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Pu back on track with 4 goals, 9 points in last 6 games

by Kris Baker @SabresProspects / SabresProspects.com

After a slow start to his Ontario Hockey League season, London Knights centerman Cliff Pu (2016, third round) is officially back on track.

Pu produced his second three-point night of the year Friday, snatching a goal and two helpers as the Knights thrashed Flint 9-0.

It seems that the key to getting Pu going this season just may have been signing an entry-level contract with the Sabres, which was completed Oct. 23.

Prior to signing his first National Hockey League deal, Pu had just one goal and five assists in 11 games.
In the six games since then, the Richmond Hill, Ont. native has erupted for four goals and nine points to reposition himself among the hopefuls to represent Canada next month at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo.

In Thursday international action, Pu notched one assist as Team OHL fell to Russia in Game 3 of the CIBC Canada Russia Series.

Pu will look to further build his case when the two clubs engage for Game 4 of the series Monday evening in Sudbury.


NCAA

Casey Mittelstadt (2017, first round) saw his five-game point streak snapped Friday as Minnesota dropped a 5-4 overtime decision at Michigan. Mittelstadt went without a point for the second-straight game Saturday as the Gophers played to a 6-6 tie with the Wolverines. 

The freshman center has played 11 collegiate contests, notching three goals, six assists, and a team-best 30 shots on goal.

Boston College defenseman Casey Fitzgerald (2016, third round) returned to action Friday from a deep bone bruise in his ankle that caused him to miss Tuesday's 2-1 win over Connecticut, recording one assist and five shots on goal as Boston College defeated Vermont 4-3.

Fitzgerald continued to produce Saturday with one assist as the Eagles won their fifth-straight contest 5-1 at Vermont.

Fitzgerald leads all Boston College defenders with three goals and eight points in 11 appearances.

After going without points in victories over Connecticut and Vermont, third-year forward Christopher Brown (2014, sixth round) went to the net for a redirection goal and added a helper Saturday as Boston College closed the week with a 5-1 triumph over the Catamounts.

Brown has been a two-way stalwart on the Eagles' top offensive line, producing seven points (4+3) while stepping up the physical side of things. 

Maxwell Willman (2014, fifth round) bounced back from a healthy scratch last week against Harvard, producing a season-best four shots on goal as Brown was defeated by Clarkson 5-3. 

On Saturday, Willman went to the slot and got down on one knee to execute a one-timer for his first goal of the season in the Bears' 3-1 win over St. Lawrence.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Max Willman finds some space and gets his stick down to swipe home his first goal of the year. #Sabres pic.twitter.com/jLyFmya6gI

Willman, who also netted an assist in the Saturday victory, has four points through his first five games.

Sophomore defenseman Jacob Bryson (2017, fourth round) logged a minus-3 rating as Providence lost to Massachusetts 5-2, but rebounded Saturday with a pair of helpers as the Friars earned a 7-2 win over the Minutemen.

At the 10-game mark, Bryson has seven assists and 24 shots on goal.

Linus Weissbach (2017, seventh round) recorded one assist as Wisconsin won at Michigan State 6-3 on Friday, and was blanked the following night as the Badgers closed the series with a 2-0 loss.
Weissbach has played 11 games, scoring three goals and six points.  

Ivan Chukarov (2015, seventh round) finished with a plus-1 rating Thursday as Massachusetts upset Providence 5-2. Chukarov, who produced two shots on goal in Saturday's 7-2 loss to the Friars, has five shots and a plus-1 rating in three games since returning from an offseason injury.

William Borgen (2015, fourth round) posted a combined three shots on goal and a minus-two rating as St. Cloud State were swept at Denver by scores of 4-2 and 5-1. 

Through nine games, Borgen has six assists and a plus-3 rating.

Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) was blanked over the weekend as St. Cloud State was swept at Denver, leaving the senior forward with six assists and 13 shots on goal through nine contests.

Brett Murray (2016, fourth round) notched an assist in Penn State's 5-3 loss at Notre Dame, and sat out the next night as the Nittany Lions lost for the fourth time in five games with a 1-0 decision in South Bend.

Through 10 appearances, Murray has two assists and a minus-4 rating.

Connecticut defenseman Philip Nyberg (2016, fifth round) produced a team-high five shots on goal, but turned a puck over that led to a goal against in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Boston College.

Nyberg, who did play over the weekend as the Huskies lost and tied Ohio State in a non-conference set, has one helper and a plus-4 rating in five games.


OHL

Defenseman Austin Osmanski (2016, seventh round) logged a cumulative plus-3 rating last week as Peterborough split a pair of games with Kingston.

At the 20-game mark, Osmanski has one goal and nine points with 38 shots on goal.


WHL

Brandon Hagel (2016, sixth round) extended his point drought to four games last week as Red Deer came away empty on a Western road trip with losses at Kamloops and Kelowna.

The Rebel's assistant captain, Hagel has six goals and 20 points through 19 games.

Prince Albert defenseman Vojtech Budik (2016, fifth round) had a quiet week as the Raiders won at Kootenay and closed the week with a loss at Portland.

Budik has five points (1+4) and 48 shots on goal in 18 appearances.


QMJHL

After logging a minus-2 rating in Tuesday's 6-4 loss at Val-d'Or, Vasily Glotov (2016, seventh round) got to the net Wednesday and jammed home his ninth goal of the year as Shawinigan fell to Rouyn-Noranda 3-1.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Vasily Glotov gets to the net and scores his ninth of the year #Sabres pic.twitter.com/Vha4NISzS8

Glotov, who did not play in a 6-1 loss to Gatineau on Friday, has collected 14 points (9+5) and 63 shots on goal in 19 games.


Europe

Rasmus Asplund (2016, second round) played a limited fourth-line role for Sweden last week at the Karjala Cup, registering one shot on goal as Sweden skated to a 2-1 record to finish third in the annual European Hockey Tour event.

Asplund, whose inclusion on the roster is an indication that he's in the mix for Olympic consideration, has nine points (3+6) and a plus-5 rating in 17 Swedish Hockey League games with Farjestad BK.

Victor Olofsson (2014, seventh round) connected for a power-play goal Tuesday as Frolunda HC was eliminated from the Champions Hockey League by Bili Tygri Liberec.

Olofsson, who has seven goals and 12 points in 16 Swedish Hockey League games, finished Champions League play with four goals and four assists in eight games.

Marcus Davidsson (2017, second round) did not play last week with the Swedish Hockey League on an international break. Davidsson has five points (1+4) in 14 games while averaging 11:02 of work per outing with Djurgarden IF.

Goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (2017, second round) played two of Finland's three games last week at the Under-20 4 Nations tournament, going 0-2 following a 6-4 loss to Sweden and a 3-2 overtime defeat to the Czech Republic. 

Luukkonen is 6-5 with a 3.18 GAA and a .903 save percentage with LeKi of Finland's second division, Mestis.

Ilves U20 defenseman Oskari Laaksonen (2017, third round) enjoyed a week off, leaving him with one goal and eight points in 22 contests.


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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