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Budik remains hot for Prince Albert after stellar World Juniors showing

by Kris Baker @SabresProspects / SabresProspects.com

Prince Albert Raiders defenseman Vojtech Budik (2016, fifth round) is putting together the most productive stretch of his Western Hockey League career on the heels of his rock-solid, five-assist showing with the Czech Republic at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.

Budik lit the lamp in three consecutive games last week, including a two-goal, one-assist effort Friday to earn the game's first star in a 5-1 triumph over Red Deer.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Prince Albert D Vojtech Budik scores a pair of goals Friday as the Raiders down Red Deer 5-1. pic.twitter.com/16X2fXUCzF

On Saturday, Budik filled the net with the overtime goal to power the Raiders to a 3-2 win over Medicine Hat.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Prince Albert D Vojtech Budik goes through the zone cycle and hits pay dirt in OT for his seventh of the year. Goals in three straight. Point-per-game player since 12/1 (14 games). #Sabres pic.twitter.com/fiqV4TddR4

Budik, who ended the week Sunday with an assist in a 4-3 overtime loss at Calgary, has captured 20 points (7+13) in 40 games this season, including 15 in his last 15 played since December 1.

The upped production couldn't come at a better time with Budik looking to earn his first National Hockey League contract prior to the June 1 deadline. 


Europe

Marcus Davidsson (2017, second round) recorded the first two-goal game of his Swedish Hockey League career Thursday and added an assist as Djurgarden IF defeated Brynas IF 5-1.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Djurg��rden C Marcus Davidsson scores twice as part of the first three-point game of his SHL career. Davidsson's 13 points (5+8) rank third among the league's junior-aged skaters. #Sabres pic.twitter.com/vyB3cQAyw3

Davidsson was unable to add to his stack in Saturday's 3-1 loss to Brynas, giving the 19-year-old five-goals and a career-best 13 points through 27 appearances.

Rasmus Asplund (2016, second round) got a leg up on two defenders and broke in alone for his sixth goal of the year Thursday as Farjestad BK got past Frolunda HC 4-1.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Rasmus Asplund gets behind the D and streaks in for the blocker side finish. Asplund up to 25 points (6+19) in 36 games. #Sabres pic.twitter.com/9K5LjExevQ

Asplund, who was shut out in a 3-1 loss Skelleftea AIK on Saturday, has 25 points and 57 shots on goal in 37 games.

Victor Olofsson (2014, seventh round) was unable to score on any of his five shots on goal last week as Frolunda HC won once and lost once.

Despite not adding to his total, Olofsson remains tied for SHL lead for both goals (21) and power-play markers (10) through 36 games as part of his career-best 33-point campaign.

LeKi goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (2017, second round) earned one start last week, making 20 saves before stopping two of three shootout attempts in a 3-2 defeat to KeuPa HT.

The loss drops Luukkonen to 11-7-2 with a 2.70 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage.

Defenseman Oskari Laaksonen (2017, third round) remained with Ilves' top club in Liiga, working his way into bottom-pair minutes as his club earned victories in two of three tries.

The 18-year-old righthander has appeared in six January contests in Finland's top professional league, notching one assist while averaging 11:00 of work per outing.


NCAA

After getting blanked in Thursday's 5-4 win at Michigan State, Casey Mittelstadt (2017, first round) scored a goal and an assist Saturday as Minnesota swept the Spartans with a 2-1 victory at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

At 11:23 of the opening frame, Mittlestadt drove the center lane with speed and extended his backhand to deflect home a Brent Gates Jr. feed for his seventh goal of the year.

The two-point evening gives Mittelstadt seven goals and an even 20 points through his first 24 collegiate contests.

In Sunday action, freshman winger Linus Weissbach (2017, seventh round) equaled Mittelstadt by netting his seventh goal of the year as Wisconsin cruised past Notre Dame 5-0.

Weissbach, who on Thursday earned one assist in a 4-2 loss at Notre Dame, has captured 17 points (7+10) while appearing in 24 of the Badgers' 27 contests.

In Hockey East action, Jacob Bryson (2017, fourth round) notched a pair of assists Thursday for the sixth multi-point game of his season as Providence defeated Connecticut 3-1, and logged two shots on goal Saturday as the Friars lost the rematch 3-1 on home ice.

Bryson has continued to prove himself an effective puck circulator with 19 points (1+18) in 26 games.

Ivan Chukarov (2015, seventh round) picked up an assist Friday, wristing a shot from the right point that was re-directed for the game's first goal as Massachusetts blanked Northeastern 3-0.

Chukarov, who logged a minus-2 rating the next night as the Minutemen were on the wrong end of a 5-0 shutout loss at Northeastern, has collected five assists in 16 appearances this season.

St. Cloud State defenseman William Borgen (2015, fourth round) produced one shot on goal Saturday in the Huskies' 5-2 loss to Minnesota State, leaving the steady defender with 10 points (1+9) through 22 games.

Senior forward Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) was kept off the scoresheet in the St. Cloud State loss to Minnesota State to stay at three goals and 12 total points in 22 outings.

Penn State winger Brett Murray (2016, fourth round) did not dress last week as the Nittany Lions were swept at Michigan by scores of 4-0 and 3-2. Murray, who has sat out seven of Penn State's last eight games, has one goal and five points in 17 games played.

Philip Nyberg (2016, fifth round) contributed three shots on goal last week as Connecticut fell to Providence 3-1 on home ice before winning the road rematch over the Friars by the same score. In 15 games, Nyberg has secured two goals, three points, and a team-best plus-five rating.

Maxwell Willman (2014, fifth round) remined out of the Brown lineup last week, leaving the senior forward with one goal and four helpers while playing in just nine of the Bears' 20 contests thus far.

Boston College had the week off, leaving third-year defenseman Casey Fitzgerald (2016, third round) with 13 points (4+9) in 22 appearances, and forward Christopher Brown (2014, sixth round) with 12 points (6+6) in 23 contests.


QMJHL

Shawinigan sniper Vasily Glotov (2016, seventh round) buried a shot high to the glove side late in regulation Saturday as the Cataractes fell to Rouyn-Noranda 3-2.

Glotov added another goal plus an assist in Sunday's 4-3 loss at Val-d'Or, giving the Russian shooter a team-leading 23 goals and 32 points in 41 contests for the last-place Cataractes. 


OHL

Cliff Pu (2016, third round) knocked in his 20th goal of the season Wednesday as Kingston defeated Peterborough 5-1.

Pu was quiet in a 3-2 overtime loss to Hamilton on Friday, and got back on the score sheet with a helper in Sunday's 6-2 defeat at Mississauga. 

Pu has 52 points in 44 games this season, including eight (4+4) in nine games since being dealt to the Frontenacs.

Peterborough defenseman Austin Osmanski (2016, seventh round) netted a cumulative minus-2 rating last week as the PEtes suffered losses to Kingston, Oshawa, and Ottawa. The stay-at-home Osmanski has amassed 13 points (1+12) in 43 games.


WHL

Red Deer winger Brandon Hagel (2016, sixth round) went without a point in losses to Prince Albert and Kamloops last week as the Rebels extended their winless slide to 13 games.

Hagel has two assists in four games since returning from a six-week injury absence (upper body), and season totals of seven goals and 25 points in 31 games.
 

For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker's website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects) for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.

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