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SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT

by Kris Baker / Buffalo Sabres
Justin Bailey (Getty Images)

Trade winds were blowing last week with Canadian Hockey League deadlines passing. When the dust settled, two Buffalo Sabres prospects, Justin Bailey (2013, second round) and Brycen Martin (2014, third round), found themselves wearing new colors.

In the Ontario Hockey League, Bailey was dealt from the Kitchener Rangers to Sault Ste. Marie on Tuesday in exchange for 2015 draft prospect David Miller and four draft picks as the Greyhounds made a series of moves to prepare themselves for what many think will be a deep playoff run. (The Greyhounds also added forward Nick Ritchie and defenseman Anthony DeAngelo in separate deals later in the week.)

The Rangers’ leading scorer at the time of the deal, Bailey moved from the last-place team in the Midwest Division to the Greyhounds, who have occupied the top spot in the West Division all season long.

Bailey logged a successful Sault Ste. Marie debut on Wednesday, scoring a pair of goals including a nifty game-winner and adding an assist as the Greyhounds held on for a 6-5 victory at Sudbury. Newly acquired Ritchie (ANA) and DeAngelo (TBL) joined the Hounds’ road trip on Friday as Bailey went without a point in a 3-1 win at Saginaw. Bailey closed the week Saturday with an assist in a 3-0 shutout win at Plymouth, leaving him with 24 goals and 45 points through 38 contests.

After playing in 181 career games with the Swift Current Broncos, Martin learned Tuesday evening that he had been traded to the Kamloops Blazers in exchange for rearguard Josh Connolly, brother of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brett, and a 2016 draft selection.

On Wednesday, the deal was voided by the WHL, but it didn't take long for the Broncos to find another dance partner, with Martin ultimately being shipped to Saskatoon with a conditional 2017 pick for Jared Thomson and a first round pick in 2015.

Martin was quiet in his Friday debut as the Blades were beaten 4-1 at Lethbridge. He made a greater impact on Saturday, notching one goal and one assist to earn first star honors as Saskatoon earned a 6-4 road victory at Kootenay. Martin scored on the first shift of the second period when he snapped a shot from the slot to make it a 1-1 game. The goal, his third of the year, gives the steady puck-mover 18 points in 41 games.


OHL
Nick Baptiste (2013, third round) continued to heat up last week, recording goals in three straight games to give him points in nine of his last 10 contests. Baptiste scored his 13th goal of the year Thursday as the Otters squandered a three-goal lead in 4-3 loss at Sarnia. The Ottawa-native came back the next night, banging in a power play rebound as Erie powered past London 6-2. On Sunday, Baptiste claimed his 15th goal plus an assist as the Otters again bounced the Knights 5-3. The productive week gives Baptiste 30 points in 28 games between Erie and Sudbury.

After seeing his three-game point streak interrupted in Thursday’s loss to Niagara, Brendan Lemieux (2014, second round) picked up a pair of assists Saturday as Barrie doubled Sudbury 6-3. Lemieux, whose line with Joseph Blandisi and Kevin Labanc (SJS) combined for 10 points on the night, has now gone two games without a goal for the fourth time this season. Lemieux remains among league leaders with 29 goals (4th), 16 power play markers (1st) and 95 PIM (2nd) through 34 outings.

In an East Division tilt on Saturday, Eric Cornel (2014, second round) assisted on the game’s only goal as last-place Peterborough blanked first-place Oshawa 1-0. Cornel began the week without a point in a 3-2 loss to Ottawa on Thursday. He has a goal and three assists in his last 10 games for the Petes, who have gone 6-4-0-0 in that span.

Sault Ste. Marie forward Jean Dupuy combined with Bailey to notch a goal and an assist Wednesday as the Greyhounds got past Sudbury 6-5. He’d finish without a point on Friday and Saturday in wins at Saginaw and Plymouth. The gritty worker has amassed nine goals, 27 points and a plus-22 rating in 33 appearances this season.


QMJHL
On Saturday, Vaclav Karabacek (2014, second round) pumped a shot in the top corner for his first goal with his new team as Baie-Comeau fell to Sherbrooke 3-2. Karabacek, who also produced a season-high six shots on goal, has three points in his first five games with the Drakkar.


WHL
Sam Reinhart
(2014, first round) was blanked Friday in his first game back from the World Junior Championship as Kootenay lost to Red Deer 3-1, but the playmaking captain was able to snag one assist in the Ice’s Saturday loss to Saskatoon. Reinhart has amassed eight goals and 28 points in 17 games for the ICE, who occupy fifth place in the WHL’s Central Division.


NCAA
In Saturday action, J.T. Compher (2013, second round) scored his fourth goal of the year as Michigan earned the B1G sweep with a 7-5 victory over No. 9 Minnesota. Compher's goal came with 12 seconds remaining in the opening period when he buried a backhand rebound to give the Wolverines a 4-1 lead. Compher, who had three shots on goal on Friday in the Wolverines’ 4-3 overtime triumph over the Gophers, has experienced a slight dip in his production this season with 12 points (4+8) in 17 games. He had six goals and 15 points in his first 17 games a season ago.

Hudson Fasching notched one assist Saturday in No. 9 Minnesota’s wild 7-5 loss at Michigan. The helper came as Fasching received a puck behind the net and sent a wraparound pass to the front of the net for a Connor Reilly one-time finish. Fasching produced two shots on goal in the Gophers’ overtime loss the night before, leaving him with nine points (5+4) in 17 games.

Minnesota senior forward Christian Isackson (2010, seventh round) was used in a limited fourth-line role, finishing with one shot on goal and a minor penalty in the set with Michigan. Isackson has appeared in all 18 games for the Gophers, posting two assists, 13 shots on goal and an even rating.

Connor Hurley (2013, second round) picked up a primary assist Friday as Notre Dame was defeated 4-2 at Western Michigan. Hurley was unable to connect on Saturday as the Fighting Irish capped the home-and-home series with a 4-3 loss to the Broncos. The 19-year-old freshman has three goals and 11 assists through his first 21 NCAA games.

Notre Dame goaltender Cal Petersen (2013, fifth round) made his fourth straight start Friday, stopping 22 of 26 shots as the Fighting Irish were defeated by Western Michigan 4-2. On Saturday, Petersen came on in relief of Chad Katunar at the start of the third period, making eight saves before allowing a glove-side goal with 1:06 left on the clock in the 4-3 loss to the Broncos. The weekend losses drop Petersen to 5-8-1 with a 2.67 GAA and .904 save%.

Brown freshman forward Max Willman (2014, fifth round) was blanked in a 3-2 loss to crosstown rival Providence on Friday, and contributed one shot on goal in a 5-3 win over the Friars the following day as the Bears captured the 2014 Mayor’s Cup. With each team winning one game in the weekend series, Brown was awarded the trophy based on their plus-two goal differential.

Anthony Florentino (2013, fifth round) assisted on the overtime winner Friday as No. 13 Providence opened the Mayor’s Cup with a 3-2 decision over Brown. The sophomore rearguard fired two shots on goal Saturday as the Friars saw their six-game winning streak snapped in a loss to the Bears. Florentino has seven points (1+6) in 21 games this season while placing second on the team with a plus-11 rating.

Fifth-year senior Mark Adams (2009, fifth round) remained out of the Providence lineup for the Mayor’s Cup series. In 16 games, the bottom-pair defender has registered one assist and a plus-two rating.

Brad Navin (2011, seventh round) earned his fourth point of the season, an assist, as Wisconsin played to a 3-3 tie with No. 2 Boston University on Friday. The senior co-captain finished with a minus-two rating on Saturday as the Badgers could not counter a two-goal, two-assist night from 2015 draft prospect Jack Eichel in a 6-1 loss to the Terriers.

Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) was kept off the scoresheet as St. Cloud State earned the NCHC sweep with 3-1 and 3-2 decisions over No. 6 Miami. Petersen has two goals and two assists in his first 20 NCAA games.

Sean Malone (2013, sixth round) did not play Saturday as Harvard was defeated 4-1 by Yale at Madison Square Garden. The speedy sophomore has played in just three of the Crimson's 14 games this season, notching five points (2+3) and 10 shots on goal.


USHL
Christopher Brown
(2014, sixth round) picked up one assist over the weekend as Green Bay suffered a pair of defeats at Youngstown. The Gamblers’ leading goal scorer with 12 in 32 games, Brown is currently fighting a season-long five-game drought.


SHL
Victor Olofsson
(2014, seventh round) scored the game's first goal Saturday as MODO lost their seventh straight contest 2-1 to Lulea HF. Olofsson's 10th of the year, which ties him for second in team scoring, came when he intercepted a cross-ice pass and stepped into the slot to get off a high wrist shot. Olofsson returned from World Junior duty on Thursday, posting two shots on goal as MODO was edged by the Vaxjo Lakers 3-2.

Gustav Possler (2013, fifth round) produced three shots on goal in MODO’s 3-2 loss to Brynas IF on Tuesday, but he missed the next two games due to illness. Through 33 games, Possler has collected nine goals and 16 points for the league’s cellar dweller.

MODO netminder Linus Ullmark (2012, sixth round) sat out last week’s games after suffering a groin injury. The 21-year-old stopper has appeared in 22 games for MODO, posting a 7-13 record with a 3.24 GAA and .904 save%.

Brynas IF goaltender Jonas Johansson (2014, third round) remains sidelined while rehabilitating an injury that forced him out of the recent World Junior Championship.


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.
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