While Mikhail Grigorenko (2012, first round), Andrey Makarov and Joel Armia (2011, first round) were skating with their countrymen in preparation for the 2013 World Junior Championship, the rest of the Buffalo Sabres prospect pack was completing the first half of their respective league schedules prior to heading home for the holiday break.
Colin Jacobs (2011, fourth round) made an impactful return from a six-game suspension Saturday, scoring a goal and two assists to lead Prince George to a 6-0 win over Vancouver. Despite sitting for a half-dozen contests, the physical forward maintains his position as the Cougars leading scorer with 11 goals and 26 points.
Victoria forward Logan Nelson (2012, fifth round) notched one goal and one assist in his team’s three games to enter the holiday break as the Royals’ second-leading scorer with 31 points (8+23) after 33 games. The Royals will embark on the second half of the schedule by hosting Prince George for a two-game set beginning Dec. 28.
Owen Sound Attack centerman Daniel Catenacci (2011, third round) was among the final cuts Thursday as Canada pared down their Selection Camp roster before heading to Ufa, Russia for the 2013 World Junior Championship. While at camp, Catenacci recorded one assist in three contests. Catenacci, who lit the lamp in each of the Attack’s two games following his release from Team Canada, enters the break as the club’s leading scorer with 47 points (19+28) through 34 games. The Attack is off until Dec. 28 when they take on Erie.
Justin Kea (2012, third round) scored the game winning goal Saturday and added an assist as Saginaw doubled Windsor 6-3. Kea, who posted a total of seven goals and a minus-nine rating through his first two OHL seasons, enters the holiday break with 11 goals and an impressive plus-10 rating in the year's first 35 contests. Saginaw returns to action Dec. 27 at Plymouth.
Brady Austin (2012, seventh round) continued his recent production with two more helpers as Belleville lost two of three outings. The hulking rearguard heads into the Christmas break with seven points (2+5) in his last nine games. Next up for the Bulls is a Dec. 28 visit to Guelph.
Barrie defenseman Alex Lepkowski (2011, fifth round) recorded a plus-one rating Saturday before exiting with a shoulder injury in the Colts’ 2-0 blanking of Plymouth. The stay-at-home stalwart is expected to miss four-to-six weeks while recovering, presenting both a leadership void and a physical drop-off on the Colts’ top defensive pair.
Jake McCabe (2012, second round) recorded an assist Friday as Wisconsin extended their unbeaten streak to six games with a 4-1 triumph over Alabama-Huntsville. Following the non-conference sweep of the Chargers, the two-way defender departed for Tarrytown, NY to further his international aspirations at Team USA’s World Junior Selection Camp. Sophomore winger Brad Navin (2011, seventh round) registered three shots on goal in Thursday’s 5-0 win, but was scratched for Friday’s victory.
In Saturday action, Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) scooped up a loose puck in front of the net and scored his fifth goal of the season as Cedar Rapids claimed a 3-2 shootout victory over Team USA. The RoughRiders will play road games next weekend in Fargo and Sioux Falls.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s web site - 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.