Showing posts with label zagrapan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label zagrapan. Show all posts

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Odds & Ends: Southorn talking; Tropp on the way?

With 2008 draft pick Jordon Southorn recently finishing his fourth QMJHL season, The Guardian is reporting that player agent Don Meehan is talking to the Sabres about a pro deal.

Southorn said his agent, Don Meehan, is talking with the Buffalo Sabres, the team that drafted him in the fourth round (104th overall) of the 2008 draft, about a three-year, entry-level contract. At the maximum, it can be worth over $825,000 a year.

Enter the Sabres blueline pipeline, where the system is rich with numbers. With Dennis Persson (one year), T.J. Brennan (two), and Drew Schiestel (two) having term remaining on their first contracts, and Nick Crawford recently added to the fold, it is thought that decisions on Portland defenders Matt Generous and Mike Kostka will play a role in what shakes out with Southorn and recent Harvard grad, Alex Biega.

The 5'11 Biega, who served as the Crimson captain this past season, moves well and plays a smart game, but the Sabres have to decide if he has enough juice to produce on the power play while providing consistent even-strength support. In 131 NCAA games in Cambridge, the Montreal native collected 15 goals and 55 assists with a net +1 rating.

Southorn, on the other hand, is waiting and working a summer job after an up-and-down season that saw a shift in his approach.

Southorn, who turns 20 today, had a solid 2009-10, if not bumpy one.
A pre-season suspension by the Rocket, his second in two seasons, cancelled Buffalo’s plans to bring him to its training camp.
But Southorn focused on his job, finished with a team-high plus-five plus-minus and fourth in hits with 86, and left the offence to itself (four goals, 19 assists, 67 games).
He was down 18 points in scoring from 2008-09, but up 18 points in his plus-minus ratio.
“I think my game changed this year. I was always the offensive guy. My plus-minus was up in the plusses,” he said. “My defensive game got much better. That’s what I was proud of.”
New head coach Eric Lavigne, hired in early October to replace the fired Guy Chouinard, stressed defensive zone coverage and it worked.

Southorn isn't a poor depth option by any stretch, but I was surprised to hear that discussions are taking place because there aren't that many jobs to go around in an organization that doesn't use an ECHL affiliate.

The Sabres have five blueliners under contract (Butler, Rivet, Sekera, Montador, Myers) entering 2010-11, with the expectation that RFAs Marc-Andre Gragnani and Mike Weber will be tendered. There is also the potential for UFA back-up plans like a Dennis Seidenberg and perhaps a Dan Hamhuis to be in place in the event that one of both of Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman sign elsewhere.

If you look at the depth chart, I already have Brayden McNabb penciled in to assume Dennis Persson's AHL slot beginning in 2011-12. I'll stop short of calling Persson a lame duck this early, but he will be entering the final year of his deal with the expectation of taking a huge developmental step on the Pirates blueline.


After signing forward Luke Adam to an entry-level contract at the end of his junior season, the Sabres still have decisions to make with some forwards in the coming weeks.

It's becoming more of a certainty that Michigan State RW Corey Tropp will follow in the footsteps of past collegians Chris Butler, Nathan Gerbe, and Tim Kennedy by leaving school after his junior season to sign with the Sabres. The CCHA program has already lost juniors Jeff Petry (EDM) and Andrew Rowe (PHI) to the pro ranks this offseason, making Tropp's departure a no-brainer given the Sabres depth needs. The 6'0 winger led the Spartans this past season with 20 goals and 42 points, and with MSU bench boss Rick Comley not having a consistent track record for developing pro bodies, it may be in both parties best interests to shift the development cycle to the AHL.

With the Sabres short on forwards, it seems that Jacob Lagacé will ultimately get a look as well despite his disappointing finish with Cape Breton. The fifth-round pick in 2008, Lagacé scored five goals in 25 games with the Eagles after having 30 in 35 with Chicoutimi at the time of the deal.


In other forward 'stuff', former first-rounder Marek Zagrapan has had his two-year KHL contract with Severstal terminated after one season. After a quick start in his return to European ice, the former Sagueneen/Amerk/Pirate found it tough to earn consistent time and ultimately became a non-factor down the stretch. It remains to be seen where Zagrapan will land moving forward, but the Sabres will continue to retain his NHL rights while the sting of another first round disappointment subsides.


Speaking of Sabres European prospects, Felix Schutz made noise on the international stage when he scored the overtime winner as Germany shocked Team USA to win the opening game of the 2010 IIHF World Championships. It was a nice touch for Schutz after a tough second half in Portland that saw the tweener limited in ice time while being left off the Pirates clear day roster.

Schutz has two goals through three games for Germany, while fellow Sabres prospect Philip Gogulla has yet to record a point.


When the University of North Dakota began stockpiling defensive recruits like Derek Forbort and Dillon Simpson, we began to think long and hard about the impact it would all have on Sabres 2008 third-rounder, Corey Fienhage. When Fienhage was sat late in the year in favor of forward-turned-defenseman Matt Davidson, those thoughts intensified.

When we reported that Fienhage was placed on the protected list by the WHL's Kamloops Blazers, the writing was seemingly being scribbled on the proverbial wall.

But when Fighting Sioux junior Chay Genoway announced that he would be returning to the team in 2010-11, the message on the wall stated that Fienhage was outsy.

Nothing is official, but whispers around Grand Forks are suggesting that Fienhage is as good as gone (along with Isles prospect David Toews). Fienhage needs to play, and since he didn't get in the lineup last season until Genoway suffered a concussion, it isn't too difficult to connect the dots.

My question is where does Fienhage go? If he opts for the WHL, his window to earn a deal is cut down to one season. Another option has him seeking a scholarship elsewhere, thus sending him to the USHL for a season of Jr. A to retain his NCAA eligibility, and in turn allow the Sabres to keep his rights for a longer term.

Fienhage is rugged and tough, and I would be eager to watch his game translate to the WHL. However, Fienhage is just 20 and needs consistent reps after playing a scant 39 games over two seasons with the Sioux. Couple that with the fact that the Sabres blueline prospect cupboard is already crowded, and I fully expect the Sabres to advise him to somehow stay in school.


While we're at it, might as well make official what we already knew. Mark Adams, the Sabres fifth round pick last summer, will be enrolling at Providence College this fall. The right-hander will join Vermont junior defenseman Drew MacKenzie in the competitive Hockey East.

Adams, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound defenseman, was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the fifth round (134th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He played three seasons at Malden Catholic High School before spending one season with the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League. While with Chicago, Adams played in 53 games and recorded four goals and 10 assists for 14 points during the 2009-10 season.

After a minor shoulder injury in the first half, "Roo" got his game clicking as the Steel's year wound down. Adams has good wheels that he'll need to use to limit stick infractions as he steps up a level of competition.


Lastly, if you're not doing so already, try to follow SabresProspects on Twitter. I'll be in Los Angeles for the draft and will be using it to communicate throughout the entire week. This space will be updated as well, of course, but that feed should be more lively.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

10/23 Recap: Tropp atop; Lagace clocked

No where near being back in full, but here's the Friday tour... Corey Tropp continued his hot start on Friday, notching an assist on the Spartans only goal as Michgan State lost a 2-1 decision to top-ranked Miami. With five goals and five assists in five games, Tropp leads the nation in scoring heading into Saturday night's rematch. RedHawks netminder Connor Knapp is slotted for his regular Saturday start after getting pulled in last week's 5-5 tie with New Hampshire. In the QMJHL, Luke Adam had a goal and two assists as Cape Breton lost to PEI, 7-4. Adam currently ranks 9th in Q scoring wth seven goals and 14 assists. Rocket dman Jordon Southorn collected a five-minute major for a second period tussle with Eagles captain Nick MacNeil. Jacob Lagace was knocked out of action in the first period by a Danick Paquette (ATL) body check as Chicoutimi defeated Quebec, 4-2. Lagace, who was caught with his head down, could miss additional time as the Remparts forechecker left his feet to deliver the blow. Earlier in the week, Adam and Lagace were named to Team QMJHL for the 2009 Subway Super Series against Team Russia. Unable to reach terms on a deal with the Sabres that would have kept him in Portland, Maxime Legault returned to the QMJHL for Friday night action, finishing -1 with 2 PIM as Shawinigan bested Lewiston, 6-3. The 6'2 right wing was pointless with 4 PIM in five AHL games. In Russia, Marek Zagrapan scored his sixth goal of the year as Severstal lost to Spartak, 3-1. The Sabres first pick in 2005, Zagrapan is currently the team's second leading scorer with 10 points in 17 games. In the OHL, Marcus Foligno was +2 with a pair of even-strength assists as Sudbury downed Sarnia, 4-2. Nick Crawford was -3 with an assist as Saginaw dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to Kingston. Summer camper Michael Fine had three assists for Fronts. In WHL action, Brayden McNabb saw a slapshot from the point tipped in for the only Ice goal as Kootenay fell to Portland, 5-1. The defenseman's assist moves his point total to 15 on the year, while his game-low -4 finish lands him at a cumulative -3. Elsewhere in the NCAA, Drew MacKenzie finished -1 as Vermont lost to Merrimack, 5-2. Summer camper Brayden Irwin scored the second Catamounts goal. Starter Nick Eno surrendered four goals on 22 shots before getting pulled as Bowling Green was blown out by Providence, 8-2. Justin Jokinen was quiet as Mankato got thrashed on home-ice by Wisconsin, 6-0. Brad Eidsness took the night off for the first time in his WCHA career as North Dakota blanked Alaska-Anchorage, 5-0. Sophomore dman Corey Fienhage continued his press box streak dating back to last January. Alex Biega pumped home a power play goal as Harvard tied McGill, 3-3. The senior defenseman fired a total fo seven shots on goal in the Crimson's first exhibition game of the season. In the USHL, Mark Adams was -1 with a shot on goal as Chicago won at Lincoln, 7-5.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

10/13-16 Recap: Tropp, Lagacé get tricky; Eidsness blanks rival

Corey Tropp scored his first collegiate hat trick Friday as Michigan State posted a big win at Maine, 5-3. The junior right wing scored one goal at even strength, and one each on the power play and penalty kill. Tropp was excellent with the puck throughout, making sharp moves around defenders to earn six shots on goal to help push the Spartans to a 3-0 season start. In the QMJHL, Jacob Lagacé had three goals and an assist as Chicoutimi plowed their way to a 6-4 win over Halifax. The 5'11, 196-pound forward filled an empty net in the final minute to complete his second career hat trick. The game's #1 star, Lagacé becomes the first Sabres prospect to hit double-digit goals with 10 in 12 games. Brad Eidsness stopped all 22 shots sent his way as North Dakota defended home-ice with a 4-0 shutout of rival Minnesota. The sophomore made a few clutch stops along the way to move to 3-0 on the season. The shutout, Eidsness' second of his NCAA career, was sealed when the Sioux killed off a five minute major in the final minutes.
Sophomore Corey Fienhage was again a healthy scratch for the Fighting Sioux. In the WHL, Brayden McNabb continued his strong 2009-10 start, notching his third goal of the year and finishing +2 as Kootenay edged Spokane, 4-3. The 6'4 defenseman also earned a fighting major when he tangled with Chiefs disturber Kyle Beach (CHI) after the Ice scored the game's first goal.
Elsewhere, Luke Adam scored his fifth goal of the year and went 16 of 24 at the faceoff circle as Cape Breton defeated Shawinigan, 2-1. The consistent 6'2 center has five goals and 11 assists by collecting points in all but two of his 11 games this season. Jordon Southorn was -2 as PEI was shutout by Moncton, 4-0. Top 2009 prospect Kirill Kabanov had three assists for the victorious Wildcats. In the OHL, Nick Crawford scored a goal and finished +1 as Saginaw defeated Sault Ste. Marie, 4-1. Crawford's third goal of the year got the 7-2-1 Spirit on the board in the first period to help hand the Hounds their fourth straight defeat after being the hottest OHL club in the first two weeks of the season. Marcus Foligno was -1 with hooking and roughing minors as Sudbury lost to Oshawa, 3-1. In the WCHA, Justin Jokinen had four shots on goal as Mankato dropped a 5-2 decision at Duluth. The sophomore right wing missed a chance at this first goal of the year when a good opportunity went high with his club trailing 2-1 in the second period. Nick Eno made 14 saves and surrendered one goal against as three Bowling Green netminders split time in a 7-2 exhibition loss to the USA U18s. DU-bound Nick Shore banked a puck off Eno from behind the goal line to put the Falcons down 5-0 in the late second period. ------------------------------------------- Playing catch-up.... Jordon Southorn was +2 with an assist on Tuesday as PEI shutout a strong Saint John club by a 4-0 count. Marek Zagrapan was even with two shots on goal as Severstal lost a tough one to HC MVD, 2-1. On Wednesday, Luke Adam had a pair of assists as Cape Breton downed Montreal, 6-2. Jacob Lagacé scored his seventh goal of the year on the power play as Chicoutimi came up short in a 3-2 loss to Rimouski. Vjacheslav Buravchikov was even through 12:16 of work in Ak Bars' 3-1 win over Motorist. In Thursday Q action, Southorn was -2 as PEI defeated Moncton, 4-2.

Monday, October 12, 2009

10/12 Recap: McNabb lights lamp; Foligno goes down fighting

A day removed from seeing the end of his nine-game point streak, Brayden McNabb (+1) started another by scoring his second goal of the year in Kootenay's 3-1 loss at Swift Current. Through 11 games this season, the 6'4, 210-pound defenseman co-leads the Ice in points (13), while ranking second in the league in assists (11), and third in penalty minutes (35). In 2008-09, McNabb posted a goal and four helpers through the first 11 games. In the OHL, Marcus Foligno finished -1 as Sudbury was blown out by Memorial Cup champion Windsor, 7-0. 2010 top dog Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist for the Spits, while Niagara Falls, Ontario native Justin Shugg ('10) had a goal and two assists. A chippy Foligno totaled 9 PIM in the turkey day battle, with the final five coming at 59:59 when he decided to take on Spits 6'4 captain, Harry Young. Young is a tough customer, racking up 50 fights over his five-year OHL career.
Like McNabb in the Dub, the 6'3, 216-pound Foligno is currently third in OHL PIM with 37. Despite toting one of the league's worst records (3-6-0-1), the Wolves are a difficult foe nightly thanks in part to his consistent carving and banging. In the KHL, Marek Zagrapan was even with a hooking minor as Severstal defeated Lada, 3-2. Vjacheslav Buravchikov continues a bumpy run, finishing -1 in 9:44 of work as Ak Bars lost to SKA, 4-3.

Friday, October 9, 2009

10/8 recap: Kassian remains out; NCAA on deck

With a separated shoulder sidelining captain Zack Kassian for at least another week, Peterborough rallied together Thursday for a 7-1 pasting of Erie. Ryan Spooner ('10) paced the Petes with two goals and an assist. In Thursday KHL action, Marek Zagrapan was -1 as Severstal defeated Ak Bars, 3-1. Defenseman Vjacheslav Buravchikov was a scratch for Ak Bars. Friday will be a productive night in the prospectsphere, with the first batch of NCAA non-conference games getting added to the junior slate. Corey Tropp and Michigan State will host Clarkson for a weekend set, while North Dakota's Brad Eidsness and Corey Fienhage will be in action against Merrimack. Nick Eno should get the start when Bowling Green faces Justin Jokinen and Minnesota State. In Colorado, Drew MacKenzie and the University of Vermont will take on Denver. With Miami coach Enrico Blasi expected to use a Friday/Saturday rotation with his talented sophomore tandem, goaltender Connor Knapp is expected to get the Saturday nod as CCHA powerhouse Miami takes on St. Cloud. In junior play, Brayden McNabb and the Kootenay Ice will trek east to battle Brayden Schenn and the Brandon Wheat Kings. In the OHL, Marcus Foligno and Sudbury will take on Nick Crawford and Saginaw, while the Kassian-less Petes will battle Mississauga. In Quebec, Jacob Lagacé and Chicoutimi will host Shawinigan. Mark Adams will continue to get his USHL legs under him when Chicago hosts Waterloo.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Zagrapan panning out early

KHL rookie Marek Zagrapan seems to be getting the job done offensively in his new digs. On Wednesday, the former Rochester and Portland forward scored a goal and an assist as Severstal pushed past Dynamo, 4-2. The fresh start has seen Zagrapan net four goals and two assists through eight games thus far, placing him second on Severstal's scoring list for goals and points while averaging less than 12:00 of time per game. In Thursday KHL action, Vjacheslav Buravchikov played even as Ak Bars defeated Torpedo, 3-1. Buravchikov is -3 with an assist in eight games this season.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

9/25 Recap: Friday night fights

Marcus Foligno led the way physcially on Friday, earning a noticeable +2 as Sudbury defeated well-balanced Barrie, 4-3. The 6'3, 216-pounder did not register a point, but he set an early tone with a fight, instigator, and misconduct on his first shift after coming to the aid of star teammate, John McFarland ('10). A projected top-10 pick next June, McFarland was rocked cleanly in open ice by Colts veteran dman, Ryan Gottschalk. Foligno reacted quickly, making a beeline and taking the scrap. The win was the Wolves first of the year, with an opportunity for two more coming Saturday and Sunday against Belleville and Oshawa. In Oshawa, Zack Kassian had an assist as Peterborough defeated the Generals, 6-4. The Petes captain matched OHL mate Foligno, earning a major, instigator, and misconduct for a quick second period southpaw session with Gens' 6'3, 221-pound forward Victor Terreri ('10).
Kassian has points in all four Petes games thus far, and will look for five on Saturday against Kingston. In the QMJHL, Luke Adam kept his gloves on and posted an assist as Cape Breton lost to Moncton, 4-1. Adam's helper came on the power play when the rebound of his shot was scooped up by Nick MacNeil. The Eagles, who have scored the first goal in four straight games, will next take the ice on Friday at Bathrust. At the USHL Fall Classic, Mark Adams and Chicago edged Omaha, 5-4. Adams (2 PIM) did not factor into any of the goals, but adjusted well to the quick Lancer forwards. The Steel move to 2-3 on the pre-season. Marek Zagrapan and the rest of his teammates were quiet in Severstal's 1-0 overtime loss to Novosibirsk. The Slovakian was whistled for a tripping minor on his first shift, and did not register a shot on goal all game.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

9/23 Recap: Marek on mark with new bunch

Marek Zagrapan had a busy second period on Wednesday, igniting Severstal with two goals and an assist in a 4-1 win over Amur. Zagrapan, who was also +2 on the game, sits as the club's second leading scorer (3-1-4) through five games despite averaging just 12:14 of action. In the WHL, Brayden McNabb (+1) earned an assist as Kootenay needed a shootout to edge Edmonton, 3-2. McNabb, who entered the game tied for the Ice lead with four points, helped put Kootenay on the board when his point blast was tipped in by Steele Boomer at 9:35 of the first period. The 6'4 defender brought the heat physically as well, laying solid pops in the final period including one on Tomas Vincour (DAL) to held give the Ice the comeback edge. In the QMJHL, Jordon Southorn was sidelined with a flu bug as PEI dumped undefeated Saint John, 6-1. The Rocket are tied with the Sea Dogs for first place in the Atlantic Division.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

9/22 Recap: Pirates ship begins to fill; KHL heating up

The Sabres today announced their first batch of names leaving camp for farm assignments. Off to Portland of the AHL are the following 14 players: F: Tyler Ennis, Paul Byron, Maxime Legault, Travis Turnbull, Derek Whitmore, Kyle Rank, Brad Larsen, Mark McCutcheon D: T.J. Brennan, Drew Schiestel, Dennis Persson, Matt Generous, Mike Kostka D. J.P. Lamoureux No real surprising moves, as all were expected to start the year with the Pirates. Ennis had the potential to play one more game, but there are too many other battles to be won in other areas. Technically still the captain of the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL, Legault, 20, will shoot for an AHL roster spot and first NHL contract when he reports. The cutdown leaves 33 players still in camp including defensive prospects Tyler Myers, Mike Weber, and Marc-Andre Gragnani; forwards Nathan Gerbe, Tim Kennedy, Philip Gogulla, and Felix Schutz; and goaltender Jhonas Enroth. For those who've not watched any of the pre-season games, Myers has gradually gotten better with each of his three appearances. He's shown an adjustment to speed, demonstrated good escapability to start breakouts, and used his stick well to break up plays for quick clears. At this point I score him ahead of Gragnani and Weber, who committed several turnovers in Monday's win over Washington, but need more views to project him out against the current top-6. ---------------------------- Overseas, a pair of 2005 draft picks are getting deeper into their KHL seasons. Vjacheslav Buravchikov was -2 on as Ak Bars lost to Avangard on Tuesday, 3-1. The 6'1 dman manned the bottom pair with Alexei Yemelin (MTL) for 15:03 if action, a few ticks above his season average of 13:45. Ak Bars next plays on Thursday at Barys. On Monday, Marek Zagrapan was -1 as Severstal dropped a 3-1 decision to Metallurg. The 23-year old is -3 with four shots on goal in three games since scoring the winner in the season opener. Severstal will take the ice on Wednesday against an Amur club carrying former Sabres defenseman, Nolan Pratt. -------- Also of note, PEI's Jordon Southorn stayed away from practice Tuesday with a bug, and may not be ready to go for their Wednesday tilt with 4-0 Saint John. Brayden McNabb and Kootenay will host the Edmonton Oil Kings in a mid-week WHL battle.