Monday, July 31, 2017

Four Sabres prospects at 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase

Published by, 7-29-2017

The Buffalo Sabres have a solid presence in Plymouth, Michigan as four players will take their first steps at trying to make their 2018 World Junior teams. Casey Mittelstadt (USA,) Cliff Pu (CAN,) Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (FIN) and Marcus Davidsson (SWE) begin play today in the 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase held in Plymouth, Michigan. The event runs through August 5.

Yesterday all teams held practices with a split USA team scrimmaging each other and the tournament will begin today in earnest as USA White takes on Finland at 1 p.m. For a full schedule see below.

The first game has plenty of intrigue for Sabres fans as two 2017 draft picks go head to head to kick things off with Mittelstadt (USA White) taking on Luukkonen (FIN.) Mittelstadt was selected eight-overall after falling to the Sabres while Luukkonen was taken by Buffalo in the second round at No. 54. Both had an extremely good development camp in Buffalo earlier this month as Mittelstadt lead Team White to the French Connection 3-on-3 Championship while Luukkonen showed off an impressive skill-set even stopping a sneaky Mittelstadt from in tight very early in the tournament.

In the second game today Davidsson and Sweden will take on USA Team Blue at 4:10 p.m. Davidsson was also a second rounder (37th) in 2017. Davidsson didn't make the 2017 World Juniors but Kris Baker of said that after spending a year playing professional hockey against men, Davidsson will be "a shoe-in" to make Team Sweden in 2018.

Pu is the elder statesman of the bunch. The 2016 third round pick of Buffalo (69th) is 19 and will be entering his fourth year at London with the OHL's Knights. Baker points out that even though Pu had an outstanding year in London (35 goals and 51 assists in 63 games, the Canadian squad is loaded with talent up-front and he may not be a shoe-in for the Team Canada when the 2018 WJC hits Buffalo in late December. That said, a strong Summer Showcase will go a long way in convincing Hockey Canada that they need to find a place for him.

Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin heads a list of 2018 draft eligible players that includes, according to's  "forwards Brady Tkachuk and Oliver Wahlstrom, and defenseman Quinton Hughes for the U.S., Sweden center Isac Lundestrom and Finland forward Jesse Ylonen."

Both the US and Canada will combine their split squads for the final games.

Below is the full schedule of events from

Saturday, July 29Finland Practice8:15-8:45 a.m.
USA Blue Practice (Olympic Rink)9:00-9:30 a.m.
Sweden Practice9:00-9:30 a.m.
USA White vs. Finland1:00 p.m.
USA Blue vs. Sweden4:10 p.m
Sunday, July 30Finland Practice8:15-8:45 a.m.
USA White Practice (Olympic Rink)9:00-9:30 a.m.
Sweden Practice9:00-9:30 a.m.
Canada Practice10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m
USA Blue vs. Finland1:00 p.m.
USA White vs. Sweden4:10 p.m.
Monday, July 31USA Blue Practice9:30-10:30 a.m.
USA White Practice10:45-11:45 a.m.
Canada Practice (Olympic Rink)11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Finland Practice12:00-1:15 p.m.
Sweden Practice1:30-2:45 p.m.
Tuesday, August 1Canada Red Practice9:00-9:30 a.m.
Canada White Practice9:45-10:15 a.m.
Finland Practice (Olympic Rink)12:00-1:30 pm.
Sweden Practice (Olympic Rink)1:45-3:00 p.m.
Canada Red vs. USA White4:08 p.m.
Canada White vs. USA Blue7:18 p.m.
Wednesday, August 2Finland Practice8:15-8:45 a.m.
USA Practice (Olympic Rink)9:00-9:30 a.m.
Sweden Practice9:00-9:30 a.m.
Canada Practice (Olympic Rink)10:00-11:15 a.m.
Canada vs. Finland1:08 p.m.
USA vs. Sweden4:18 p.m.
Thursday, August 3Canada Practice (Olympic Rink)8:00-11:00 a.m.
Finland Practice10:00-11:15 a.m.
Sweden Practice11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Canada Practice1:00-3:30 p.m.
Friday, August 4USA Practice9:00-9:30 a.m.
Finland Practice (Olympic Rink)9:00-9:30 a.m.
Canada Practice9:45-11:00 a.m.
Sweden vs. Canada1:08 p.m.
Finland vs. USA 4:18 p.m.
Saturday, August 5Sweden Practice9:00-9:30 a.m.
Finland Practice (Olympic Rink)9:00-9:30 a.m.
USA Practice10:00-10:30 a.m.
Canada Practice10:45-11:45 a.m.
Sweden vs. Finland4:08 p.m.
USA vs. Canada7:18 p.m.


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