The Buffalo Sabres already have one Hobey Baker Award winner in Jack Eichel. Could the organization have another in its system?
Two Sabres prospects are on the initial ballot for the most prestigious award in college hockey with online fan voting underway.
Sabres prospects Cal Petersen, a sophomore goaltender at Notre Dame, and Hudson Fasching, a junior forward at Minnesota, are on the first ballot for hockey’s version of the Heisman Trophy.
Fan voting is open through March 6 (at facebook.com/TheHobey) with the list narrowed to 10 semifinalists on that day.
Petersen was a fifth-round choice of the Sabres in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Petersen is on a 12-game unbeaten streak for Notre Dame and has started every game for the Irish this season (14-4-7) with a 2.15 goals against average and a .927 save percentage.
Fasching was acquired by the Sabres along with Nicolas Deslauriers in a 2014 trade deadline deal with the Los Angeles Kings. Fasching was originally drafted by L.A. in the fourth round in 2013. Last weekend, He had five points (two goals, three assists) as the Gophers swept Wisconsin. In 23 games this season he has 15 goals, three on the power play and two shorthanded.
Also of note on the Hobey Baker ballot is Williamsville’s Andrew Poturalski, who played junior hockey for Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in the USHL. The undrafted sophomore at New Hampshire leads the country in scoring with 29 points. Seven of his 19 goals have come on the power play. Canisius College junior Shane Conacher is tied for fifth nationally in scoring with 35 points.
The Rochester Americans have three games before they get their AHL All-Star break.
The Amerks are on a two-game winning streak after sweeping the Grand Rapids Griffins in Michigan on Friday and Saturday. They have won three of their last four and host Syracuse on Wednesday.
Nathan Lieuwen posted his first shutout in nearly two years, making 42 saves in a 2-0 Amerks win on Saturday. It was his fourth career AHL shutout and first since making 26 saves on Feb. 1, 2014, against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Rochester hosts Binghamton on Friday and plays at Utica on Saturday, then has a week off as the AHL hosts its All-Star Classic Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 in Syracuse. Cal O’Reilly was chosen as an All-Star from the Amerks.
Among the Sabres prospects playing Major Junior hockey, forward Giorgio Estephan is on a hot streak. He was named the WHL Player of the Week after recording eight points in a three-win week for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. Estephan had three goals and five assists along with a plus-8 rating as the Hurricanes extended their season-high win streak to 10 games.
The 18-year-old Edmonton native is in his third season in Lethbridge. He ranks seventh in scoring in the WHL this season with 63 points (27 goals, 36 assists) in 48 games.