. Brady Austin Pro 6.0 C
7. Anthony Florentino NCAA 6.0 C
8. Brycen Martin CHL 6.0 C
9. Jerome Gauthier-Leduc Pro 6.0 D
10. Mark Adams NCAA 5.0 D

Buffalo Sabres Prospect Rankings- November Update

by Ken McKenna
on

There has been a fair amount of both upward and downward movement in the prospect rankings this month, with one player being added to the list (Brian Campbell) and one player removed (Andrew Peters).

In the case of Campbell, a player performing at the level that Brian is playing simply can’t be ignored. As for Peters, however, a player performing as poorly as Andrew is at this time can’t help but be ignored. While it is too early to write off Andrew Peters as a bust, the Sabres scouts no doubt get a lump in their throats when they get the latest reports on Peters’ play. Andrew has but 3 points in 12 games, with his main attribute being his ability to fight. There is talk that Andrew doesn’t get along with the Oshawa coach, and that a trade might be the best thing that could happen to him. Whatever the case, Peters needs to straighten out his game if he wants to live up to the expectations that come with being a high 2nd round pick.

Rankings

Cory Sarich D
6′ 3″
182

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Sabres Report: Prospecting for Czech Gold

by Ken McKenna
on

While the Czech Republic’s ’98 Olympic gold medal performance in ice hockey came as a shock to many casual hockey observers, the Buffalo Sabres hockey department likely took this development in stride.

Throughout the 90′s, the Sabres have mined the Czech hockey vein for talent, where they have come up with some 24-karat prospects. During this decade, the Sabres have drafted 10 players from the Czech Republic, while acquiring 4 others via trades. The most notable of these acquisitions is, of course, goaltender and two-time NHL MVP Dominik Hasek. Had the Sabres simply stopped with Hasek, they could have labeled their Czech experiment a success. But the names Richard Smehlik, Vaclav Varada and Michal Grosek also dot the Sabres roster, proving that the Sabres eye for Czech talent is not a fluke.

While the players mentioned above have made it to the NHL, there are other Czech prospects that could someday play for the big club. Some of them are teenagers in the early stages of their development, while others are slightly older players who might deserve a second look from the Sabres scouts.

Not all the players I’ll be profiling will come to North America to play, but it is fun to speculate. So, with that in mind, I present the Czech Republic prospects of the Buffalo Sabres.

Young and Promising

Jaroslav Kristek (RW) Read more»

Top 20 Prospects of the Buffalo Sabres

by Ken McKenna
on

For this month’s edition of the Sabres Top 20, I’ve decided to remove the name of Vaclav Varada, the man that occupied the top spot in my last Top 10 offering. Vaclav has been removed, not because of poor play or a trade, but because he has convinced me that he is a bona fide NHL forward. He may not put up great numbers this season, but I believe that he could develop into a player capable of 25-30 goals a season.

As for the rest of the list, I am including a few 1998 draftees that had not previously been listed. These players have begun their junior seasons, so I’ve been able to get a better feel for what players are displaying NHL potential. I’ve included statistics as of 10/12/98 for most of the players (Rochester stats will be added once they’ve played more games) so that prospect-watchers will have an idea of how these players are performing.

Cory Sarich D
6′ 3″
182

Cory did not have as good a camp as the Sabres would have liked, so he will receive more development time in Rochester. He has all the tools to be a top-notch NHL defenseman, but he needs to play with a little more control. He has earned the reputation of being a big hitter, but he sometimes goes for the big hit at the expense of being caught out of position. There are several defensemen on the Buffalo roster, so there is no need to rush Cory into the NHL.

Dimitri Kalinin D
6′ 2″
198

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Sabres Final ’98 Training Camp Update

by Ken McKenna
on

Thank goodness the exhibition season is over! At least, I’m sure that is what most Buffalo Sabre fans are thinking as they watched their favorite NHL team go 1-6 in pre-season play (2-6 if you count the win over the Austrian team).

While I’m sure many are heaving a sigh of relief at not having to endure another sloppy exhibition game, the bad news is the 98-99 season begins for the Sabres Saturday in Dallas. To say that this team does not even remotely resemble the team that made the final four last season would be an understatement. True, there are four players holding out, but this does not explain the sometimes-indifferent play by many of the players that were regulars last season. If the Sabres believe that they can flick a switch that will improve their play, then they could be in for a rude awakening in their first two contests in Dallas and Denver.

With regard to the Sabre prospects attempting to make the team, the main battle has been for the 7th defensive slot, i.e. the guy who will spend most of the season watching games from the press box. The top two contestants for this position are Jason Holland and Rumun Ndur, with Mike Hurlbut also receiving some consideration. To my eyes, Holland appears to be the more accomplished player, but he is not the physical presence that Ndur can be. The player that ultimately will win this position could be decided by what type of player the Sabres would like to have in reserve. Still, my feeling is that Ndur’s skills are not quite NHL caliber, and that Holland will prevail.
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Sabres ’98 Training Camp Report

by Ken McKenna
on

Each fall, in 27 cities scattered around North America, NHL veterans and hopefuls gather to compete for roster spots in NHL training camps. There is always a feeling of optimism surrounding training camp, which is seen as a new beginning by fans of the respective teams. Every team is a Stanley Cup contender, at least until real bullets are fired in early October, and reality sets in.

In the case of the Buffalo Sabres, a team coming off a final four appearance, there will be precious few roster spots available to young prospects looking to make a good impression. The majority of the prospects will have to ply their trade in the minors, juniors or Europe with an eye toward next year’s training camp.

Still, it is worth recapping the progress of the Sabres prospects, and pointing out some of the strong (and weak) performances displayed thus far in the ’98 training camp. Rookie Camp

Prior to training camp proper, the Sabres first and second-year players took part in a rookie tournament in Kitchener, ON with rookies from the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes. The Sabres compiled a 1-2 record in the tourney, defeating the Maple Leafs 2-1, but losing to the Habs 2-1 and the Hurricanes 4-2.
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