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Sabres Prospects: Twenty-goal scorers and hot returns from World Juniors

Three Buffalo Sabres prospects have hit the 20-goal mark this season with their respective clubs while two others are impressing in their post-World Junior Championship experience.

Let's start with the benchmark for goals – Cliff Pu, Victor Olofsson, and Vasily Glotov have all reached the 20-goal mark.

Olofsson, the 22-year-old winger, is tied for first in the Swedish Hockey League with 21 goals in 36 games playing for Frolunda HC. In his third season in the SHL, the highest level of pro hockey in his native Sweden, Olofsson has set career bests in goals and total points (33).

Glotov, a center with the Shawinigan Cataractes, ranks 13th in the Quebec Major-Junior League with 23 goals this season. He is on a five-game goal-scoring streak and has goals in six of the seven games he has played in January. Last season, Glotov scored 15 goals with 35 assists in his first season in the QMJHL.

Pu, meanwhile, is settling in with his new team in the Ontario Hockey League after the London Knights traded him to the Kingston Frontenacs earlier this month. Pu, who had a breakout season with the Knights in 2016-17 with 35 goals and 86 points got off to a slow start this season.

In his last season of junior eligibility, Pu has scored 16 goals with 45 points through 36 games with London. In his first game with Kingston, he put up a four-point night with three goals and one assist. Pu scored his 20th goal of the season on Jan. 18.

Meanwhile, defenseman Vojtech Budik and forward Marcus Davidsson are parlaying their World Juniors experience into production for their respective teams.

Budik, playing with the Prince Albert Raiders in the Western Hockey League, is on a career-high four-game point streak. He had the first two-goal game of his WHL career on Jan. 19 and scored the game-winner in overtime against Medicine Hat on Jan. 20. He has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in his last 15 games and is tied for the team lead among defensemen with 20 points this season.

Budik played for the Czech Republic which finished fourth at the World Juniors, the country's best finish at the tournament since winning bronze in 2005.

Davidsson, who played a fourth-line role for Sweden in their silver medal finish at the World Juniors, has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) for Djurgarden in the SHL including notching his first three-point game in the pro league. He ranks third among the league's junior-aged players in scoring.

Rochester Americans: The Amerks are finding ways to get points. And while everyone in Rochester would rather be winning games, the points are adding up, keeping the Amerks in second place in the American Hockey League Eastern Conference standings.

Rochester has just one win in its last five games – a 4-1 win against the Charlotte Checkers on Saturday. In the last five, the Amerks picked up points with two shootout losses and one overtime loss.

Rookie C.J. Smith continues to lead the Amerks with 14 goals and 23 assists for 37 points. Veteran and team captain Kevin Porter has 27 points (12 goals, 15 assists) tied for second with defenseman Zach Redmond.

Brendan Guhle, who suffered a lower body injury last week, played once in the last three games. Hudson Fasching had two assists in a 5-4 overtime loss to Charlotte on Sunday, ending a five-game point drought.

Rochester travels to Toronto to meet the first-place Marlies at 7 p.m. on Friday. The Amerks then play at the Belleville Senators on Saturday. They next play in Blue Cross Arena on Feb. 2 when they host the Marlies at 7:05 p.m.


Brandon Hagel (forward, Red Deer Rebels): The left winger has seen goals and 18 assists in 31 games. The Rebels are last in the Eastern Conference with just 10 wins in 46 games played.


Austin Osmanski (defense, Peterborough Petes): The East Aurora native has one goal and 12 assists through 43 games. He has a minus-seven rating, has 54 penalty minutes and 61 shots on goal.


William Borgen (defense, St. Cloud State): The junior was selected to the U.S. Olympic Team, one of four current college players on the 2018 roster. Borgen is having an impressive year on the Huskies blue line while notching 10 points (one goal) in 22 games.

Christopher Brown (forward, Boston College): Registered his sixth assist of the season in the Eagles' 5-2 win over New Hampshire on Jan. 14. Has 12 points on the season.

Jacob Bryson (defense, Providence): The sophomore registered two assists in a 3-1 win over Connecticut on Jan. 18. He has 19 points with one goal in 26 games for the Friars, ranked 10th in the latest poll.

Ivan Chukarov (defense, UMass): Has five assists in 15 games as the Minutemen are 11-11-1 overall.

Casey Fitzgerald (defense, Boston College): Has four points in his last five games to give him four goals and nine assists this season. At 11-9-3, Boston College is ranked 16th.

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 his third multi-point game of the season with a goal and assist in the Gophers' 2-1 win over Michigan State on Jan. 20. In his first 24 collegiate games he has seven goals and 13 assists as Minnesota is 15-12-1 and ranked 13th.

Brett Murray (forward, Penn State): The sophomore has five points (one goal) in 17 games. The Nittany Lions are 13-10-3 and ranked 14th.

Philip Nyberg (defense, UConn): Has been held without a point in his last seven games. Has two goals and one assist through 15 games.

Judd Peterson (forward, St. Cloud State): The senior has three goals and nine assists for the Huskies, who fell from third to fifth in the national poll.

Linus Weissbach (forward, Wisconsin): A native of Sweden, the 19-year-old freshman tallied his seventh goal of the season in a 5-0 win at No. 1 Notre Dame on Jan. 21. He has 17 points in 24 games.

Maxwell Willman (forward, Brown): The senior has not played since Dec. 1. He has one goal and four assists in nine games.


Rasmus Asplund (forward, Farjestad BK): In 37 games in the SHL, he has six goals and 19 assists.

Oskari Laaksonen (defense, Ilves): Has three goals and 11 assists in 37 games in the Under-20 league (Jr. A SM-Liiga).

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (goalie, LeKi): Finished the World Juniors with a 3.13 goals against average and an .879 save percentage in five games for Finland. In 20 games with LeKi in Finland he has a 2.70 goals against and a .915 save percentage.

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