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Mittelstadt off to impressive start in freshman season at Minnesota

by Kris Baker @SabresProspects /

Freshman sensation Casey Mittelstadt (2017, first round) showed off his puck hounding skills Friday, stripping a defender and setting up a goal as the University of Minnesota opened a Big Ten Hockey set with a 3-1 victory over Michigan State. 

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Casey Mittelstadt was a hound on this play, working over the Spartans D for the steal and an assist in the Gophers' 3-1 win. #Sabres

Mittelstadt continued to make an impact Saturday, forcing a defenseman into a turnover and getting the puck in the slot for a quick wrist-shot goal as the Gophers earned the sweep of the Spartans with a 4-0 win.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Casey forces turnover.Casey gets puck in slot.Casey shoots.Casey scores.#Sabres

Mittelstadt, who has gotten on the score sheet in eight of the nine games he has appeared in, has worked his way to nine points (3+6), 26 shots on goal and a plus-8 rating in the young season. 


Cliff Pu (2016, third round) forced overtime Friday by scoring a goal with 2:15 left in regulation as London fell to Saginaw 6-5.

The centerman notched an assist the next night in the Knights' 4-1 win at Owen Sound. Pu has picked up the pace with points in four of his last five games, giving him 12 (4+8) through 16 contests.

Austin Osmanski (2016, seventh round) recorded one assist last week as Peterborough won once of their three games. Osmanski has nine points (1+8) in 18 games, eclipsing the eight points he recorded in 55 games a season ago.


In Wednesday action, Brandon Hagel (2016, sixth round) tipped home his sixth goal of the year as Red Deer fell to Seattle 4-2.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Tip drill: Red Deer lost to Seattle 4-2, but Brandon Hagel extended his career-long point streak to eight games with his sixth goal #Sabres

Hagel saw his career-best eight-game point streak snapped on Friday as Red Deer lost at Regina 4-3, and was again blanked Saturday in a 4-2 loss at Swift Current. In 17 games, Hagel has amassed six goals, 20 points, and 48 shots on goal for a Rebels squad currently tied for second place in the Central Division.

Prince Albert defenseman Vojtech Budik (2016, fifth round) picked up an assist Friday as Prince Albert got past Swift Current 5-1.

Budik, whose one-helper effort was sandwiched between a pair of losses to Moose Jaw, has five points (1+4) and 39 shots in goal in 16 games.


Shawinigan forward Vasily Glotov (2016, seventh round) was unable to suit up in Friday's 4-3 win over Drummondville, but returned to action Saturday with one shot on goal as the Cataractes defeated Saint John 3-2 in overtime.

Glotov has eight goals and 13 points in 17 appearances.


Christopher Brown (2014, sixth round) secured an empty-net goal plus one assist Friday as Boston College upended Merrimack 3-1.

Brown, who was unable to point Saturday as the Eagles completed the home-and-home sweep with a 2-1 win, has three goals and five points in nine games.

After being held without a point in Friday's win over Merrimack, Boston College defenseman Casey Fitzgerald (2016, third round) scored with a slap shot that rebounded off the end-boards and banked off the goaltender in Saturday's 2-1 victory.

Through nine games, Fitzgerald leads the Eagles with six points (3+3) and 31 shots on goal.

Connecticut defenseman Philip Nyberg (2016, fifth round) notched an assist and a sparkling plus-4 rating as the Huskies defeated Vermont 5-1 on Friday, and produced three shots on goal the next night in a 4-2 loss to the Catamounts.

Nyberg has one point (0+1) and a team-best plus-5 rating through four games.

Jacob Bryson (2017, fourth round) tied for the team lead with five shots on goal Friday as Providence fell to Boston University 2-0.

Bryson, who earlier in the week was named an assistant captain, has five assists and 21 shots on goal in eight games with the Friars.

Linus Weissbach (2017, seventh round) returned to action Friday after missing last weekend's games with an injury, producing two shots on goal as Wisconsin dropped a 3-2 decision to North Dakota.

Weissbach, who was again blanked on Saturday as the teams completed the non-conference set with a 2-2 tie, has three goals and five points in his first nine collegiate contests.

Junior defenseman William Borgen (2015, fourth round) picked up an assist Friday as St. Cloud State opened the weekend with a 5-3 win over Minnesota Duluth.

Borgen added another helper the next night as the Huskies swept the Bulldogs with a 5-0 victory. Borgen has six assists and a plus-5 rating through seven games. 

St. Cloud State forward Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) assisted on an empty-net goal in Friday's win over Minnesota Duluth, and submitted one shot on goal in Saturday's shutout victory.

Peterson has six assists through seven games while still seeking his first goal of the year.

Maxwell Willman (2014, fifth round) posted one shot on goal in Brown's 4-3 loss to Dartmouth, but was unable to dress the next night in a 3-0 loss at Harvard.

Willman has picked up a pair of assists through three appearances for the Bears.

Brett Murray (2016, fourth round) contributed one shot on goal in Penn State's 7-4 loss to Mercyhurst, and rebounded with a six-shot effort Saturday as the Nittany Lions earned the weekend split with a 7-5 triumph over their in-state opponent.

Murray has one assist in nine games this season, and is still looking for his first goal since joining the Penn State program last January (21 games).

Third-year defenseman Ivan Chukarov (2015, seventh round) made season debut Saturday, recording two shots on goal and a minus-1 rating as Massachusetts was shutout by New Hampshire 3-0.


Rasmus Asplund (2016, second round) was unable to point over the weekend as Farjestad BK split a series with Djurgarden IF, losing 3-1 on Friday before earning a 2-1 victory the next day.

Asplund has collected nine points (3+6) in 17 games while averaging 17:12 of work per outing.

Victor Olofsson (2014, seventh round) struck a one-timer for a power-play goal Saturday and added a pair of assists as Frolunda HC was handed a 5-4 defeat by HV 71.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: This looks a tad familiar. Victor Olofsson pounds a one-timer on the PP Saturday for his seventh goal of the year. #Sabres

Prior to the three-point outburst, Olofsson produced one assist in Tuesday's 3-2 Champions Hockey League victory over Liberec. He continued SHL action Thursday, recording three shots on goal in 17:50 of work in a 2-1 loss to Skelleftea.

Through 16 Swedish Hockey League contests, Olofsson has scored seven goals on 37 shots as part of his 12 total points. 

Marcus Davidsson (2017, second round) broke through the zone with speed Friday and set up his brother Jonathan (CLS) for the game-winning goal as Djurgarden IF got past Farjestad BK 3-1. 

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Marcus Davidsson wheels up ice over three lines and sets up his brother for the GWG as Djurg��rden defeats F��rjestad 3-1. #Sabres

The teams met again Saturday, with Davidsson skating for a season-high 13:36 as his club was dealt a 2-1 loss.

After going without a point in his first five Swedish Hockey League games, Davidsson has collected five (1+4) in his last nine.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (2017, second round) allowed six goals on 34 shots Saturday as LeKi was bounced by Hermes 6-2.

Luukkonen has started 11 of 15 games for the third-place squad, posting a 6-5 record with a 3.18 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage.

Oskari Laaksonen (2017, third round) skated for a team-high 24:50 Wednesday as Ilves U20 was doubled by the Blues 4-2. 

Laaksonen again logged the highest workload with 25:26 of ice Saturday, including nine shot attempts, in a 3-2 loss to KooKoo.

Laaksonen has skated in 22 games, collecting eight points (1+7) and a minus-8 rating.


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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