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. Matt Hackett Pro 7.0 C
2. Andrey Makarov Pro 7.0 D
3. Linus Ullmark Europe 7.0 D
4. Jonas Johansson Europe 6.5 C
5. Nathan Lieuwen Pro 6.0 C
6. Cal Petersen Junior 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 Junior 6.0 D
8. Victor Olofsson Europe 6.0 D
9. Colin Jacobs Pro 5.0 C
10. Christian Isackson NCAA 5.0 C

Left Wing

League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Daniel Catenacci Pro 7.0 C
2. Brendan Lemieux CHL 7.0 C
3. Nicolas Deslauriers Pro 7.0 D
4. William Carrier CHL 7.0 D
5. Gustav Possler Europe 7.0 D
6. Max Willman Junior 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 CHL 7.5 C
3. JT Compher NCAA 7.0 C
4. Johan Larsson Pro 6.5 B
5. Connor Hurley Junior 6.5 C
6. Eric Cornel CHL 6.5 C
7. Justin Kea CHL 6.0 C
8. Phil Varone Pro 6.0 C
9. Kevin Sundher Pro 6.0 C
10. Tim Schaller Pro 6.0 C
11. Sean Malone NCAA 6.0 C
12. Christopher Brown Junior 6.0 D

Defensemen

League Prosp. talent Prob. of success
1. Rasmus Ristolainen Pro 8.0 C
2. Mark Pysyk Pro 7.5 C
3. Jake McCabe Pro 7.5 C
4. Nikita Zadorov CHL 7.5 C
5. Chad Ruhwedel Pro 7.0 C
6. Jerome Gauthier-Leduc Pro 6.0 C
7. Anthony Florentino NCAA 6.0 C
8. Brycen Martin CHL 6.0 C
9. Brady Austin CHL 5.5 C
10. Mark Adams NCAA 5.0 D

Sabres Prospects at World Junior Championships

by pbadmin
on
The World Junior Championships are currently being played in Finland and Don
Luce, director of Scouting and player development for the Buffalo Sabres, must
like what he’s seeing from the six Buffalo Sabres prospects.

Mika Noronen, the Finish goalie and Buffalo first round pick in the 1997 entry
draft, has looked very good so far in wins over Canada and Sweden. He did not
play in Finland’s shutout of Germany.

Cory Sarich, the tough western Canadian defensemen was Canada player of the
game in their 4-0 loss to Sweden. He has looked good but his mistake late in
the third period allowed Finland to score the winning goal on Christmas Day.

Both Sabre Russian players, Maxim Afinogenov and Alexie Tezikov, have played
well, though all their statistical information was gained during Russia 12-1
rout of Kazakhstan.

This has been my first change to see or hear from Kamil Piros. From what I’ve
been told he has been rather impressive. He has shown good overall skills and
some very positive offensive display. Hopefully I can track down more
information on him for the future.

Henrik Tallinder from what I can gather is mere window dressing. He hasn’t
made any impression with AIK, and he isn’t making any here either.

Here’s a look at their numbers so far:


Mika Norinen 6-1 191 18 Tappara (Finland) Read more»

Ownership Change in Buffalo should mean Big Changes

by pbadmin
on
The Buffalo Sabres may be headed in a new direction early in 1998. Some time this week Buffalo long confused ownership question will finally be resolved. Lifetime owners Nortrup Knox and John O. Swados are being forced out by minority owner John Rigas, owner of Adelphia Cable. Rigas is rumored to finally be taken full control.

The ownership change has been rumored for some time but the situation changed rapidly on Friday, after Sabres management struggled to make payrole. The team has reportedly lost some 32 million dollars over the last three years and were is desperate financial shape.

Rigas, a Sabres minority owner since 1994, has slowly been buying up shares of the club and he currently owns around 49% of the team. However no one really knows for sure. Rigas though has been the Sabres primary financial backer over the last three seasons. The trouble has been that Buffalo has always been run by a limited partnership, wherein the five most prominent owners voted on everything. Rigas often lost during the voting and therefore he has no real power, dispite his financial clout.

Rigas was an huge backer of former coach Ted Nolan and he was very upset after he was basically run-out-of-town. Once he gains full control, Rigas will probably make sweeping changes. Many feel he will fire team President Larry Quinn, a vastly unpopular person in the Buffalo community. Also on the possible hit list are current General Manager Darcy Regier, current coaches Lindy Ruff and Mike Rasmey, along with other front office personel. Read more»

Buffalo Sabres Update

by pbadmin
on
Buffalo recently sent Erik Rasmussen and Jay McKee down to Rochester to get
more playing time. Buffalo also allowed Rochester to re-assign Mike Zanutto
and Daniel Bienvenue to South Carolina of the ECHL for the same reason.

I had a chance to talk with the Sabres Direction of Player Developement and
the Head of the Scouting Department, Don Luce, he told me that as of now
Buffalo has no plans to recall anyone besides Rasmussen, McKee, Mike Hurlbut
(D) or Patrice Tardif (RW) (both a veterans) and maybe Scott Nichol. He felt none of
the other prospects were ready to contribute at the NHL. Luce also stated
that he was surprised by the overall positive play of Jean-Luc Grande-Pierre
and Denis Hamel. Both came into training camp with serious questions marks a
both need to pick up their skating. In each case their poor skating was
considered the key in holding back any NHL career. Grande-Pierre has improved
quite a bit, while Hamel is
improving much slower but he is using his other assets to catch the scouts
eyes.
Luce also state that he was thrilled to hear how well Alexie Tezikov was
playing but he hadn’t had a chance to see an QMJHL games. He was planning and
making a round in mid January to look at the Russian and Francois Methot.

As of Mid-Decemember 1997, here is my current feeling as to the Sabres top
prospects.


Rank Player Ht. Wt. Age location (league) +/- from Nov. Read more»

Sabres Make Roster Moves

by pbadmin
on

The Buffalo Sabres have recently made several moves involving their prospects.

First, Buffalo farm club Rochester re-assigned Mike Zanutto (C 6-0 190) and Daniel Bienvenue (LW 6-1 196) to South Carolina of the ECHL. This move was done so these two young players could see more game action. Also it is expected that Mark Dutiame (LW 6-1 180) will also be assigned to the ECHL, when and if he ever gets healthy. (It should be noted that Mark has played a grand total of only 20 games since he was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1995 draft)

Then Buffalo sent Jay McKee (D 6-3 200) and Erik Rasmussen (C 6-2 207) down to Rochester of the AHL. Both players were in Sabres coach Lindy Ruff’s doghouse and they had been spending more time in the press box than on the ice. The Rasmussen move is not unexpected as Buffalo management want him to see more quality ice time at the center position. The McKee move is very unexpected. McKee’s progress last year was one of the key reason Buffalo made no attempt to re-sign free agent Gary Galley. He has been very inconsistent all year and down right terrible lately. The move will hopefully restore his confindence longterm.

Rochester now is the home of three first round picks in Jay McKee (95′-a), Erik Rasmussen (96′) and Martin Biron (95′-b).

Sabres Update

by pbadmin
on

Note: I want to open this report by correcting a mistake a made during my
Sabres prospect writeup. I confused two Sabres draft picks. I identified
Martin Menard using Marian Menhart bio line. As you can tell the two have
very similar names and if you look too quickly you can confuse the two, which
I did. Martin is actually 5-8 165lb LW, not a 6-3 220lb D as I identified.
Marian Menhart (Prince Albert) was never offered a contract but he was at
the Sabres training camp as a special invite.

I appoligize for the confusion. The mistake was completely unacceptable.

As of Mid-November 1997, here is my current feeling as to the Sabres top
prospects.

Note: I still am not ranking the Sabres European based players as I do not
have enough specific information about them. I will wait until after the
World Junior Championships to rank them.


Rank Player size age team (league) Oct. rank
1. Cory Sarich 6-3 182 19 Saskatoon (WHL) 1
2. Maxim Afinogenov 5-11 176 18 Moscow Dynamo (Russia) 2
3. Alexei Tezikov 6-1 198 19 Moncton (QMJHL) 4
4. Martin Biron 6-1 160 20 Rochester (AHL) 6
5. Vaclav Varada 6-0 200 21 Rochester (AHL) 7
6. Darren Van Oene 6-3 207 19 Brandon (WHL) 3
7. J-L. Grand-Pierre 6-3 207 20 Rochester (AHL) 9 Read more»