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With Hockey Canada watching, Pu steps up his game for London

by Kris Baker @SabresProspects /

Participating countries are expected to name their selection camp rosters this week for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, and one Sabres prospect has stepped his play up of late in hopes of catching the attention of the decision-makers.

London Knights forward Cliff Pu (2016, third round) had another big week, beginning with a rebound put-back for a power-play tally in Tuesday's 4-1 loss at Sarnia.


Tweet from @SabresProspects: Rebound kicked right to Cliff Pu, who knocks in his 10th of the year. Pu later uses wheels, gets stopped on penalty shot #Sabres

Pu stayed productive Friday, netting an empty-net goal and an assist as the Knights knocked off Owen Sound 5-3.

On Sunday, Pu launched a shot bar-down to give him goals in six consecutive games, and added a pair of helpers to help power a 5-1 win over Guelph.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Pu places one perfectly for his 12th #Sabres

With Hockey Canada watching closely, Pu now has points in all 10 November games, including goals in eight of them. 

In total this season, the speedster has produced 12 goals and 33 points in 24 Ontario Hockey League contests.


Sophomore defenseman Philip Nyberg (2016, fifth round) scored a wrist-shot goal in back-to-back games last week as Connecticut earned a pair of victories, 4-1 over Vermont and 2-1 over RIT.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: UConn D Philip Nyberg wrists one off the post and in for his first goal of the season and second of his NCAA career #Sabres

After his season was derailed by a six-game absence due to lower-body injury sustained on opening night, Nyberg is finding his game of late to boost his production to three points (2+1) and a plus-4 rating in eight appearances.

Casey Mittelstadt (2017, first round) posted a combined one assist and six shots on goal over the weekend as Minnesota was swept on the road at Notre Dame with 1-0 and 5-2 losses.

In 15 games of his freshman season, Mittelstadt has connected for four goals, 13 points and 41 shots on goal.

Boston College defenseman Casey Fitzgerald (2016, third round) and forward Christopher Brown (2014, sixth round) were each held without a point Friday as the Eagles and Harvard finished in a 4-4 tie.

Fitzgerald has nine points (3+6) and a team-high 47 shots on goal in 14 games. Brown has appeared in 15 contests, securing four goals, eight points, and 35 shots on goal.

Maxwell Willman (2014, fifth round) picked up one assist and a game-high seven shots on goal Tuesday as Brown doubled Holy Cross 4-2. 

Through eight games, Willman has one goal and four points while leading the Bears with 24 shots on goal.

Jacob Bryson (2017, fourth round) produced his team-leading ninth assist Friday as Providence rolled to a 3-0 win over Maine at the Friendship Four tournament in Belfast, Ireland. Bryson finished with a minus-3 rating in Saturday's 4-2 loss to Clarkson, returns home with 10 points (1+9) in 14 games. 

Linus Weissbach (2017, seventh round) notched one assist Saturday as Wisconsin lost to Mercyhurst 3-2, and extended his point to four games Sunday with another helper as the Badgers earned a series split with a 4-2 doubling of the Lakers.

At the 15-game mark, Weissbach has amassed five goals, including two of the power play and one game-winner, and a total of 12 points. 

After punching one shot on goal in Friday's 2-1 win over Quinnipiac, Ivan Chukarov (2015, seventh round) produced an assist Saturday for his first point of the year as Massachusetts completed the home-and-home sweep with a 6-3 triumph over the Bobcats.

Chukarov has appeared in five games since missing the first nine due to injury, compiling six shots on goal and a plus-1 rating in addition to the point earned in the Saturday win.

Third-year defenseman William Borgen (2015, fourth round) and senior forward Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) had the weekend off as St. Cloud State prepares for next weekend's conference series at Omaha. 

Borgen has one goal and eight points in 11 games, while Peterson has a short-handed marker and eight assists over the same span.

Brett Murray (2016, fourth round) recorded one assist over the weekend as Penn State throttled Michigan State 7-2 on Friday before playing to a 2-2 with the Spartans the next day.

Through 14 games, Murray has collected five points (1+4) and 33 shots on goal.


Victor Olofsson (2014, seventh round) batted home a rebound and scored the decisive goal in the shootout Tuesday to thrust Frolunda HC to a 3-2 victory over IF Malmo Redhawks.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Victor Olofsson pesky to help gain possession, knocks in the rebound for his ninth of the year. Later he throws a quick shoulder juke and goes backhand for the shootout winner. #Sabres

Olofsson notched an assist in Thursday's 5-1 win over Rogle BK, and got back into the goal column Saturday with a power-play marker for the game-winner in a 5-1 dismantling of Linkoping HC.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Pardon the broken record over here, but Victor Olofsson flexed his stick for another power-play goal today and I wanted to share it. #Sabres

Olofsson's productive week bumps him to 11 goals, which ties for third-most in the Swedish Hockey League, and 17 points in his first 20 games. 

Rasmus Asplund (2016, second round) posted an assist Tuesday as Farjestad BK defeated Vaxjo Lakers HC 4-2, and then extended his point streak to four games with a tap-in goal in Thursday's 6-4 victory over Orebro HK.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Tap-in goal today for Rasmus Asplund gives him a four-game point streak. #Sabres

Asplund's streak came to an end in Saturday's 2-1 loss to IF Malmo Redhawks, giving the second-line pivot 13 points (4+9) through 23 contests.

Marcus Davidsson (2017, second round) notched an assist in 10:33 of action Thursday to help Djurgarden IF to a 4-1 win over HV 71.

Davidsson, who produced one shot on goal in Saturday's 4-3 overtime victory over Rogle BK, has eight points (1+7) and a plus-6 rating in 19 games while stabilizing Djurgarden's third-line center position.

LeKi goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (2017, second round) made 24 saves Friday in a 6-1 win over Peliitat, and returned to the crease Saturday with 25 stops in a 3-0 loss to Jokipolat.

Luukkonen has appeared in 14 games for LeKi, posting an 8-6 record with a 2.79 goals-against average and a .914 save percentage.

Oskari Laaksonen (2017, third round) scored his second goal of the year Sunday as Ilves U20 snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over HPK. Laaksonen, who skated for a season-high 30:28 in the contest, began the week without points in 2-1 and 3-2 losses to Assat and Karpat.

Laaksonen has logged major minutes as the top defenseman on the Ilves U20 roster, along the way posting two goals and nine points in 28 games.


Peterborough defenseman Austin Osmanski (2016, seventh round) notched one assist in the week's three games as the Petes defeated Hamilton and Sudbury before falling to Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday.
Osmanski has one goal and a career-high 11 points through 26 games.


Red Deer winger Brandon Hagel (2016, sixth round) went without a point Friday in a 6-2 loss to Portland, but got back on track Saturday when he corralled a rebound off the end boards and scored in the final minute of regulation in the Rebels' 2-1 overtime loss to Calgary.

The goal, which ended a nine-game drought, boosts Hagel to 22 points (7+15) in 25 games.

Prince Albert defenseman Vojtech Budik (2016, fifth round) went without a point last week as the Raiders lost to Swift Current 3-2 on Friday and then defeated Moose Jaw the next night by the same score.

The stay-at-home Budik has gone pointless in nine consecutive games, leaving him with one goal and four assists in 24 contests.


Vasily Glotov (2016, seventh round) posted a combined five shots on goal last week as Shawinigan suffered a pair of defeats to Val'd'Or and Chicoutimi.

Glotov has cooled some of late, notching just one point, a goal, in his last eight contests. Through 23 games, the overage forward has nine goals and 14 points.


For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker's website, 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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