Down on the Farm
With the NHL Lockout now in its 103rd day I have found myself following the Sabres AHL affiliate the Rochester Americans for my hockey fix. The Amerks roster has a lot of players that have/will be playing for the Sabres at some point this season or next year. For those fans that are interested I thought I would give another update how some prospects are doing so far this year.
First off the Amerks themselves as a team are 14-11-2-1 through 28 games. They sit 10th in the Western Conference in the standings (Yes Western Conference AHL does it backwards).
Now to the players the:
Cody Hodgson- Hodgson playing as the #1 center for the team has 16 pts in 14 games (3G,13A). Hodgson missed about a month with a broken hand, but when he has played he looks like the best player on the ice most nights.
Marcus Foligno- Foligno continues to grow after his strong end of the 2011-12 season. He has 25 points through 28 games (9G,16A). He contines to be a physical force along the boards and is meshing well on a line with Cody Hodgson since CoHo has returned from his injury. A lot for Sabres fans to be excited about with Foligno. The power forward Sabres fans have been waiting for.
Luke Adam- Adam started off slow and was starting to make people wonder if he was more of a flash in the pan than a real prospect. However of the last three weeks Adam has again found his stride. He has 14 points through 25 games (7G,7A). He carried an AHL longest active 8 game point streak into last nights game (5+4). Adam is worth keeping an eye on if he can keep this up or if he is going to continue as a hot and cold player, in which the Sabres have enough of those players.
Brian Flynn- Flynn is a personal favorite of mine that I have hyped up as a good prospect and so far he has made me look good. He has 19 points in 25 games (9G,10A). He is responding very well to more minutes playing with Foligno and Hodgson at times.
Brayden McNabb- McNabb continues to excite me as a prospect. His offensive game has grown in the AHL and he continues to be a physical force. He is by far and away the #1 defenseman in Rochester and has 16 points in 28 games (2G,14A). He is playing big PP and PK minutes for coach Ron Rolston.
TJ Brennan- Brennan has caught the most attention by far of any player on the roster. He is having a excellent season so far leading the Amerks in points with 28 in 28 games. He also leads the team in goals with 12 and assists with 16. He has grown as a PP QB for Rochester. He has 6 PPG on the season. He is also improving in his own end of the rink as well. Brennan was a force last night recording 5 points in a 7-6 win over Lake Erie. Brennan has added his name to the crowded Sabres blue line group when/if a season is played this year.
Zemgus Girgensons- The 2012 first round pick has struggled at times in his first pro career, which is expected for a 18 year old. He has 6 points in 23 games (2G,4A). Girgensons will without a doubt spend the rest of this season in Rochester regardless of the lockout ending. In my opinion will also start next season in Rochester as well.
Mark Pysyk- Pysyk has been up and down as well in his first pro season. As of late however he is starting to settle in playing with former junior teammate Brayden McNabb. He has 10 points in 26 games (2g,8A). He is also the only defenseman on the roster with a + at a +3 rating. Pysyk will also remain in Rochester the remainder of the season regardless.
Quick World Juniors prospect update:
Joel Armia- Armia recorded two assists in Finland's opening game 5-1 win over Latvia. Armia has excellent hands and vision. Vanek with more grit.
Mikhail Grigorenko- Grigorenko recorded two assists in Russia's opening game 3-2 win over Slovakia. He also had a big face off win in OT to set up the game winning goal earning his second point. Grigorneko will remain in juniors the remainder of this season.
Jake McCabe- The Sabres 2nd round pick in 2012 was selected as the captain for team USA. McCabe was solid in team USA's opening game 8-0 blowout over Germany.
Andrey Makarov- Makarov was signed as a free agent this offseason. He is the back up to Lightning first round pick Andrei Vasilevslki.