There are many updates regarding various players in this week’s edition of the Buffalo Sabres prospects report. Defenseman Owen Power is off to a strong start with the University of Michigan, forward Isak Rosén is going through a tough stretch in Sweden, and forward JJ Peterka was sent down to the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (AHL). It’s a few weeks into a lot of these prospect’s seasons, and there are already a lot of intriguing narratives that can be formed from their play. Catch up on how the Sabres prospects are performing.
Owen Power’s Productive Start in Michigan
The first-overall selection from the 2021 NHL Draft is proving to have taken a step in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). During Michigan’s first game against Lake Superior State, Power scored one goal and three assists for a four-point night. He added another assist in the team’s 7-4 win against Superior State to bring him up to five points in two games to begin the season.
After scoring 16 points in 26 games last year as a freshman, it is pretty evident that Power will not have a sophomore slump. His goal came from displaying poise at the blue line and waiting the extra second to shoot the puck. It ended up being a lucky bounce off the goaltender’s shoulder and into the back of the net, but it was a good play from Power regardless. He is displaying the necessary attributes of a player that should be dominating at this level.
It should also be noted that Power is playing with Matt Beniers, Luke Hughes, and Kent Johnson, amongst other great players. This team full of top draft selections is expected to win a championship this season.
Isak Rosén Struggling At Multiple Levels in Sweden
Rosén has found himself splitting time between the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) and the SuperElit league, where the Swedish players under the age of 20 suit up. He was playing minimal ice time with Leksands IF, including a game where he played zero minutes. It is common for European leagues not to factor in a player’s development, so they will not hesitate to bench an NHL prospect.
Over the past week, Rosén was recalled to the Leksands SHL team, and he was able to produce a secondary assist. He got himself open along with the board, retrieved the puck, and made a simple pass back to his defensemen, who spotted Carter Ashton, and he buried it. He needed to produce in any way possible, so hopefully, that can start a smooth development path for him.
It will be interesting to track the rest of his season and see if he can earn a regular spot in the team’s lineup down the stretch.
JJ Peterka Sent To The Rochester Americans
When looking at Peterka’s showing in the Sabres preseason, there is a debate about whether he was the best forward on the ice. He made zone entries with possession of the puck and created high danger scoring chances for his teammates. In a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, he uses his speed and nifty hands to blow by the Blue Jackets defender to find Jack Quinn for a glorious opportunity.
He scored three goals and four points during the five games he participated in for the Sabres preseason. It is also worth noting that he played 21:24 time on ice (TOI) during the team’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct 5th. They gave him extended looks, and he lived up to the expectations.
The Sabres are known to send their European prospects to the AHL to begin their professional careers, and they sent Arttu Ruotsalainen down last season in a similar manner. Expect to see Peterka enter the Sabres lineup at some point over the next few months.
Prokhor Poltapov Earning His Way Up in Russia
Starting the season in the Supreme Hockey League (VHL), which is Russa’s second-highest level of professional hockey, Poltapov has thrived. He produced six points in eight games, and his excellent performance has earned him a spot on CSKA Moskva of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
He has yet to produce a point in the KHL in the three games he has played so far, but he has been noticeable. He has stripped players of the puck in the neutral zone to create turnovers and is comfortable handling the puck. He has been creative, deking out forwards to skate by them, but will also make a safe pass back to his defender when the situation calls for it. Not to mention that he is also a physical force out there, laying this thunderous bodycheck.
Eventually, he will get rewarded for making these plays, as he deserves to play in Russia’s top league.
Alexander Kisakov is Dominanting The VHL
Similar to Poltapov, the 18-year-old Kisakov has found himself moving up the ranks in Russia. After producing 11 points in 10 games for MHK Dynamo Moskva in the VHL, he was called up to the Dynamo Moskva of the KHL and has gotten opportunities with the team. There is a lot to like about his game, as he’s a tenacious forward with a powerful wrist shot.
He is strong at protecting the puck and creating scoring chances for himself. He can use his quick edge work to spin around and fire a shot into the back of the net, or he can skate up the half wall and score off an accurate wrist shot. Like Poltapov, Kisakov has played in three games in the KHL so far and has yet to produce a point.
A large portion of the scouting community believes this player should have drafted higher than 53rd overall. This season will be an indicator if he was a sleeper in last year’s draft.
Sabres Prospect Tracker (2021-22 Season)
If you’re like me and have trouble keeping track of where all the top Sabres prospects are playing during the NHL season, then not to worry – I’ve taken the liberty of compiling them into a nifty 2021-22 Sabres Prospect Tracker. Here is a list of all the prospects playing everywhere other than the NHL and the AHL.
|Owen Power||D||University of Michigan||NCAA|
|Prokhor Poltapov||RW||Zvezda Moskva||VHL|
|Alexander Kisakov||F||Dynamo Moskva||KHL|
|Isak Rosen||RW/LW||Leksands IF||SHL|
|Nikita Novikov||D||Dynamo Moskva||KHL|
|Lawrence Pilut||D||Traktor Chelyabinsk||KHL|
|William von Barnekow||RW/LW||Malmo Redhawks||SH|
|Albert Lyckasen||D||Linkoping HC||SHL|
|Vasili Glotov||C||HK Sochi||KHL|
|William Worge Kreu||D||IK Oskarshamn||SHL|
|Filip Cederqvist||LW/C||Djurgardens IF||SHL|
|Linus Cronholm||D||Linkoping HC||SHL|
|Jakub Konecny||C/W||HC Sparta Praha||Czech|
|Ryan Johnson||D||University of Minnesota||NCAA|
|Olivier Nadeau||RW||Shawinigan Cataractes||QMJHL|
|Aaron Huglen||W/C||University of Minnesota||NCAA|
|Matteo Constantini||C||University of North Dakota||NCAA|
|Vilijami Marjala||LW||Québec Remparts||QMJHL|
|Stiven Sardaryan||F||Youngstown Phantoms||USHL|
|Philip Nyberg||D||Lindlovvens IF||HockeyEttan|
|Josh Bloom||LW||Saginaw Spirit||OHL|
That wraps up this edition of the Sabres Prospects Report. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks as we move into the NHL preseason and approach the start of the 2021-22 regular season.
Jordan Jacklin is a freelance writer who covers the Buffalo Sabres here at The Hockey Writers. Jordan is a student at Ryerson’s Sport Media program and uses analytics and video scouting to evaluate your favourite players in the game.