ROSEN CONTINUING TO EVOLVE HIS GAME AT PROSPECTS CHALLENGESep 16, 2022
By Suzie Cool
Amid discussing the two Buffalo Sabres goaltenders that appeared in last night’s win over the Montreal Canadiens in the Prospects Challenge opener, Rochester Americans head coach Seth Appert stopped himself. If it weren’t for a major blocked shot towards the end of the game from forward Isak Rosen, the 4-3 win for the Sabres could’ve ended with a different outcome.
“I just want to make the statement – Isak Rosen, what a blocked shot, right? That's winning hockey,” commented Appert in the middle of an answer not even relating to what Rosen did on the night.
Appert then continued about the young forward, “So, that's a first-round pick. That's a skill player. That's an offensive minded player that did a lot of really good things tonight, and yet he's going out there with 15 seconds to go and he's going to eat a puck to win a hockey game. I thought that was a great sign for what he stands for as a player.”
Rosen was a first-round selection for the Sabres (14th overall) in the 2021 NHL draft, signing his three-year, entry-level contract with Buffalo on May 31, 2022. After signing his entry-level deal, Rosen’s first time in North America was for Development Camp and since then he’s taken significant strides in his game, according to the coaching staff.
“His speed is very impressive,” began Appert when asked how much Rosen’s game has grown between the short time between Development Camp to now. “He has explosive acceleration, and he does it very effortlessly. So, his skating is special. He has very good creativity with his vision, but he is a bit of a goal-scorer, which is great to see for a young player.”
And Rosen feels his game is all-around stronger as his self-confidence has grown tremendously since July.
“I think after my injury I had a long offseason and I worked really hard in the gym, so I think I feel strong all over the place. Also, I think I have more self-confidence and everything.”
In 2021-22 with the Leksands IF (SweHL), Rosen scored his first two professional goals, registering four points in 28 games. Rosen went on to appear in eight games with Leksands U-20 team as well, recording nine points on four goals and five assists.
While Rosen made Sweden’s roster for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, the right wing played in the team’s first two games before the tournament was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the 2021 IIHF U18 World Junior Championship, Rosen earned a bronze medal with Sweden and led the team with nine points in seven games throughout the tournament. He added his second bronze medal the following year at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship, finishing with five points (4+1) in seven appearances.
If Rosen opts to play in North America this season, the young forward will most likely spend the 2022-23 campaign with Rochester.
The Sabres are back in action on Saturday, Sept. 17, in Game Two of this year’s Prospect Challenge when they take on the New Jersey Devils at LECOM Harborcenter. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m. with tickets still available for $10.
Here is the remainder of the full game schedule for the 2022 Prospects Challenge after tonight:
Friday, September 16
• Boston vs. Ottawa, 3:30 p.m.
• Montreal vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Saturday, September 17
• Pittsburgh vs. Boston, 3:30 p.m.
• Buffalo vs. New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Sunday, September 18
• Ottawa vs. Montreal, 12 p.m.
Monday, September 19
• New Jersey vs. Boston, 10 a.m.
• Buffalo vs. Ottawa, 1:30 p.m.