Buffalo Sabres’ Dylan Cozens and JJ Peterka are dominating the world juniors.
Every year the world juniors provide a glimpse into the future of hockey and for the Buffalo Sabres. they’re hoping that what they are watching is a sign of what’s to come.
The Sabres have four prospects playing in the 2021 World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton, Alta., and two have made quite an impression so far. Canada’s Dylan Cozens and Germany’s John-Jason Peterka have been playing big roles for their teams and haven’t disappointed so far.
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With the injury to Kirby Dach, Cozens stepped in to fill the leadership void and be the responsible two-way player. He is second in the tournament in scoring with six goals and 11 points in Canada’s four games preliminary round games and will now lead the team in the knockout round.
Peterka has had to deal with immense pressure to start the tournament as Germany was shorthanded because of COVID-19 cases. Even then, it seems like the Sabres’ second-round pick from the 2020 NHL Draft is on an island with teammate Tim Stuetzle.
While a lot of eyes have been on Stuetzle considering he was the third overall pick from the 2020 NHL Draft but give Peterka for showing his potential. He and Stuetzle are tied for third in tournament scoring with 10 points in four games and will look to play the spoiler going into the playoff round.
Buffalo also has 2020 eighth overall pick Jack Quinn representing Canada who hasn’t seen the amount of success Cozens and Peterka have had. This is understandable considering Quinn isn’t being played as much on a stacked Canadian squad.
The Sabres’ other first round pick from 2019, Ryan Johnson, has been in a similar situation as Quinn playing on Team USA’s third pairing. He has shown that he can be a reliable defender but isn’t a big point producer.
Going forward, it’s probably expected that Peterka will return overseas while Cozens, Quinn and potentially Johnson make their way to training camp. Cozens will certainly have the best chance to crack the Sabres lineup and you have to hope that he’s getting a confidence boost from being at the world juniors.
Safe to say, Sabres fans should be thrilled with what they have seen from their prospects so far considering they are going to need as much of a talent influx as they can get especially in this 56-game season.
What are your thoughts on how the Sabres prospects have looked at the world juniors? Can you see any of them having any impact on the 2021 season? Let us know in the comments below.