Mittelstadt and Guhle lead the way as young Sabres

January 24, 2018
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(WGR 550) - With the team wrapping up its road trip in Vancouver and the All-Star break coming up, I thought it would be a good time to look at the future.

Before I head down to Rochester, let’s see how last June’s 1st round pick is doing. Casey Mittelstadt was the class of the World Junior Tournament for Team USA. He had 11 points in 7 games. The 19-year-old has seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points playing his freshman season at Minnesota.

Let’s continue with the Rochester Americans. Their leading scorer signed last March as a free agent from UMass-Lowell. C.J. Smith has 14 goals and 23 assists for 37 points in 43 games. He played two games in Buffalo last season and had one assist. Smith just turned 23 and will play in the AHL All-Star Game.

Brendan Guhle was with Buffalo. He’s been up for two games and had one assist. Guhle was taken in the 2nd round of the 2015 draft after Jack Eichel was selected second overall. The 20-year-old is in his first pro season and has seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points. Guhle said he’s really learning a lot about playing defense in professional hockey.

Hudson Fasching is 22-years-old and was acquired from Los Angeles in March of 2014. He’s played five games in Buffalo this season and was pointless. In Rochester, he has seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 36 games.

Eric Cornel was a 2nd round pick in 2014 and has not really shown much during his two years in Roch. The 21-year-old has four goals and three assists for seven points in 33 games.

Sean Malone is a rookie. The Western New York native had a great senior season at Harvard, but the 22-year-old has four goals and three assists in 40 games with the Amerks. Malone was taken by the Sabres in the 6th round of the 2013 draft.

Buffalo 1st round pick in 2016, Alex Nylander is again struggling mightily in the AHL. The 19-year-old is playing in a man’s league and has only been able to produce two goals and four assists for six points in 21 games. He played for Team Sweden in this year’s World Junior Tournament picking up a goal and six assists in seven games.  

Another Western New York native, Justin Bailey has been hurt most of this season. He’s only played 11 games in Rochester netting two goals and one assist for three points. In Buffalo the 2013, 2nd round pick had two goals and one assist in seven games. Bailey is 22.

Linus Ullmark is 24-years-old was taken by Buffalo in the 6th round of the 2012 draft. Ullmark has made the AHL All-Star Game both years he’s played in Rochester. This season he’s 17-6-3 with a 2.35 goals against and .926 save percentage. He’s played one game in Buffalo and beat Columbus 3-1 stopping 44 pucks.

Devante Stephens is a 21-year-old defenseman who has played four games in Rochester and 28 games in Cincinnati. The Sabres 5th round pick in 2015 had no points with the Amerks and eight assists with the Cyclones.

Vaclav Karabacek was a 2nd round pick in 2014. In one game in Rochester he was scoreless and in seven games with Cincinnati, he has one assist. Karabacek is 21.

Brycen Martin is a defenseman taken in the 3rd round of the 2014 draft. He was scoreless in his one game with Rochester and has a goal and six assists for seven points with the Cyclones. Martin is 21-years-old.

Goaltender Jonas Johansson is 22 years-old and was taken in the 3rd round of the 2014 draft. With Cincinnati he’s 7-6-0 with a 3.16 goals against and .904 save percentage.

Jason Kasdorf was acquired in 2015 as part of the Evander Kane trade. The 25-year-old is 5-5-0 with the Cyclones with a 2.93 goals against and .891 save percentage.

Will Borgen has made Team USA for the upcoming Olympics. The 2015, 4th round pick plays a ton for St. Cloud State on defense. The 21-year-old has one goal and nine assists for 10 points in 22 games, but he’s projected to me a guy that can play in the NHL.

Let’s go back to the 2012 draft and move up. Judd Peterson is a senior at St. Cloud State. He was taken in the 7th round. The 24-year-old winger has three goals and nine assists for 12 points in 22 games.

One of Buffalo’s 2nd round picks in 2013 was Connor Hurley. The center played three years at Notre Dame and then transferred to Minnesota. He’s sitting out this season and will have one more year of eligibility next year. In his junior season with the Fighting Irish, the 22-year-old had 4 goals and 12 assists for 16 points in 21 games.

Max Willman is a senior at Brown. He was taken in the 5th round of the 2014 draft. The 22-year-old has one goal and four assists for five points in nine games.

Chris Brown is a junior at Boston College. The 2014, 6th rounder has six goals and seven assists for 13 points in 24 games. Brown is 21-years-old.

Victor Olofsson is playing for Frolunda HC in Sweden. The 22-year-old winger was Buffalo’s 7th round pick in 2014 and has 21 goals and 12 assists for 33 points in 36 games.

Ivan Chukarov is playing his senior year at UMass-Amherst. He was Buffalo’s 7th round pick in 2015 and has five assists in 16 games. He’s 22.

Buffalo’s 2nd round pick in 2016 was Rasmus Asplund. The 20-year-old has six goals and 19 assists for 25 points in 37 games with Farjestads BK Karlstad in Sweden.

Cliff Pu had a nice training camp this year before going back to junior. The 3rd round pick has 20 goals and 33 assists for 53 points with both London and Kingston of the OHL. Pu is only 19-years-old.

Casey Fitzgerald is playing defense in his junior year for Boston College. The 20-year-old was taken in the 3rd round of the 2016 draft. He has four goals and nine assists for 13 points in 23 games.

Brett Murray is a junior at Penn State. The winger was taken in the 4th round and has one goal and four assists for five points in 17 games.

The Sabres had two 5th round picks and took Philip Nyberg and Vojtech Budik. Nyberg is a junior at UConn and has two goals and an assist for three points in 15 games.

Budik is also a defenseman playing in the WHL with Prince Albert. He has 40 games in and has seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points.

Brandon Hagel went in the 6th round and is also in the WHL with Red Deer. He has seven goals and 18 assists for 25 points in 32 games.

Western New York’s Austin Osmanski went in the 7th round. The defenseman has played 43 games with Peterborough and Mississauga scoring one goal and 12 assists for 13 points.

Vasili Glotov also went in the 7th round and has 23 goals and 32 points in 41 games for Shawinigan of the Quebec league.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen played for Finland in the World Junior Tournament. In five games he had a 3.13 goals against and .879 save percentage. This season he’s playing with Leki in Finland. The 2nd round pick from last June has a 2.70 goals against and .915 save percentage.

Marcus Davidsson joined Nylander in Team Sweden and had three points in seven games. The center is also playing for Djurgardens IF in Sweden. He has five goals and eight assists for 13 points in 27 games.

Oskari Laaksonen is a defenseman for Ilves-Tampere in Finland. He has one assist in seven games.

Jacob Bryson was taken in the 4th round and is a sophomore at Providence. The defenseman has one goal and 18 assists for 19 points in 26 games.

Linus Weissback is a freshman at Wisconsin. He has seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points in 24 games. Buffalo took him in the 7th round.

I think we all know that Guhle is going to be a good NHL defenseman. We’ll need to see if Smith’s skills can transfer to the NHL. I have been hearing good thinks about Borgen for over a year and Fitzgerald is spoken well of too.

Kris Baker has liked Asplund since they drafted him and Pu is a great skater who they liked in camp.

I wouldn’t be shocked if Ullmark winds up being Buffalo’s goalie and of course Mittelstadt has a lot of skill. The question is should he play one more season at Minnesota?