Ramblings: Goal Scorers, 2019 Risers, and a Swedish Invasion in Rochester

Cam Robinson

2018-10-18

 

It’s been a whirlwind week or so for me personally. Firstly, I was thrilled to be named Managing Editor of the site. Peter has done a great job traversing a path for me to follow and I look forward to it. Peter staying on as our new Content Manager is a big win. He’ll be orchestrating some fun projects this year.

 

Not 24 hours had gone by before I tweeted out what appeared to ane an innocuous gif of Elias Pettersson getting power slammed by Mike Matheson. Next thing you know that gif became the key video of the incident for the next 24 hours. Nearly 300K views. My Twitter mentions were a nightmare. Good times. 

 

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Speaking of that Pettersson injury, the star rookie has been progressing through the concussion protocol nicely. He was spotted in workout gear after the Canucks’ gameday skate on Thursday morning. It’s been reported as improvements each day. Barring a setback (which is always a serious risk with these type of things), he’s likely to be eyeing a return sometime early next week.

 

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Spencer Knight is looking to get the masked men back into round one. The 2019 eligible goaltender has long been considered a tweener pick. A guy who falls into that 25-45 range. And with goaltenders, the safe bet is that you see a player like that go in round two. I’m no different, I had Knight ranked as the 32nd best prospect in my Preliminary Rankings from August.

 

What he’s done early on this season with The Program has certainly been pushing him in the right direction. A 5-0-0 record, 0.940 save percentage and a 1.74 goals-against-average is nothing to sneeze at. Three of those victories were against NCAA Division I teams in Notre Dame, Michigan and Minnesota.

 

Those squads are nationally ranked 2nd, 11th and 6th respectively.

 

While the old adage that goaltenders are voodoo remains relevant today, the 6’3, 17-year-old is looking like a good bet for a team coming off a nice playoff run to swing on in the top-31 next June.

 

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Buffalo may finally be taking a step forward after years of futility. Their minor league affiliate is following suit with some exciting new talent.

 

After a strgon season with HV71 last year, Lawrence Pilut signed a free agent deal with Sabres and began his journey towards the NHL. The 22-year-old didn’t break camp with the big club but he’s certainly knocking on the door.

 

Through six AHL contests, the puck-moving defender has two goals and 10 points. He sits second in the AHL for power-play assists with five, and his total points lead all blueliners.

 

The only player Pilut trails is teammate and fellow-Swede, Victor Olofsson. Olofsson has always had a nice release, but 2017-18 he took things to a new level. The 23-year-old torched the SHL last season – leading the league in total goals (27) and power-play markers (14). He was pretty much the only guy who got his hands on some hardware over Elias Pettersson who scored three fewer goals in six fewer games.

 

Olofsson has kept the party rolling in Rochester this year. He leads the AHL in points with 12 in six games and his five goals sits second behind AAAA poster boy, Reid Boucher. Olofsson is terrorizing netminders in the minors and it won’t be long before he gets a taste of NHL action.