Sabres Prospects: Osmanski takes on a bigger role with Peterborough - The Buffalo News

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Sabres Prospects: Osmanski takes on a bigger role with Peterborough

Take a look at Austin Osmanski's career stats, and the first thing you notice is the jump in offensive numbers.

The defenseman has nine points in 18 games this season. That's one better than he had through all 55 games he played last season in the Ontario Hockey League.

But Osmanski is quick to point out that while the offensive numbers are nice, they're a product of his team not just his play.

The East Aurora native's stats have jumped since he was traded to the Peterborough Petes from the Mississauga Steelheads on Oct. 8. That's not much of a surprise. The Petes lead the Eastern Conference while Mississauga is eight in the 10-team conference.

Play for a better team and naturally there will be better opportunities to rack up points.

"I think our forwards are really good here," Osmanski said. "We've got four lines that score any time. I just get them the puck and let them do their thing. I get points without looking for them, they just happen which is good. I worked a lot over the summer and it's good it's starting to show in Peterborough, but I think I'm playing with some good players, too."

There's been plenty of change in 2017 for Osmanski, who was a seventh-round draft choice of the Buffalo Sabres in 2016. First came the change at the Sabres with a new general manager and head coach and an ensuing new philosophy.

"I'd be lying if I said it didn't affect me," Osmanski said of the leadership change. "I think everyone, whether you're Jack Eichel or a guy like me, it affects you. Luckily for me, I was in Buffalo training every day this summer and could see all the changes happening on a daily basis from development camp to prospect camp to training camp. You could sense the vibes and the way the attitude changed. It's been flipped upside down in a positive way. It's an exciting time for me. I get another chance to make a first impression."

He had another positive change when he was traded to Peterborough early this season.

"I didn’t expect it to happen, but the way things were going, some things you have a sense that it's coming," Osmanski said. "It wasn't something that I requested, but it was something I was looking for. That was a crazy day for me. I was in Buffalo at home on an off day and got the call from my agent.

"I went from Buffalo to Mississauga to get my stuff, went to the rink to pack up my gear and I got to Peterborough about 11 o'clock at night. I was up at 6 a.m.  the next day to bus to North Bay and play my first game with the team after just meeting them. It was a crazy 24 hours to be honest. Since then, I've settled in well."

He picked up an assist in that first game with the Petes and has felt comfortable ever since. At 19, he's one of the older players on the Petes and has welcomed an expanded role.

"I've accepted a bigger role, which I wanted," Osmanski said. "I'm an older guy now in the league. It's my third year. Peterborough has a young core, I'd say, and I stepped in to be a veteran and lead by example. I’m a big guy. I try to be tough and to make it hard for the other team. My job is to make the other team's best players miserable."

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Rochester Americans: The Amerks need a breather after going to shootouts in three straight games last week, winning two of them and dropping one. Rochester sits three points back of the Toronto Marlies and Laval Rocket for the top spot in the AHL’s North Division.

Kyle Criscuolo and C.J. Smith are tied for the team lead in scoring at 10 points. Criscuolo leads the team with four goals while Smith is on a five-game assist streak and ranks third among all AHL rookies with eight assists. Brendan Guhle has eight points (two goals, six assists) in 11 games and closed out the weekend with back-to-back multi-point games.

Rochester plays two games at the Belleville Senators on Nov. 10 and Nov. 11.

WHL

Vojtech Budik (defense, Prince Albert Raiders): Has one goal and four assists through 16 games.

Brandon Hagel (forward, Red Deer Rebels): Saw his eight-game point streak end as Red Deer dropped games this weekend to Regina and Swift Current. Hagel was shutout in both games. For the season, he has 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in 17 games.

OHL

Cliff Pu (forward, London Knights): Perhaps it's just coincidence, or perhaps there's a bit a relief for Pu after singing his entry level contract with the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 23. In the first 11 games of the season, Pu had just one goal and five assists. In his five games since signing his pro contract, he has three goals and three assists.

QMJHL

Vasily Glotov (forward, Shawinigan Cataractes): Has eight goals and five assists in 17 games.

NCAA

William Borgen (defense, St. Cloud State): The junior picked up two assists as the Huskies swept Minnesota-Duluth to improve to 7-0-0. Borgen has six assists in seven games.

Christopher Brown (forward, Boston College): Had a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win over Merrimack on Friday, snapping a four-game losing skid for the Eagles. Brown has three goals and two assists.

Jacob Bryson (defense, Providence): The sophomore has five assists for Providence (5-3-0).

Ivan Chukarov (defense, UMass): Played his first game on Saturday after missing the first month of the season with an upper body injury. He enters his junior year at UMass with five career goals and 11 points over 72 games.

Casey Fitzgerald (defense, Boston College): Scored his third goal of the season in a 2-1 win for the Eagles over Merrimack on Saturday. He leads BC (3-5-1) with six points.

Connor Hurley (forward, Minnesota): After three seasons at Notre Dame, Hurley transferred to the University of Minnesota. He will sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules and have one year of college eligibility left for the 2018-19 season. In 98 career games for the Fighting Irish, Hurley had 48 points (14 goals, 34 assists).

Casey Mittelstadt (forward, Minnesota): Had a goal and an assist as the Golden Gophers swept Michigan State. The freshman ranks second on Minnesota in points with nine (three goals, six assists) in nine games.

Brett Murray (forward, Penn State): The sophomore has one assist in nine games for the Nittany Lions. He recorded team-best six shots on goal in a 7-5 win over Mercyhurst on Saturday as Penn State earned a split with the Lakers.

Philip Nyberg (defense, UConn): Returned to the ice Oct. 28 after suffering a lower body injury in the season opener against Maine. He recorded his first point of the season Nov. 3, an assist in a 5-1 win over Vermont.

Judd Peterson (forward, St. Cloud State): The senior picked up his sixth assist of the season as the Huskies swept Minnesota-Duluth. Undefeated, St. Cloud next plays two games at Denver (Nov. 10-11).

Linus Weissbach (forward, Wisconsin): A native of Sweden, the 19-year-old freshman has three goals and two assist through nine games. After missing last weekend's series against St. Lawrence with an upper body injury, he returned to the ice as the Badgers had a loss and a tie to North Dakota.

Maxwell Willman (forward, Brown): Was minus-2 in Brown's 4-3 loss to Dartmouth on Friday and did not play in Saturday's 3-0 loss to Harvard.

Europe

Rasmus Asplund (forward, Farjestad BK): Was named to Sweden's roster for the Karjala Cup which begins on Wednesday. The international tournament, held in Finland, features teams from Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Russia, Switzerland and Canada.

Marcus Davidsson (forward, Djurgardens): Has one goal and four assists in 14 games in the Swedish Hockey League. He has three goals and an assist in three games played with the Djurgadens Under-20 team in the SuperElit League.

Oskari Laaksonen (defense, Ilves): Has seven assists and one goal in 22 games in the Under-20 league (Jr. A SM-Liiga).

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (goalie, LeKi):  In 11 games he has a 3.18 goals against average and a .903 save percentage.

Victor Olofsson (forward, Frolounda HC): Has seven goals and five assists in 16 games in the Swedish Hockey League.

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